The Shepherd’s Chapel
The Shepherd’s Chapel is a Christian church and broadcast facility based in Gravette, Arkansas. The church’s founder was Arnold B. Murray (April 20, 1929 – February 12, 2014), who served as senior pastor until his death. As of February 2014, his son Dennis Arnold Murray, the former associate pastor, presides as senior pastor of the church. Arnold Murray’s other son, David Vernon Murray (January 18, 1954 – July 14, 2013), was also an associate pastor until his death.
Since 1985, Shepherd’s Chapel has been broadcasting one-hour televised Bible studies over its satellite network on over 225 television stations on DirecTV and Dish Network – it is thought to be the largest independent Christian television network in the world. Pastor Murray teaches a “chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse study of God’s Word; the Bible”. Also shown, are various documentary programs dealing with archaeological findings as interpreted through an Anglo-Israelism based theological perspective. It airs 24 hours a day at their website. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the program “has been on the air for at least three decades and is broadcast in nearly every major and mid-size U.S. city”.
Part of the doctrine follows the Anglo-Israelism theological doctrine of faith, as well as a version of the “serpent seed” doctrine that identifies a “Kenite” lineage of people descended from Cain who slew Abel.
A 2008 study by the Southern Poverty Law Center‘s Intelligence Report examined the church and its roots in the Christian Identity movement. According to the SPLC report, although Murray denied any explicit advocacy of racism or anti-Semitism, he frequently identified the “Kenites” with Jews (or with some Jews) in his preaching.
Some Christian groups have criticized Murray’s teachings because he did not believe in the (mainstream) understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Murray had responded in a statement at the chapel’s website