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Rev. James Allister Murray


Murray, Rev. James Allister, pastor of St Andrew’s Church, London, Ontario, was born at Big Meadows, Roger Hill, County of Pictou, Nova Scotia. His father was a Scottish Highlander, from Sutherlandshire, and his mother a native of the parish of Humble. His parents emigrated from Edinburgh to Nova Scotia early in the present century. The subject of the present sketch was the youngest of twelve children, and was born in 1833. Mr. Murray had the claims of the Christian ministry early impressed upon his mind by his parents, and his early education was directed accordingly. He studied for some three years at the Grammar School in Tatamagouche, under the able superintendence of the late John Carrie, famous as an expert in teaching. Mr. Murray afterwards studied at the celebrated Pictou Academy, and after teaching at Salt Springs, Pictou county, for three years, entered the Presbyterian College at West River, Pictou, where he took a full course, and after an extra session at the Free Church College, Halifax, was licensed to preach, in 1857, by the Presbytery of P. E. Island. Before entering on the ministry, he taught with success for three years the Grammar school in Upper Musquodoboit, County of Halifax. After labouring for a short time in the Rome Mission field of Nova Scotia, he received, almost simultaneously, four calls to important charges, viz., Newport, Maitland, Economy, and Annapolis. Having referred decision as to acceptance of call to the Presbytery of Halifax, Mr. Murray was ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church, in Ananapolis Royal, in 1857. This is interesting from the fact of its being the origin of the Presbyterian congregation in that beautiful old town. After three years successful labour in his first charge, he accepted a call to the congregation of St. Luke’s Church, Bathurst, N.B., in connection with the Church of Scotland. He subsequently removed to Ontario, and accepted a call to St. Andrew’s Church, Mount Forest, from which he was called to St. Andrew’s Church, Lindsay, and accepted the same. During his ministry in Lindsay, the great union of all the Presbyterian bodies in the Dominion took place, and being a strong advocate of union, he resigned his charge, in order to promote the union of the local congregations. Within a short tune he was called to St. Andrew’s Church, Niagara Falls; St Andrew’s, Hamilton, and St. Andrews, London. He accepted the latter, which is one of the most eligible congregations in the Dominion. At this date (February, 1886), Mr. Murray has entered upon his eleventh year in the pastorate of this important charge, and being in the prime of life, maintains his usefulness and popularity. Rev. Mr. Murray is regarded as a preacher of rnarked intellectual power, and one of the moat eloquent, earnest, and successful ministers of the Presbyterian church. He is married to Georgiana, second daughter of the late William O. Smith, of St. John, N.B., by whom he has living three sons— William Odber Smith, Cyril Cland, and Clarence Herbert.


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