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J. B. Murray Transcript

John Bunion "J.B." Murray

1908 - 1988

Video by Judith McWillie from interviews

conducted at his home in Mitchel, Georgia

May, 1986.


J. B. Murray was a tenant farmer who lived in rural Glascock County, Georgia, near the community of Mitchel. †When he was approximately seventy years of age, believing he had experienced a vision from God, he began writing a non-semantic script on adding machine tape, wallboard, and stationery. †He described it as "the language of the Holy Spirit, direct from God" and prayed over it using a bottle of water as a focusing device - staring at the water and asking if he was doing the will of God.† In this video he talks and sings about his vision and refers to another in which he saw his mother and three brothers in the form of "a spiritual shadow". In the autobiographical song at the end of the video he refers to a young woman who prayed for him while he was briefly incarcerated at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Ga.† After returning home, in the last ten years of his life, he made over a thousand paintings, introducing the script into fields of color, sometimes adding figures that he described as "the evil people; the ones that are dry tongued, that don't know God". †Today Murray's works are exhibited throughout the world and he is represented in art collections in Japan, Switzerland, France, and the United States.

He use my fingers.

I can't use them on my own.

Jesus, use the instrument of my fingers.

He use Christians like he use us if we let him use

. . . use his instrument of the Holy Spirit on us.

Ain't nothing he start but what he donít finish it.

I'm gonna stand on his word and he will make a way.

And I thank you, Jesus.† Amen for that.

Alright.† I write some.†

It's the language of the Holy Spirit direct from God.

When I started I prayed and I prayed

And the Lord sent a vision from the sun.

Everything I see is from the sun.

He showed me signs and seasons and he tells me.

Then he turned around and gave me a question to ask him.

And the three come up as a shadow Ė spiritual shadow-

Ain't like us.† Ain't like our body.

And when I left, the eagle crossed my eye Ė it shade the sun.

That was a spiritual eagle.† You know an eagle can see farther than any bird in the world and that's why that I can see things some more folks can't see.

Well I was out in my yard . . .† workin' in my potato patch;

the sun come right to me; had different colors.†

Even on my hands turned kinda yellow-like.† Different colored ground.

†. . . to hear God's word speak truth.

Lord give me a mind of what the water say.

I love Jesus.† I pray for them . . . use his name.

"I wish somebody would tell me what is the soul of a man"

"Do you know him, do you know him from Galilee."

I prays about every hour in the night.

The Lord wakes me up different hours, different times in the night.

And I say, Lord, have mercy on me.

The red is torment and them lines leads in to torment.

There's one way in and no way out.

It's up and down in torment.

Water saves.

You canít hinder water.

Water will soak down and come up in another place.

If you build up, it will rise and go over where you build up.

So the Lord is strong. †You canít back him up.

And you canít go over him. Thatís the Lord.

And He spoke with water.

Water obey God better than anything in the world.

And the waterís the strongest thing in the world.

It can rain and below and where the

water falls, part of the Earth will be dry.

Go you out further and youíll strike a stream.

And you go below that stream and youíll strike a dry spot.

Jesus. He moves in mysterious ways and wonderful forms.

When I was going from place to place, you had me follow . . .

They put me there until my sun (son?) get out.†

They had me on his . . .

And he wouldn't give† . . .

Oh, Lord, and you . . .

And I think you for it

And that's why I have always been scared of hellfire.

O Lord, if it's your will, continue to take care of me

O Lord, that's why you give that young woman a special mind to pray for me.

And I couldn't hear nobody pray, Lord, but her.

And you called on her to pray for me.

And you give me a mind to hear her, hear, to hear her

And I think you for this, you, my oldest friend.

Acknowledgements to: transciption by Judith McWilley

For rights and permissions contact: Judith McWilley

To view transcript notes for printing, please click here.

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