Bernardine Murray, 83, wife of the Rev. Cecil Murray, passes
Cynthia E. Griffin  |   OW Managing Editor
Taken from Our Weekly website.

Known as ‘Aunt Dino,’ she was passionate and generous

Funeral services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at First A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles for Lois Bernardine Murray, wife of former FAME pastor the Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray.

She died April 27 from complications of a stroke. Murray was 83.

Entombment will take place at Inglewood Park Cemetery, 720 E. Florence Ave., Inglewood, and the repast will follow at the church, 2270 S. Harvard Blvd., Los Angeles.

Murray, affectionately known around the A.M.E. denomination as “Aunt Dino,” grew up in the church. Her father Sylvester A. Cousin was a pastor and her husband’s childhood minister. Her brother, Philip R. Cousin Sr. (retired) became an A.M.E. bishop. His five sons are all ministers as is their cousin, Drew, son of Cecil and Bernardine. Philip will deliver the eulogy.

The Murrays were high school sweethearts and went to the senior prom together. They met in West Palm Beach, Fla., when Cousin moved there with her family as a 10th-grader. They married in 1958, seven years after Bernardine graduated from college with double degrees in sociology and education.

Afterward, she spent seven years teaching elementary schools in West Palm Beach.

At that time, Cecil—Chip is a nickname given to him by his wife—was finishing his seventh year in flying service with the United States Air Force. Three years later, the couple found themselves at Claremont College in California, where Cecil attended seminary at the school of theology, finishing up his doctorate, and Bernardine worked in the office of the president.

After graduating Claremont, Cecil began his church ministry with a nine-member congregation at Primm A.M.E. in Pomona. Next, the couple was assigned to Kansas City, Kan., and then five years later moved to First A.M.E. Church in Seattle, Wash.

As her husband developed as a pastor, Bernardine developed her own ministry and leadership roles.

Among the things she accomplished were starting Head Start programs; establishing food, clothing and housing services for the poor; and then, after the family was assigned to FAME in Los Angeles, creating mentoring, tutoring and scholarship programs for youth.

Additionally, at FAME, Barnardine developed an AIDS ministry and took volunteers down to Skid Row to serve meals to the homeless. She also led her missionary unit to sponsor fundraisers to send glasses, clothing, books and medicine to Africa.

Described as passionate with a generous heart, Bernardine was so dedicated to her work that A.M.E. missionaries started a school in Africa that bears her name.

Barnardine Murray is survived by a host of friends and relatives including her husband, Chip; son, Drew; brother, Philip Robert and his wife M. Joan Cousin; brother and sister-in-law, Edward and Mary Murray; sister in law, Louise M. Bowman; nieces, Tammie Murray and April Thomas; nephews, Terry Shawn (and wife Carmen); Gary Dean; Philip Cousin (and wife Angela); Steven Cousin (and wife Linda); David Cousin (and wife Valerie); Michael Cousin (and wife Marcy); Joseph Cousin (and wife Nicole); Anthony Murray (and wife Lisette); and Kevin Murray.


May The Creator hold you near during this very difficult time. We think of our dear sister fondly and are so very sad to hear of her passing. To my father and mentor, and my dear brother...we love you. Wanda (Uigei) Always known as Hannah's Momma Peace - Wanda E Green

Earth's loss is heaven's gain. Holding the Murray family in continual prayer and love. Rev. Dr. Jane Galloway

Pastor Murray, My heart and my prayers go out to you. Needless to say, if you need ANYTHING just let me know. Love you. Alla Norris

Sympathies to Rev. Murray and the entire Murray family in the home going of Bernadine. First Lady and Missionary par excellence, she will be missed! Diane, Jason and Sean - Members of First AME 1982 - 2004

Sincere and heart-felt condolence to Pastor "Chip" Murray, Drew, and Family in the transtion of Mrs. Murray. My prayers to you. God bless! - Beverly J. Crosby

My prayers are with you Rev. Murray And Drew. I am ever so thankful working with and serving with Mrs. Murray in the church. She came from God to us and she is back with God from came free at last ever lasting peace her just reward. - Evanglist Walter Garrett

Our prayers and condolences are with you and your family in your time of need. Lottie Ree Waters & Family

Pastor Chip, Remembering you and family in prayer during this time of sorrow.- Betty Benefield

My sympathies go out to Rev. Cecil Chip Murray! Praying for your continued strength in the love of Jesus!- Adriene Goodrich

May the Love and spirit of peace that lived in Mrs. Murray reside within us. May the Murray family be comforted and find tranquility during this tough times of loss. We are sorrowed, yet blessed to have shared the time and space with such a great woman. - Ronald and Carolyn Mitchell

Ebenezer Church, KCMO expresses its deepest condolences to the Murray Family. Our hearts are with you even as we know our Lord will never leave you or forsake you. Rest in his everlasting arms. - Pastor Betty Hanna-Witherspoon and the People of Ebenezer,KCMO

We love you all, deeply, and always will. You can be assured that God is mindful of you and your son during this time of mourning. Peace - Carol Mitchell

To the Murray family with all our Sympathy she will always be the First Lady in our heart. She will be looking down us all. God be with you and your family - Love Always Mr. & Mrs.Sylvester Sledge


I became apart of FAME because Mrs. Murray allowed my children to be themselves during eight am services. God Bless Her - Karen Bowles

I will miss your smile and remember the kind words that you have shared with me. We know that we are all just visitor here on earth, you are now home with our Father. - Luv Laurie Nelson-Eason

Chip and Drew, it's never easy to lose a loved one nor is it easy to find words of comfort in times like these; therefore, we would just like to say: we are weak, but God is mighty and He will hold you and your family with His powerful hands as you grieve your loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers and that we love you very much. - Pastor Eugene & Celia Square, Sr.

Rev. Murray and family... May God's comforting Grace and Mercy sustain, strengthen and uplift you with the assurance in knowing you will see her again, some day. - Gloria Blanton

Know that you're in my prayers. Your wife was an inspiration to me many years ago and helped me by just sharing herself with me and her battle with weight that helped me try to lose weight. I will always love her. - Allison Morgan

My deepest condolences to you, the family and loved ones of Mrs. Bernadine Murray. Pastor Michael W Eagle Grant AME, Long Beach, CA

Thank you, God, for Bernadine having been among us. Thank you for memories of her and for your lessons having been taught through her. Thank you for having expressed yourself to us as and through her, and thank you for her having been everything that you intended her to be. In Jesus' name we pray and give thanks. Amen. - Sidney Jones

My prayers are with you and your family. April Burnett - West Angeles Church of God in Christ. - April Burnett

Floyd and Sara Alexander of the 3rd District wish to express to you Brother Chip and Son. We will keep you in our prayers. - Floyd and Sara Alexander

Murray and Cousin Family, It is with great sorrow and greater joy that I transmit to you this brief noticia of condolence. Sorrow at the realization that such a beautiful and sweet personality is no longer in our midst. Great joy over the prospects that one day we may all gather with her and others who have garnered the immortal victory and seized the everlasting prize of eternal fellowship with our Savior and our Creator. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May God's love sustain you in your hour of grief. - Dr. Elvin J. Parker III

Condolences to Pastor Cecil "Chip" Murray, Rev. Drew Murray and the rest of the family. Sister Bernadine Murray was a "true gem" and our First Lady. I will always remember her smile and positive contributions at Trustee Board meetings. Heaven has a place for her. My prayers are with you. - Beverly Russell, FAME member 1990-2006.

Mother Murray inspired me as a young preacher to always listen to the voice of God. A spirited women of God who spoke your mind, supported her family, and love God's. May God keep you Rev. Chip and Drew Murray. my prayers are with you Rev. Gerald Green, Unity Fellowship Church, San Diego, C.A. - Rev. Gerald Green

Rev. Murray & Family God is with you, he will give you peace ,our prayers are with you keep the faith. Love Shirley Wells & Family - Shirley Wells

Major and I send our condolences to the Murray family. I will always remember Mrs. Murray's love for FAME. Love you, Major and Eva Woodard

Aunt Dino you will be missed. I love you, uncle Chip and cousin Drew your in my prays although we are miles apart and haven't seen each other in many years my love for you is as strong now as it was when i was running through the halls of First AME as a child. I Hold each and every one of you guys close to my heart. I love you and keeping you in my prayers and my thoughts at this time and always. - Love LaLisa McDaniel-ODom

Pastor Murray - Heartfelt condolences to you, Drew and the rest of your family concerning the homegoing of Mrs. Murray. - Stephen Terry

A wonderful woman of God. She was my Prayer Partner during my tenure as Connectional WMS PME Director...what a blessing she was to my life. I will never forget our time together. I have asked the Lord to comfort the family and many friends. He said in His Word He would comfort all who mourn. Be Blessed. - Jo Ann Hoffman

So very sorry to hear of the passing of your dear wife,you spoke of her illness and your love for her at the prayer breakfast for Christian Fellowship. May God be with you/family. - gloria Boyd

Pastor Murray, Brother Drew, and family Our condolences from the FAME Church family of the passing of your beloved wife and companion, Mrs. Bernadine Murray. Peace, Love, and God's Blessings. Love you, Eldridge Dean, Jr. FAME Yoga Instructor

Papa, We send our love and sincerest condolences to you, Drew, Bishop Cousin and the whole family. We mourn with you and we celebrate with you the blessed life of your Lifemate, We love you! "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor. 15:54-55) - Michael & Cynthea Jackson

Dear Chip: Our hearts go out to you and Drew. My God give you peace and comfort. (Great times, Otis and Mather) Keep in touch. - Bernice & Gil Jones


The Midwest North District extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and relatives, and commend them to the divine guidance of Him who is able to lead them on to a more noble and upright life. Rev. Donna F. Roberson Midwest North District - Presiding Elder

Pastor Murray, my heart goes out to you. The peace I do have is that Mrs. Murray is in the arms of the LORD and does not have to suffer any longer. I'm praying for peace and comfort for you and your family. God bless you. - Tamara Lewis

The Spencer Family's (Dee & Frank, New Jersey) & Tracy (FAME Cathedral Choir)prayers are with Rev. Murray, Drew & the entire family during your time of loss. God Bless Mrs. Murray as she transitions to be with our Lord & Savior. We will all meet again in the great by & by. Love you, Mrs. Murray! God Bless the family! - Tracy Spencer

Seldom are we able to witness, true loving and loyal partnerships. The Murray's as man and wife were an example for all to follow. They loved supported and understood one another and the people they lovingly served. Peace and blessings to Rev. Murray, Drew and to the entire family. Jackie Broxton

There are no words that can best express how deeply I sympathize with you and Drew on your loss. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time of sorrow. With perpetual admiration and God's loving grace, - Brigitte Bellande

Our love and prayers are extended to Dr. Murray, Drew and entire family. What an awesome treasure Sister Bernadine is to the family of God! We are grateful for her encouraging spirit and will cherish it forever! - Pastor Carolyn,Brother Larry and Rose of Sharon AME Church Family, Norwalk, CA

May the peace and love of Christ be with the family and friends of Mrs. Murray as you prepare to celebrate her life. - Rev. Davey A. Birt, Pastor Union Chapel AME Cedar Creek, Texas

May God Bless the family in your loss. Mrs Murray will be missed by all. She was a fellow Wilberforce Alum. - Andre, Delilah and Imani Crenshaw.

Our prayers are with you Pastor Murray and Drew in the loss of First Lady Bernadine Murray. She trusted in the Lord and we will always be grateful of the time we have enjoyed her presence. May God continue to give you strength. - Love always, Elmon and Allison von Leggett

Our deepest sympathies to you Reverend Murray and Drew on the home going of your beloved wife and mother, may God Bless you and you are in our prayer's. - The Berry Family, Vincent, Babette and Kristopher

Rev. Murray & Family Our deepest sympathy, may God give you peace and comfort at this time . - Keeping you in prayer, Love, Ruth Butler Unit W.M.S.

Reverend Murray, Please know we are lifting you in our prayers! You have meant so much and given so much to many of us across the years through your exceptional ministry! We are praying that God will strengthen you, his servant during this time of transition and loss. God bless! - Presiding Elder & Mrs. H. Michael Lemmons

Pastor Murray, please accept our sincere condolences at the loss of your dear wife, Mrs. Murray. The two of you have been very kind and gentle role models to us. Our hearts go out to you, and we lift you up in prayer. - Sincerely, John and Cassandra Nash

Rest in peace, my dear sweet cousin! Love you! I'll see you on the side! - Dwayne Winstead

Pastor Chip Murray, May God continue to bless you and your Family, I miss you and you are always # One in my Heart. - God Bless "Neice" Bernice Gaines, FAME Hostess & Family

May God comfort you and your family during this time of sadness. - Mary Williams, Usher Board #1

In this hour of sorrow, I send my sincere sympathy to the Murray family and to the members of the church community. I pray the spirit of our Father in Heaven to bring comfort and peace to all. - Michael Stanley

Love and blessing to you and your family Pastor Murray. Your walk with God is a walk that many christians can only dream of. That is also the case for you and Mrs. Bernadine. You were futunate enough to be blessed with a true soul mate. God is blessing you Sir, please count your blessings and stay strong. - Charles Pickens

Dear Rev. Murray and Family, Greetings and peace be unto you. My hopeful prayer is that all is well with you and your family during your season of mourning the homegoing of your beloved wife, Bernadine. As you continue to grieve, please know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. As you relish and reflect on all your memories of your beloved Bernadine, I pray for your comfort and strength through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holman Family will continue to form a circle of intercessory prayer around you, your immediate, and extended families. As people who love and care about you, we seek a spiritual presence and power for you during these difficult times of transition. The days ahead may seem heavy and the responsibilities may feel burdensome. But, remember, our prayers make available the might of a cross-bearing, burden lifting Savior. We are confident that Jesus Christ will accompany you out of the valley of grief; and provide comfort to you in these hours of bereavement. Our prayer for you is to continue to trust in the God. May God transform your "mourning into dancing" as our prayers supply you with "a balm in Gilead." If I can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to call on me at any time. Our ears, hearts and arms are open to you and your family whenever you need us. Stay strong and keep the faith!!! Respectfully, I remain - Yours in Christ's service, Rev. Kelvin Sauls Senior Pastor

Deepest sympathy and profound love for you, Pastor and your beloved family. Our dearest Bernie is now with the Lord as we praise him for sharing her with us for 27 beautiful years! You will both live forever in our hearts and in the the good works that have defined the FAME legacy over the years. Be blessed, Abba! - Carrie Allen

My prays are with you and your family.Love The Chapman Family - Shirley Chapman

To the Rev Murray and family Mrs. Murray was a very special woman and it was a pleasure knowing her. Her smile and personalty shined bright each time I saw her. God has a beautiful angel at home. We will meet again. This too shall pass. - Edith Anderson

My heartfelt condolences to Rev. Murray, Drew, and family. May the Lord's perfect peace be with you at this time. - Petrice Bankhead

Pastor Murray and Rev. Drew Murray I will continue to keep you both in my prayers. I pray that you find the peace that you need to get through this time. - Sharon Laney-Agu

So sorry for your loss - Elise Buik

Chip-- I'm so very sorry to hear about Dino. Marian just gave me the details last night and Millie called this morning about the web site. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend but be assured that all our prayers are with you. You and Dino held a very special place in my parents hearts. - love brenda bruce-perry love Brenda

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy in the loss of Mrs. Murray. May God bless and keep the family during your time of bereavement. The Bethel AME Portland, OR ministry partners will keep you in our prayers. - Adrienne Simmons

May your beautiful soul rest in perfect and everlasting peace. Amen. And may God grant your family especially "Chip" and Drew the fortitude to bear your loss. - Princess Ify

My sincere condolences for your loss. Upon hearing the passing of Mrs. Murray, the news sent me in a tailspin for I just lost my mother on March 27, 2013. God Bless you and comfort you at this time. - Irma Edwards

Our prayers are with you and your Family during your time of bereavement. - Allen Temple AMEC Family- Riviere Beach, Florida Reverend Philip Johns- Pastor

Dear Chip, Drew, Bobby. Joan I am very sorry for your loss. Just remember Bernie with all her smiles, laughter and sense of humor. God will provide the strength and courage that you will need to sustain your loss. Just remember that I am just a phone call away if you need to talk to some and I will always keep you in my prayers. Keep the faith and remember the Good days you spent with Bernie. - God Bless you Cousin Rissa

My deepest condolences to you, the family and loved ones of Mrs. Bernadine Murray. My prayers are with you. - Tonette|Morisette

|| Dr. Murray I am so sorry for your loss. I pray God's strength and peace for you and your family. We give honor and glory to God for the blessing Mrs. Murray's life has been to you and countless others. Peace be with you Dr. Murray. - Romal Tune

Rev Murray & Drew as you grieve know that we are remembering you and honoring the memory of Mrs Bernadine Murray. - Colette Amin & Master Oston J.Madengue

We regret hearing of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. - George and Bettye WOODS

To the world greatest first lady of FAME LA.Thank you for your words and love.Ms.B.Murray rest on.We to should see you to in the morin. - Love for life time Pamela H/Yasmyne Mc.Donald (1984)

Reverend Murray - all your friends at School on Wheels send our deepest sympathies and love. - Catherine |Meek

To Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray and Family: A Tribute to a Worthy Soldier of the Cross As far as we have any knowledge, man is the only one of all God’s created beings, to whom is given the information that all earthly life must end in death. The experience and observations of mankind early in life impresses upon man’s mind the fact that death is the common lot of races. Of all beautiful things in life, the most beautiful is character; and he who possesses a beautiful character is worthy of notice. A beautiful life is the fruit of a beautiful character. She, whose home going we celebrate surely possessed a beautiful character, and lived a beautiful life. To my mind, the highest tribute that can be paid to any person is, that she was loved by her many, many friends. Truly, this is the sentiment of all who knew that gallant and noble Christian of the Church of Jesus Christ, Mrs. Bernadine Murray. With a lasting gratitude for her exemplary life, her tireless and unselfish labor among us; the good she did, the things she taught and the inspiration we imbibed; we celebrate her victory. She was a heroine for God, possessed with the Abrahamic type of faith, filled with the spirit of her Christ; she was a friend to all, free from deceit and met all with a kindly smile. Her spirit-filled soul took its flight across death's stream, where at this moment she rests from her labor, but her memory will ever live in the hearts and minds of us who knew her. - Desert/Mountain Conference, Phoenix-Albuquerque District Rev. Dr. H. Charles Farris, Presiding Elder

Dearest Rev. Murray and Drew, My thoughts and prayers are with you always. Mrs. Murray lives on forever! Endless love, Mia - Mia|Wiggins Galloway

Please know that my heart and prayers are with you and family, I also know that in her human existence she was a child of god, and fulfilled her purpose, but this is not the sum total of her existence, she continues in the spirit. God Bless you. We love you! - Kai Parker & Family

I will continue to praise God for your life, Mrs. Bernadine Murray. Go in Peace. And to your family, especially Rev. Murray, may the memories of her life give you peace and comfort in Jesus name. Amen. - Lilian Asomugha

Chip, We realize that you have known for a long time that this was coming, but even so, it's a blow. We're so sorry. Our hearts go out to you in this time of need. You are a strong person, so we know you will make it through. Even so, loss is loss, and you have lost your spouse of many years. May the peace of the Holy Spirit be with you. Love, Jack and DeAnne Crossley

It's a sad time on earth and rejoicing in Heaven. Fond memories of Mrs. Murray she gave me a book on Angels and told me Angels are watching over me. Now Mrs. Murray Gods Angel is watching over us. Rest in Peace Gods Angel - Quanetha|Hunt

Pastor Murray, I am truly saddened upon hearing of your beautiful wife's passing, she was a wonderful lady. I have not seen you since my 'corys' funeral in 2001 you were there for me and my family and I will be there todsy for you and drew. Prayers will be ongoing for you both. - Lady-Lea (laura)|Mason

My deepest sympathy to the entire family for your loss. - Ava Alston|Brownlee

Pastor Murray and Drew, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Our warmest condolences, God bless. The Mehzun's Mercy, Merha (Twins)& Daniel

Rev. Murray, I am so very heartbroken to hear of Dino's passing. May the Lord comfort you and Drew in your time of sorrow. Know that my prayers are with you today and always. (Tammy Glass, Dorothy Glass, Candace Mack and Rhea Jones)FAME Members 1985-1994.|

Rev Murray, Drew and family, You are in our prays and heart as we remember you at this time. God will take care of you. Sincerely, Syble Patrick and family|

Divine Comfort is your Gift of God, I pray your continued comfort, strength and heavenly peace in Jesus Christ, the Lord! - Rev. Teka L.|Barber

May God continue to bless you and your family. Our prayers are with you. - Janice|Parker

Dear Dr. Murray and Drew, Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your Wife and Mother, a gracious lady whom I will never forget. I shall be forever grateful for the support and leadership that she provided when I had the opportunity to serve as the US Coordinator for the Ecumenical Decade for the World Council of Churches which was launched from FAME in 1989. She marshalled all resources and consistently encouraged me as a young woman in leadership. Our many talks and the laughter and wisdom shared will forever be etched in my heart. May God comfort you as you reflect on a life well lived. Peace and Blessings Rev. Dr Emilygail A. Dill Allen Temple AME Church Sandys, Bermuda|

Dr. Murray, and Drew, we pray for your continued strength in the Lord. Moreover Sister Bernadine's race is finished, and we praised God for the life she lived as mother and wife. Let us continue in faith in running this race- looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. For we too have a seat by invitation awaiting us. - Timothy & Candance|Gregoire-Pierson

Our prayers are with you during this very difficult time. - Maxine|Du Pont

Pastor Chip and Drew sorry to hear the passing of Mrs. Bernadine! So warm; So Caring!! I am glad to have known her. May god continue to bless both of you! "Fight On!!!" Kenny Hays(The Tall Man)**Alpha Phi Alpha/USC/Usher Board #3

My prayers are with Rev. Murray and the entire family, may God bless you all through this time. Leilani Thompson