Jemima (baptised Jacomina) Murray

(26 April 1836 – 3 Jan 1904)

Jemima (Mima) was the 7th child and second daughter of Andrew and Maria. As the second daughter, it was expected of her to be her mother’s assistant and helper, something she was exquisitely equipped for given her amiable nature, loving heart and skilful hands. She seemed to love to bake, whether biscuits, a tart for Sunday or cake for a picnic. Her basic school education she received at the boarding school of Mrs Pears in Somerset East.

On 19th September 1855 Jemima married Andries Adriaan Louw – a fellow student of her brother William during his studies in Utrecht, Holland. After the wedding, the couple left for Fauresmith, Free State, where Rev Louw was minister. After twelve years, he was called to Murraysburg where they lived for fifteen years. A call to Paarl took them to live in the beautiful parsonage Morgenson until they moved to Colesberg in their old age.

Jemima and Andries raised a family of seven sons and two daughters, most of whom also entered the ministry. In 1899 the Louw family suffered a severe loss when the one younger son, Willie, was shot as a rebel at Colesberg. Willie’s sister, Mimie (the eldest daughter who were married to Rev Reynecke) shared his last days and hours. She wrote to her parents to share Willie’s last moments and words: “Don’t forget: ‘In the Secret of His Presence’.”

Barely eight months later, Mimie also died, leaving her parents Jemima and Andries, in deep grief. Yet, Jemima’s faith in God’s deep unchanging love and the acceptance of His will, served as inspiration to others. At the time Jemima said: “Since Willie’s death, I have learned to pray much.” In 1903 Jemima and Andries moved to Colesberg district.Shortly afterwards Jemima took enteric fever and within weeks, passed away. As she was dying, she repeated the verses:

So near, so very near to God, more near I cannot be;

For in the person of His Son, I am as near as He.

So dear, so very dear to God, dearer I cannot be;

The love wherewith He loves the Son, such is His love to me.”[1]

Jemima was described as stately, unselfish, generous and always friendly, with a visible love and passion for the Lord. People experienced the peace of God in her presence and saw it in her face.[2]


[1] Unto Children’s Children, p 102-107

[2] De Kerkboden, 7 Jan 1904, p 6