June 7

Joseph Samuel Murrow was born on this day (June7) 1835 in the home of a Methodist preacher. At the age of 19 he was converted and united with Green Fork Baptist Church. Soon he was licensed to preach, and in 1855 he entered Mercer University. Two years later he was ordained and sent out as a missionary to the Creek Indians who were living near what is now Eufaula, Oklahoma (northwest of Talahina about 50 miles). The Civil War disrupted his work among the Creeks, so he settled among the Seminoles, caring for more that 4,000 refugee Indians along the Red River which divides Oklahoma from Texas. During that time he baptized over 200 converts. Following the war he returned to Indian Territory and settle Atoka (west of Talahina about 100 miles). In 1869 he organized the Rehoboth Baptist Church which may be Oklahoma’s oldest Baptist church. He didn’t confine his ministry to any one tribe, also working with the Choctaw and Muskogees evangelizing the people and organizing churches.
I don’t know if he had been married before, but at the age of 58 he married Kathrina Ellett, who had been working among the Indians herself for 18 years, and together their ministries more than simply doubled. One of Bro. Murrow’s accomplishments was his part in the establishment the Indian University, the Baptist college of the Territory.
In 1902, at an age when many think about retiring, Bro and Mrs. Murrow started an orphanage. They took in 40 children that first year. Over the next 25 years many hundreds of kids were loved, supported and evangelized by this godly couple.
Joseph Murrow lived to be 94, but he died – on September 8, 1929.
It is said that he baptized thousands of Indian converts, and the Lord used him to establish over 60 Baptist churches among various tribes of Oklahoma.