|Virgil was born July 4, 1907, the son of Luther and Hattie Morris. He attended the public schools of Arkansas and Hendrix College from which he received an A.B. degree. In 1929, he went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas and received a B.D. degree. Later, this degree was to become a Master of Sacred Theology. While he was in college, he served churches in the Arkansas and Texas Conferences. After retirement, he spent a year preaching in Australia. Most of his life was spent in Louisiana.
How did he happen to come to Louisiana? This is an interesting story in itself. Rev. C. K. Smith was sent to Europe to attend a Rotary Convention. He wanted a young man from S.M.U. to serve his church during that period. Virgil had finished, so he took the assignment. When Brother Smith returned, Virgil went to New Orleans where he served as pastor of Gentilly and Chalmette.
He not only was pastor of leading churches in Louisiana, but he was Conference Missionary Secretary. During this period the church purchased a large tract of land to be used by the people of the Dulac Community. When he was pastor of First Church Alexandria, Virgil suggested to some friends that they publish a paper called the Louisiana Methodist. This was done and continues to this present time.
A large portion of his ministry was spent in the office of Executive Secretary of the South Central Jurisdiction. He lived in Oklahoma during this period.
He was one of the brightest minds ever to come to our Conference. Virgil went into everything with tremendous enthusiasm. His great ambition was to do things for the United Methodist Church and for the Louisiana Conference. He always thought in the largest terms.
A memorial service in the form of a celebration of his life was conducted by his pastor, Rev. Brad Mann and his District Superintendent, Rev. T. J. Little. This was a fitting conclusion to a lovely life.
Virgil and I have been very close friends for more than half a century. He had one of the loveliest spirits of any one I ever knew.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1993; p. 235 By Dr. Jolly B. Harper|