‘You are serving people during one of the most difficult times in their lives,’ said Michael Murray, owner of the Posh Funeral Home. ‘I may not be a minister, but God always gives me what to say to comfort the family and support them as they grieve.’
BY KARIN DAVIS-THOMPSON, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — Michael Murray, owner of the Posh Funeral Home, said people in the funeral business try to stick together. So, while he wasn’t surprised, he was extremely grateful for the support of other funeral homes during his recent open house.
Murray, along with his business partner Jerome Buggs, opened the funeral home in July and held the open house last month to allow community members to meet the staff and learn more about how the business supports families during one of the darkest times in their lives.
“We had about 100 people stop by,” Murray stated. “And funeral home directors from Tampa and Sarasota stopped in too. That made me feel really good.”
The event included a small program with a prayer from Rev. Frank Peterman, Jr., senior pastor of the Rock of Jesus Missionary Baptist Church. Murray’s mentor, Ronald L. Jones, traveled from St. Louis to attend the event and told attendees how proud he was of Murray, who was like a son to him.
Murray said having the opportunity for his mentor to see him open his own funeral business was a real blessing.
“I was so honored to have him there,” he explained. “I worked under him for 13 years, and he taught me a lot. Working with him, I learned how to relate to everyone so we can provide them support and service they need during the loss of their loved one.”
But even with the great turnout and accolades, Murray admits there was a time when he wasn’t sure his dream of serving the public and starting the funeral home would become a reality. He credits his business partner with giving him the reassurance he needed to continue.
“I told him I was thinking of getting out of the funeral business,” Murray revealed. “He reminded me this is what I was called to do.”
Murray and Buggs grew up together in St. Louis, and he once coordinated the funeral of a loved one for Buggs.
“He knew my style, so he felt comfortable investing with me,” he said. While Murray serves as CEO and funeral director, Buggs is CFO and manager.
Both men believe it is vital to use their businesses to support the community.
In a recent article with The Weekly Challenger, Buggs talked about the feeding ministry his food truck has started in partnership with the funeral home.
“We know that we are blessed and part of the community,” Buggs stated. “We are here to serve; we all must look out for one another.”
Murray feels running a funeral home is not only a way to provide community support but it is also a ministry.
“You are serving people during one of the most difficult times in their lives,” he asserted. “I may not be a minister, but God always gives me what to say to comfort the family and support them as they grieve.”
Posh Funeral Home is located at 1700 49th St. S, in the former Zion Hill Mortuary building. For more information, contact them at 727-739-6200 or visit www.poshfuneralhome.com.