Most Interesting and Influential 2005: Michael C. Murphy
Sunday, March 20, 2005


     Rev. Dr. Michael C. Murphy is the Pastor and Founder of St. Stephen’s Community Church of Lansing, Michigan.  St. Stephen’s is a young, growing church which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.  He is the third child of George and Leona Murphy of Chicago, Illinois, where he was born and raised.
     Rep. Murphy is active in religious, civic, and state affairs.  He was elected to the Lansing City Council in 1997 and served as its President until 2000, when he was elected to the State House of Representatives.  Rep. Murphy also has served on numerous community boards.  He was a Children Services Advisor to former Governor James Blanchard and Administrative Assistant to former Senator Gary Corbin in the Michigan State Senate.  Rep. Murphy is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
      In the Michigan House of Representatives, Rep. Murphy serves on several important committees.  These include Commerce, Energy & Technology, and Transportation.  He also serves as the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Children’s Caucus and 1st Vice President of the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus.
     Rep. Murphy served as principal advisor to the African American students at Olivet College during the racial unrest in the spring of 1992.  He was later named Interim Director of the Olivet College Office of Multi-Cultural Services and assisted in resolving the dispute.  Additionally, he has served as departmental head of the Human Relations and Community Services Department for the City of Lansing.
     Rep. Murphy was ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in 1984.  He holds dual standing with the AME church and the United Church of Christ.
     Rep. Murphy’s wide range of interests keeps him active in the community, especially on health and human service issues.  He describes himself as first and foremost a “Pastor-Preacher.”  Lansing Magazine named Rep. Murphy as one of the “100 Most Influential” persons in the Greater Lansing community.  In addition, he is an advocate for social justice issues and civil rights issues.  He chairs the Capital City African American Cultural Association, Inc., which sponsors Lansing’s annual African American Parade and Family Reunion outing.
     Rep. Murphy has received awards for ministry and public service.  In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate from Olivet College, the “Champion of Hope” award from the Michigan Kidney Foundation, and the “Golden Heart Award” from the Association for Children for Enforcement of Support (ACES).
     Rep. Murphy  holds degrees from the Chicago Theological Seminary (M. Div.), Michigan State University (M.A.) and DePaul University (B.A.).  He received a doctorate degree at the Chicago Theological Seminary and has done additional study at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia.  He is married to Bonita Clark-Murphy, and they are the proud parents of a son Brandon, a daughter Rachel, and granddaughter Danielle.


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