News and Views

Rev. James Ray “Jim” Morgan

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The Rev. James Ray “Jim” Morgan, 91, a retired Elder, died June 2, 2018, after a brief illness.  A memorial service was held at Oakdale-Emory June 9.

James Ray Morgan was born March 4, 1927, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to Louis Benjamin Morgan and Margaret Gene (Gibson) Morgan.  He spent most of his childhood and youth in Houston, Texas.

Morgan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Bible College in 1951 and another from American University in 1958. He attended Wesley Theological Seminary and received his Master of Divinity in 1961 followed by a Doctor of Ministry in 1972. He completed post graduate studies at the Western Institute for Group and Family Therapy in California and at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland.

Morgan was called to the ministry in 1950 and served in the pastorate for over 50 years. He started his ministry in Frankfort, Indiana, where he built an Assemblies of God church, which began in a tent.  He They moved to the Baltimore-Washington Conference and began his pastorates in Poolesville, from 1956-1963. He served at Oakdale Emory UMC from 1963 to 1977 and Westminster UMC from 1978 – 1980. 

In 1980 he became the Director of Drayton Retreat Center in Worton, Maryland, in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference and served there until 1988. He pastored in Claymont, Delaware from 1988 – 1992, when he retired. However, he continued serving in an interim capacity until the age of 88 and ended his career in Washington, DC, as the pastor of a Universalist parish.  His ministry focused primarily on the development and enabling of lay people to fulfill their calling.  He felt that the power of the Church lay in small groups having established one at Oakdale Emory that lasted over 30 years.  

At age 65, he and his wife Beverly Morgan set sail across the Atlantic to fulfill a life-long sailing dream.  They sailed the Mediterranean for two years visiting Spain, Italy and many of the Greek Islands.  He was an avid athlete his entire life playing singles tennis up until age 90.

He was predeceased by his wife, Beverly G. Morgan, who died in 2016 after 65 years of marriage. They met while students at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri.

Survivors include three children, Daniel C.  Morgan, Grayce Morgan Crockett and Mark B. Morgan; and six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. 

Morgan donated his body to George Washington University for scientific study.

Kurt Herold Jun 9, 2019 6:23am

A year late of learning of his death, I know he is with Jesus his Lord and Savior, I remember the theme in many of his services, “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.