The Mission Trail was first broadcast on January 22, 1965, from radio station XEG in Monterrey, Mexico. That original broadcast was first heard from XEG at 11 PM (CST) on a Friday night, but by the end of the year the broadcast time had moved up to 10:45 PM on Friday nights. By 1968, it was heard every Sunday on six different radio stations: KGGF in Coffeyville, KS; KCKW in Jena, LA; KCLO in Leavenworth, KS; WFPR in Hammond, LA; KCIJ in Shreveport, LA; and KXOW in Hot Springs, AR.
Willie C. Murphey began his life in a small town in Louisiana. As a child, his mother inspired an interest in missionary work, so when he graduated from high school and couldn't find a job in Louisiana, he found an opportunity to work in gospel publishing in Guthrie, OK. Shortly after he moved to Guthrie, he met his future wife, Frances Pruitt.
On February 3, 1941, Willie was ordained as a minister. He also worked at the Co-op in Guthrie as a linotype operator for many years. In the evenings, he would paint trucks for the creamery company, and he also spent some time working in the print shop at the local orphanage and at his father-in-law's gospel publishing ministry, Faith Publishing House.
Around 1960 he moved his family to a farm nearby, and while he traveled on Sundays to preaching appointments and worked at OPUBCO in Oklahoma City as a linotype operator, he also farmed for two years. After moving back to Guthrie and starting The Mission Trail, he felt the call to go to full-time ministry. He tells about his experience in making that decision on a broadcast from May 29, 1983. The Mission Trail was a family ministry that included his wife Frances, his daughters Kathleen and Patsy, and his sons Willie and Wayne.
Over the years he made many mission trips throughout the United States and also to Ecuador, Jamaica, and Mexico. He was greatly interested in radio, and he had an amateur radio license (W5SAR and then W5SK) which he used to communicate with his children after they left home. He was excited about the possibilities of mission work with radio, and The Mission Trail was the embodiment of his love for mission work and ministry combined with his love for radio and publishing.
On October 22, 2016, we celebrated Grandpa's 100th birthday. We also celebrated Grandma's 100th birthday with family in August 2018. I am thankful to have Grandpa and Grandma's lives for God as part of my family heritage, and I want to continue to share their ministry with everyone today. ~ Janet McMurrin