From the Jail to the pulpit
Gigi Tinsley | 1/30/2014, 9 a.m.
One seldom meets a more concerned, people-loving, sensitive, individual than Ulysses S. Morris, Jr.
“When one hears Overseer Morris’ life story, it appears that all of his life, God has been preparing him for this season of his life,” Rev. Leroy Smith said. “If this man had not come into my life when he did, I am positive that I would not be alive this day. I had been shot with a 12-gauge shotgun and prior to the shooting had done every horrendous thing one can imagine. But because of meeting Morris [who was a chaplain at the jail at that time] he introduced me to someone whose life paralleled mine. Because of him, I accepted the Lord into my life.”
Ulysses was born to the parentage of Eunice Mae Robinson and Ulysses Simpson Morris, Sr. in Miami but the rearing and nurturing of the boy was done with both strict discipline and love by his great-grandmother, Polly Williams. “She had a great influence on my life and because of her belief in God and her love for me,” Overseer Morris said. “I am who I am because of her.”
Morris’ Christian experience started in the Baptist Church and at the age of 12, “I was set aside and received instructions and directions to become a Junior Deacon,” Overseer Morris said.
Morris attended Dorsey Junior and Senior High School and graduated in 1952. He was offered a scholarship to attend college but chose rather to join the U.S. Navy where he served honorably.
On Jan. 23, 1966 at Bethel Pentecostal Church No. 7, under the leadership of Rev. Bussie and Overseer Bishop Carter. In 1968, Morris joined the House of God Miracles Revival Fellowship, Inc., under the leadership of Overseer Mother Sevilla Cook.
Since becoming a member of the House of God Miracles Revival Fellowship, [HGMRF] Inc., Morris has served in numerous positions, including: deacon, minister, elder, Sunday school superintendent, administrator, and general secretary. On Mar. 22, 2010, he was elected General Overseer for one church, HGMRF, in three locations, Miami, Hollywood, FL and Albany, GA.
Morris led many to the Lord
Morris’ first job after leaving the Navy was with Yarbrough Animal Clinic. When he left Yarbrough he was employed by the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department and served there for 32 years. While working in corrections, Morris ministered to and taught the inmates the word of God on a daily basis at the Pre-Trial Center. Many of them accepted the teachings and allowed it to infiltrate their minds, hearts and souls and became “new creations.” On Tuesday and Wednesday nights and on Saturday mornings, he led worship services
“I have seen the Lord manifested in the lives of many inmates’ after they accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior,” Morris said. “Many of the inmates, after being released have become sincere overseers, apostles, bishops, ministers and pastors. In 1990, he received the honor of being selected “The Corrections Officer of the Year.”
Morris retired in 2003 but continued doing the jail ministry for six additional years, until the General Overseer, Rev. Junior Mortimer, died.
Morris is also a member of JAC [Joint Alumni Coalition, Inc] whose primary concern is to ensure that underprivileged students in Districts 2 and 3 are given the same opportunities as those in other districts. “When students are treated with love and respect and have the advantage of a great teacher, all of them will produce,” Smith and Morris agreed.
Overseer Morris is married to Pastor Mary Morris and from this union they “were blessed” with nine children: Queenie, Carrie, Betty, Leroy, Valerie [deceased], Henry, Vanessa, Ulysses III, and Valencia.