Rev. Louis. M. Murphy, Sr.
Rev. Louis M. Murphy, Sr.
Rev. Louis M. Murphy, Sr., has dedicated his pastoral career to kingdom building, inside and outside the walls of Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, where he was installed as the Senior Pastor in May 1999. Murphy entered the ministry with a life-long track record in secular leadership. A one-time Drum Major for the world renowned Florida A&M Marching 100, previous Student Government representative, former non-commissioned Marine Corps officer and 4-year District Executive for the West Central Florida Council of Boy Scouts of America, prepared Rev. Murphy for his calling to lead Mt. Zion Progressive.
Under his guidance, and with the support of his leadership team, Mt. Zion Progressive has grown to become the largest African-American congregation in the city of St. Petersburg, FL. The congregation has been challenged to go outside the church walls to bring about effective change within a 2-mile radius of the church. In 2005 it was the goal of Murphy’s to pay-off the $2.1 million mortgage on the church, and seconds before the church rang in the new year of 2006, that goal had become a reality. The church has achieved many goals since that faithful night, including the opening of the Mt. Zion Christian Academy in August 2012.
Outside the walls of the church, his unwavering focus on effective community change placed Mt. Zion on the leading edge of economic and spiritual renewal in the City’s most overlooked areas. In 2001 he became a founding Board member of Urban Development Solutions, when he along with four others seeded a $100,000 loan for the development of Tangerine Plaza, a 47,000 square foot shopping center that opened in 2005 as the first private investment venture in Midtown, in 30 years. In 2004, he Co-chaired the Power On! campaign, which was credited with helping to produce a record black voter turnout in south St. Petersburg. In 2006, he joined other faith leaders in the Calling the Men Home initiative, which assembled 4,000 men in an effort to galvanize renewed leadership of their families, churches and communities. The same year, Murphy led a 1,000 person rally calling for collective action against the violence that claimed the lives of many youth on the streets of St. Petersburg.
In May of 2007, God delivered a vision through Rev. Murphy that the time had come to call all of the city’s faith community together to fight for the souls of south St. Petersburg. From this prophecy the Seven x7 revival was born. Seven teams consisting of 7 churches, hosting revivals, over 7 consecutive nights, at 7 locations through south St. Petersburg. The manifest was to unite and reawaken 49 congregations to act as ONE to execute the Great Commission on the southside of the city. Today he remains the driving force behind the movement, and is one of 15 Pastors that comprise the core steering committee.
Honors bestowed upon Rev. Murphy include the Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award by the Boy Scouts, the NAACP President’s Award, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Citizen of the year Award, the St. Petersburg Bar Association Liberty Bell Award, and the WBTN Radio Ministry Recognition Award. His media contributions include articles as a feature writer in the St. Petersburg Times, (now Tampa Bay Times), past appearances on TV and radio talk shows including, WMNF’s Radio Activity, WTMP’s Jettie B. Wilds Show, and Fox 13 News. He was also featured on the cover of The Power Broker magazine in 2006. Currently, he can be heard on Praise 1590 WRXB, every Saturday morning at 7:30.
Rev. Murphy recently accepted an appointment as council member for the Community Foundation of Greater St. Petersburg.
A native of Florida and educated in the school system of Deland, Florida, Rev. Murphy continued his studies at Florida A&M University and the University of Central Florida. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from Chaminade University, while serving in the United States Marine Corps and stationed in Hawaii. It is there that he met his wife, the late Filomena Murphy. Together they have two children, Chiriga and Louis, Jr.; and a grandson, Jair.