Henry Clay Morrison
H.C. Morrison was born in Barren County, Kentucky. His par-
ents died when he was very young, and he was reared in his
grandfather’s home. The rugged religious atmosphere and the
constant spirit of revival throughout the bluegrass region
made a profound impression upon him and awakened within his
soul a consciousness of his need of Christ and the assurance
of deliverance from sin.
About the age of 11, he was converted and soon after
felt the call to the ministry. Although he made no attempt to
preach for about eight years, he was much occupied with
church work. At the age of 19 he was licensed to preach and
demonstrated the validity of his call in his work as circuit
rider and station pastor. As a young man, he was called to
one of the most responsible Methodist churches in Kentucky.
In 1890 he left the pastorate and gave himself to the work of
evangelism and the publication of a religious paper called
The Old Methodist, which later became The Herald.
Morrison’s evangelistic leadership in Methodism grew
rapidly from Kentucky to most of the other states and many
foreign lands. A contemporary said of him, “To him was given
by God a heart to move the multitude, a mind to think God’s
thoughts, and a voice to rouse his century, his church, and
his country.” The camp meeting became one of his chief in-
struments, and perhaps no other man ever gave more time or
effective leadership to this phase of evangelism than he.
In addition to this, he served as president of Asbury
College from 1910 to 1925, and from 1933 to 1940. He was in-
strumental in founding Asbury Theological Seminary in 1923.
William Jennings Bryan said, “I regard H.C. Morrison the
greatest pulpit orator on the American continent.” And, at
Morrison’s death in 1942, it was written of him, “A tall tree
has fallen in the forest, but it went down with a great shout
of victory.” He died as he lived–in the midst of a campaign
Henry Clay Morrison