GVSU mourns death of West Michigan pastor Dennis McMurray, '85
The Grand Valley community mourns the death of Bishop Dennis
McMurray, ’85, senior pastor of the Renaissance Church of God in
Christ in Grand Rapids, who died November 2 at age 63.
A native of Muskegon Heights, McMurray established Renaissance Church
of God in Christ in 1992, with his wife, E. Jean Lackey-McMurray, ’86,
and their three children.
McMurray earned an associate degree from Muskegon Community College
and a bachelor's degree in business administration from Grand Valley.
In 2014 he earned a doctorate of divinity from Christian Bible
Institute and Seminary in Spring, Texas.
Dennis McMurray, '85, speaks at a June memorial service for Ray Bennett,
'92, at the L. William Seidman Center. McMurray, senior pastor of
Renaissance Church of God in Christ in Grand Rapids, died November 2 at
Image Credit: Amanda Pitts
Dennis and Jean McMurray married in 1986 and have remained active
Lakers. In 2015, Dennis was recognized as an Alumni of the Year by the
Seidman College of Business. In 2019, they represented 1980s alumni at
the investiture ceremony for President Philomena V. Mantella.
Mantella called Dennis a strong supporter of youth and education at
GVSU and in the community.
“The GVSU community is deeply saddened to learn of Bishop McMurray’s
passing; he was a pillar in the West Michigan community,"
Mantella said. "Dennis was a consummate Laker and often
volunteered for alumni and Seidman College of Business events. His
presence will be greatly missed, and our hearts go out to Jean, his
family and his parish community who will miss him.”
The couple established the Bishop Dennis J. and Dr. E. Jean
Lackey-McMurry Academic Achievement Scholarship at Grand Valley to
assist students from Ottawa Hills High School who want to attend Grand Valley.
Dennis and Jean McMurray married in 1986 after they graduated from Grand
Valley. They were among the Laker couples featured in a winter 2020
Grand Valley Magazine story.
Image Credit: Kendra Stanley-Mills