Kentucky United Methodists have been deeply saddened by the news that Bishop Robert Morgan died on Sunday morning at his home in Birmingham. Bob was a leader of leaders. His strong episcopal leadership in Mississippi and then here in Kentucky was stellar. These areas would not have united without his spirit and judgment. Those of us who were blessed to work closely with him admired his determination, energy and principled leadership. Bob was skillful in identifying and mentoring young leaders. In retirement, he continued to invest in young people as he taught at Birmingham Southern College. His classes were very popular because the students knew that he loved and cared for them and their futures.
Jennifer and I were privileged to be with the Morgans on many occasions. Critical to Bob's fruitful ministry was Martha's support and leadership. She has been the model for episcopal spouses over the years. Jennifer's mantra over the years has been, “What would Martha Morgan do?” Martha set the standard for graciousness for us. Eating at her table was part of the joy of knowing the Morgans.
There have been six Bishops who have come from Bob Morgan's leadership tree. In addition to Kentucky Bishops Debbie Wallace-Padgett, Al Gwinn and me, Bob also mentored Larry Goodpastor, Bill McAlilly and Mike Watson. All of us owe him a deep debt of gratitude.
Let us all pray for Martha and the Morgan family. Jennifer and I will be at Bob's funeral on Wednesday. Let us give thanks and praise for this faithful disciple of Jesus and his fruitfulness for God's Kingdom.