I’ve been waiting a long time to write this post, but I’m now so happy to report that I’m going to be a pastor again. Last night I received and accepted a call to be the pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church, which I’ll combine with being a Professor at Puritan Reformed Seminary.

I am a pastor at heart. I love the privilege and responsibility of shepherding the flock of God. Since coming to Grand Rapids I’ve missed the blessed burden of having a flock of my own to care for. Although I have had multiple opportunities to serve various congregations and individuals by preaching and counseling, for which I am most grateful, nothing can make up for the sense of loss, even bereavement, at not having a regular flock to care for.

At the same time, I also love training future shepherds of the sheep, and have a deep sense of calling to serve in this way at PRTS. I know it is God’s will that I continue to do that as my primary calling, though with a slightly reduced workload.

Church and Seminary
I’ve often thought and prayed about the possibility of combining pastoral work in a local Grand Rapids church with my seminary work. It’s quite a common practice for Seminary professors to unite both roles. However, until now, no opening has arisen to make this possible.

When I was approached six months ago to discuss the possibility of being the pastor at Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church, I almost immediately sensed it was an answer to the prayerful longings of my heart. This is especially so because it’s a congregation I have grown to love through preaching there every month for the past 5-6 years. I have often prayed for the Lord to send a pastor to this congregation, and some times I privately wished it could have been me – though never conceiving how suitable arrangements could emerge to make that happen.

However, the elders came up with a plan that shares the pastoral burden and allows me to combine both teaching in the Seminary and pastoring in the congregation. I’m very grateful to the Free Reformed Church Synod, the Seminary Board, and especially to Seminary President, Dr. Joel Beeke, for their agreement and support of me and the congregation in these plans.

Modeling and Mentoring
We all believe that this should augment my work at the Seminary. Pastoring a local church will greatly enhance the modeling and mentoring aspect of my Practical Theology and Old Testament lectures,

It will be a huge wrench for my family to leave the regular ministry and fellowship at Grand Rapids Heritage Reformed Church, which has been such a large and valued part of our lives, and where we have felt so loved. However, as a pastor, I have to be open to God’s call, wherever and whenever that may be.

I will be installed officially on July 7 and I can’t wait to get started, especially as I’ll be pastoring alongside my friend and PRTS colleague, Dr Jerry Bilkes. I’m so thankful to the Lord for this call and so thankful to the congregation for the honor and privilege of being their pastor. We now look to the Holy Spirit to put His benediction on the ministry and the congregation, by saving souls, by sanctifying and equipping the saints, and by preparing us all for eternity.

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim Shay

    Congratulations, David! What a wonderful answer to prayer. God bless you as you start this new phase of your life!

  • http://jeremiahburroughs.blogspot.com Phil Simpson

    Wow; that’s great! Excited to hear what God does through you at GRFRC!

  • http://www.20schemes.com mez mcconnell

    Blessings bro! Pleased to hear it..

  • http://www.se7en.org.za se7en

    Brilliant news!!! Happy for you all!!!

  • http://Www.gospelgrace.net Luma Simms

    Congratulations, David! God be with you as you begin serving his church in this way.

  • Greg Bailey

    What wonderful news, Dr. Murray. Very happy for you! I pray the Lord will grant you a long and fruitful ministry among this flock.

  • http://www.erictyoung.com Eric Young

    Congratulations, brother!

  • http://www.sometimesalight.com Hannah Anderson

    This is wonderful news–and so happy to hear about your opportunity with PRS. I was a student when Dr. Barrett was at BJU more than a decade ago. He’s a wonderful man and gift to the Church.

    • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

      Yes, Hannah, Dr Barrett is such a gift. Had a great lunch with him today and, as always, came away the better for it.

  • Johanna Maartense

    What an honor to have such Christ centered preaching, looking forward to adding Dr. Murray as one of our permanent leaders. We are a very blessed Church along with H.N.R.C. to have leaders and teachers who send out the gospel around the world. I welcome Dr. Murray!

  • http://thebeardedpresbyterian.wordpress.com/ Michael Seal

    I had heard about this several weeks ago. I’ve been waiting for an official announcement. It seems like a good fit for both parties.

  • http://rpmministries.org Bob Kellemen


    Praise the Lord for this wonderful new additional opportunity to minister. God has blessed you with a rare combination of a shepherd’s heart and a scholar’s mind… No wonder you call your site Head/Heart/Hand!

    In Christ’s Grace,


  • http://blog.thecousinsfamily.org Gary Cousins

    The Lord bless you David as you take up this new responsibility. I could really identify with you in what you shared about while your teaching ministry gave you a wider sphere of influence that your shepherd heart still longed for a flock to care for.
    May the Lord help you to balance all of your responsibilities so that you may be faithful to all of your calling’s’.

  • Cora

    What a blessing indeed to have you as our pastor/shepherd. May God richly bless you in this “new calling”. We pray for a smooth transition for your family too as they lovingly support you.

  • Charles

    Congratulations! I hope that you will still have time to blog :)

  • Art

    Congratulations to you and GRFRC.

  • Sterk Family

    We wish you the Lord’s Blessing in this call and decision. May He show His nearness to you and your family as you take this role upon you. May the Lord bless His Word yet to many souls.

  • David Roelofs

    Wow, congratulations Dr. Murray in this call. Jennifer and I will certainly come and visit you in your new role. We will keep you also in our prayers.

  • http://www.scripturezealot.com ScriptureZealot

    Great to hear. I hope it doesn’t lessen your activity here, since I get so much out of it, but whatever happens is best. I rejoice with you.

  • CherylVT

    Dr. Murray ~ I’m so happy the Lord has given you a congregation to pastor. Maybe I can get David & Jennifer Roelofs to drag me along when they come to a service (we all attend Trinity URC). May God bless you and your family!

  • Bob Kuo

    Congrats! Please post links to your sermons so that we can all follow along!

  • Gavino Fioretti

    Dear David
    Delighted to hear about this opportunity. May God bless you and make you prosper

  • http://headhearthand.org/blog/ David Murray

    Wow, thank you so much my blog community, for these prayerful good wishes. Your joy means so much to me. May God use all of us for the good of souls and His glory.

  • http://www.counselingoneanother.com Paul Tautges

    Thrilled for you, brother!

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  • http://nwbingham.com Nathan W. Bingham

    This is wonderful news, David. Congratulations. Praying for you, your family, and this congregation. Blessings.

  • susan davenport

    So very happy, knowing that this has been the desire of your heart for a while(mentioned at the FCC Conf) Such a blessing and so grateful you will be used by Him there. As I read your post, it made me long even more for a shepherd/pastor for our small preaching station(part of the FCC con’t Greenville congregation). Our love to you and your family. Hope all continues to go well with Scot :>)))