On April 9, during the Kentucky WMU Annual Meeting in Madisonville, John Morris was recognized as the 2016 Kentucky Missionary of the year. Each year this award is presented to a missionary or missionary couple that demonstrates:
- Commitment to and effectiveness in evangelism, church planting, or ministry.
- Demonstration of “going the second mile”.
- Outstanding performance in achieving assigned tasks.
- Unusual commitment to our Lord’s service.
- Positive representation of Kentucky Baptist Convention and the North American Mission Board.
- True reflection of being an “On Mission Christian”.
I have had the privilege of working with John since 1999 and he certainly meets and exceeds all of these requirements.
He was a young guy then (actually is still a young guy) but has accomplished so much. He became pastor of the Lothair Baptist Church in Hazard where he was 20 years old, and served there for 16 years. During that time he also served as Director of Chreia Church Resource Center and then in some part-time roles with Kentucky Baptist Convention Partnership Missions Department.
In 2013, he became Interim Director of God’s Appalachian Partnership (or GAP as we call it) in McDowell, KY (Floyd County) when the founders and directors moved back to Florida. Then, in 2014 he was named the Executive Director. It was in this role that he was nominated as Kentucky Missionary of the Year.
The ministry at GAP has been strengthened under his leadership and is a model ministry. They engage the community and share Christ through food, clothing and household items distribution, home repair, children’s events, a coffee house called Beans Talk, an annual children’s event called KidStock, money management and parenting classes, The Christmas project, a community wide Easter Egg Hunt, and a mobile home renovation ministry called Dorema, to name a few.
John grew up in Hazard and became a Christian at age 12. It wasn’t long, he says, before he knew God was calling him to be a missionary. Because he is from the mountains, John understands the people he is ministering to and is loved and respected by them. He has helped GAP to become more effective in reaching people and assimilating them into the local church. In the past 2 years that he has served as Executive Director there have been 58 reported professions of faith.
Serving alongside John is his wife Shaughanessy and their 2 teenagers Jacob and Jhaughanessy. This family truly serve as a team.
Thank you John for your love for the Lord and your faithfulness in serving Him. Congratulations on being chosen as the 2016 Kentucky Missionary of the Year!!
To learn more about the ministry of GAP and how you can get involved in this ministry go to www.gapky.org.