Nicy Murphy was destined to be a pioneer missionary. As a little girl, Nicy’s mother shared stories of ancestors who were pioneers in every sense of the word. Nicy descended from a great – great Grandfather who fought in the Kentucky state militia, parents who left Kentucky and made the long journey to homestead in Oklahoma territory, cousins who were missionaries in China, and a mother who provided mission books and magazines which fired Nicy’s imagination.
During her senior year in high school, Nicy came to realize that she did not have a plan for her future. It was during a week at youth camp she felt the Lord leading her into full time Christian work.
The next steps in her life led her to pursue formal education at Oklahoma Baptist University; she then achieved a Masters in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Seminary and a Masters of Arts from the University of Oklahoma. Soon after completing her education, she was asked to serve as an assistant to the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) Executive Secretary for the Oklahoma Baptist General Convention.
In 1956, Colorado Baptists contacted Nicy and offered her the position to be the first WMU Executive Secretary of Colorado. Even knowing that the work would be difficult and challenging, she couldn’t resist the appeal and the urgency to be a part of forming missions work in the west. Nicy arrived in Colorado and quickly discovered a multitude of challenges: driving great distances, brutal winter conditions, limited finances and lack of church buildings.
Although her patience was tested and she faced frustrating circumstances, she continued to labor for the sake of the gospel so that people would hear and respond to the call of missions. Nicy served from 1956 – 1967 as the WMU Executive Secretary for the newly formed Colorado Baptist General Convention, which included 5 ½ states. On April 1, 1975 the Executive Board of the Colorado Baptist General Convention recognized Nicy as a person who exemplified a life dedicated to missions and created the Nicy Murphy Offering for State Missions.
In 1976, Nicy retired from vocational missionary service in Rapid City, South Dakota, and returned to Littleton where she served churches and missions in Colorado. As a volunteer missionary, she undertook the task of teaching survival English to Cambodian and Laotian refugees and Chinese adults in her home church, Arapahoe Road Baptist Church. She also opened her home to internationals for lodging, meals and Christian love. In a 1995 interview, Nicy shared that her desire for Colorado Baptists would be to see a renewed commitment to Mission Education.
She said, “When they know, then they will pray, then they will give and then they will go.”
She worked faithfully in her local church teaching and ministering. She retired from volunteer missionary service in 1997 and moved to Guymon, Oklahoma, to be closer to her family.