Dallas Religious Icon and Humanitarian Dies at Age 88: Dr. Shirley M. Murray was Co-Founder of Full Gospel Holy Temple Churches, Inc.

Dr. Shirley Mae Hollis-Murray
Dr. Shirley Mae Hollis-Murray

Full Gospel Holy Temple (F.G.H.T.) mourns the passing of Dr. Shirley Mae Hollis-Murray, the co-founder of one of Dallas’ original mega churches. Dr. Murray is a renowned Dallas religious and humanitarian icon who served her church and community for almost 60 years, feeding the homeless and underprivileged persons, educating youth, creating access to education and empowering women.

Her sensitivity to homeless and underprivileged persons, due to her own humble beginnings, fueled the establishment of the Helping Hand Outreach Ministry in 1981. For almost 40 years, this humanitarian outreach has continued to give food and clothes to thousands of needy families each year. In 2005, she orchestrated the transportation of residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina to the church to receive warm meals and clothing during their stay in Dallas shelters. Education was also a critical focus for Dr. Murray and in 1979, she founded and served as president of the now-defunct Shirley Murray Child Development Center. 

Under her care, the institution’s curriculum was designed to develop the whole child: mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Of paramount concern to her was maintaining the “care” in daycare. This state-licensed and accredited facility ranked among Dallas’ top preschools. Along with her husband the late Apostle Lobias Murray, she co-founded Texas’ first privately owned and funded fully accredited African-American K-12 grade school, the Lobias Murray Christian Academy, which served students from the Dallas and Fort Worth areas for 30 years. 

After the death of her husband in 2011, Dr. Murray returned to her love for education to continue his legacy by creating access to higher education. She established the Apostle Lobias Murray Memorial Scholarship Fund. In addition to her philanthropic efforts, Dr. Murray quickly became a notable religious icon through her international evangelistic preaching ministry that impacted many ministries, religious leaders, and countless souls across the globe. She is known as a mentor to First Ladies and women ministers nationwide.

For more than 30 years, she hosted an annual Women’s Conference that drew thousands of women from across the nation to the DFW metroplex.

In the late 1980s, she founded an annual Youth Convention that continues to attract thousands of young people around the country to glean from each other and strengthen their relationship with God. Many young people and youth ministers have been trained and equipped with spiritual and natural resources including financial literacy.

Dr. Murray authored several books designed to share knowledge and divinely ordered guidance and everyday practical advice to women, Christians and those simply seeking a better life. Some notable titles include Strength in the Time of Need, the Power of Silence and Woman to Woman.

Born on January 19, 1932, in Henderson, Texas, to the late Simon and Paulene Hollis, Dr. Murray was educated in the Henderson School District. March 25, 1950, Dr. Murray married Apostle Lobias Murray, founder of the Full Gospel Holy Temple Churches, Inc. In 1953, Dr. Murray moved with her husband and children to Dallas, Texas for a better life.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Apostle Lobias Murray and her only son, Herman L. Murray, Sr. She is survived by her daughters Sharon Murray-Smith, Gwendol Murray, Brenda Rice; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dr. Murray will lie in honor Thursday, November 5 from 11 am to 8 pm and Friday, November 6 from 11 am to the close of the evening celebratory service which starts at 7 pm. The final Official Homegoing service will be held Saturday, November 7 at 11 am. All services will be held at the Full Gospel Holy Temple Church located at 39727 W. LBJ Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75237. For more information, call the church at 972-572-3448.