Popular youth speaker and evangelist Wade Morris died Aug. 3 at the age of 51 after being hospitalized with COVID-related pneumonia.
A graduate of Samford University in Birmingham and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, Morris’ ministry was based in Birmingham. But his ministry took him all over and gave him opportunities to speak to hundreds of thousands each year, according to his website.
Morris was also founder and producer of The Journey Bible Study Series, an audio Bible study.
Scooter Kellum, youth ministry strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said he was 16 when he first heard Morris preach the gospel.
“Often, Wade was labeled an evangelist, but for me as a young man coming up in ministry, he was more an encourager,” Kellum said. “The calls and texts that happened behind the scenes were telling of a man who cared not only about people coming to Christ but also about them living out their faith.”
Seth Hood, pastor of First Baptist Church, Colbert Heights in Tuscumbia, paid tribute to Morris in a Facebook post.
“One of the transformational moments of my life was at a youth camp in 1997 where Wade Morris preached. It was there that I began to feel the call to ministry,” Hood wrote. “I remember being struck by how he prayed, as if he and God were just having a conversation face to face. Now they actually are.”
Matt Haines, pastor of Central Park Baptist Church, Decatur, wrote in a Facebook post that Morris “had a profound influence on many students I took to camp over the years. I will always remember him preaching without shoes and never being afraid to share hard truths.”
Morris was guest preacher in early July at youth summer camp at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, a partner ministry of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Brian Hobbs, director of communications for the Oklahoma convention, said in a statement: “We are heartbroken to learn that Wade Morris passed away. His life, speaking ministry and evangelism in Oklahoma and across the country, through annual preaching at camps and other church events, have forever impacted countless young people.
“Wade is a faithful minister of the gospel and a great friend to Oklahoma Baptists,” Hobbs said. “We are praying for his family and church family in Alabama, as we put our faith in the Lord at this difficult time.”
Morris is survived by his wife, Deborah, and two daughters, Eden and Trinity.