Dr. Murphy was born in Smithfield, North Carolina to the late Sam and Louise Murphy. He was the youngest of seven boys and four girls. In 1981, Dr. Murphy married Doris Annette James. They have been married for 35 years and from that union God blessed them with one son, Shelton Josiah Murphy, now a graduate of Howard University.
Dr. Murphy attended N. C. State, where he received a B. A. degree in Communications. In 1986 he received a Masters of Divinity and in 1990 a Doctorate of Ministry, both from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. In December 2013, Dr. Murphy completed a Masters of Science in Church Management from Villanova University near Philadelphia.
He committed his life to Christ in the summer of 1977, and his faithfulness to God is displayed in the numerous positions he has held: Campus Pastor for the United Student Fellowship at N. C. State; Chaplain at the Harnett Correctional Institution, Lillington, N. C. ; Chaplain at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Petersburg, Va. From there he completed a Chaplain’s Residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center and later served as a Rehabilitation Counselor at the Haynesville Correctional Institution, Haynesville, Va.
As a Naval Officer and missionary, Dr. Murphy traveled extensively and preached in many countries, including Jamaica, Cuba, Paris, Spain, Rome, Turkey, Greece, Israel, Japan, Korea, and Johannesburg, South Africa. Some of his military assignments include the USS L.Y. Spear (AS-36), Norfolk, Virginia; USNS Comfort, Kingston, Jamaica; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71); and the Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan.
In August 2000, Dr. Murphy was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. On November 9 of that year, Dr. Murphy answered the call of God to be the Servant Pastor and Under Shepherd of Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church in Norfolk.
Dr. Murphy’s love for preaching and teaching the Gospel has become evident with increased congregational attendance during the Sunday morning services, Sunday School and Wednesday night Spiritual Growth Academy. The vision — “Making Disciples through the Transforming Power of Jesus Christ” — is certainly making a tremendous difference in the life of the church. The people of God are excited about making disciples and are happy to promote that Mount Gilead is a place where “Christians are born & Disciples are made!”
Because of the favor of our Great God and the great vision of making disciples, in 2004 Mount Gilead took on the challenge of building a new $2.9 million Family Life Center. Although the Family Life Center was under a 30-year mortgage, by the grace of God and the faithful giving of God’s people, Mount Gilead was empowered to pay it off in 11 years. In August 2015 the Family Life Center was paid in full.
Though it’s only been 16 years since Dr. Murphy has taken the reins, through his creative, inspirational, motivational, innovative and visionary leadership, Mount Gilead has taken off and is growing in quality and quantity to the Glory of God!