Retired SBOM director Troy L. Morrison dies at 89

Troy L. Morrison — executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions from 1990 to 1999 — died Sept. 12. He was 89.

Morrison took the helm of the SBOM after serving as its director of church-minister relations since February 1985. During his time as executive director, he emphasized evangelism, missions and ministries; focused on supporting local churches; nurtured relationships with Baptist associations; and balanced the convention’s budgets and gave more to missions, among other things.

“If there have been successes and victories, the credit must be given to God and the fine people of this State Board of Missions and the convention,” Morrison said in late 1997 when he announced his upcoming retirement.

He passed the baton to Rick Lance, current SBOM executive director, at the end of January 1999.

Long history in ministry

Before serving with the SBOM, Morrison served as pastor of churches in Alabama and Kentucky, including 17 years as pastor of 12th Street Baptist Church in Rainbow City. He graduated from Jacksonville State University in Alabama and earned a doctoral degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He also served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957, achieving the rank of first lieutenant.

Over the years, he served in a variety of other roles in Baptist life, including 12 years as a trustee of Judson College in Marion.

After his retirement, he faced much personal adversity, which he wrote about in his memoir, “A Miracle of God: You Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Set You Free,” published in 2010. Less than a year after he retired, Morrison suffered a stroke, which led to several years of rehabilitation and therapies. In 2007, he and his wife, Frances, lost their only daughter, Marsha, to brain cancer. Two years later, he had a heart attack and underwent bypass surgery. Frances died in 2017.

The couple were longtime members of First Baptist Church Montgomery and 12th Street Baptist Church. Morrison recently joined Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Gadsden.

After his retirement, the SBOM instated an award in his name, the Troy L. Morrison Award given to three Alabama Baptist pastors each year at the state convention annual meeting — one pastor from a new church work, one from a bivocational work and one from an established work.

Lance said Morrison “always had Alabama Baptist churches on his heart and mind.”

‘Commitment to Christ’

“Dr. Troy Morrison had a lifelong commitment to the cause of Christ,” Lance said. “I appreciate his wise counsel to so many Alabama Baptist ministers and especially to me at the State Board of Missions. He went beyond the call of duty to be supportive of me as his successor.”

Arrangements for Morrison are forthcoming.

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