“My dad had lost his job. And at a time when we needed it most, our church kicked us out. We lost our house, uprooted, and moved to Tennessee. My family was falling apart and I was an emotional wreck.”
That’s how Bryan College student Luke Morris began his story. He continued: “Then our house in Tennessee caught fire, forcing us to move into a tiny apartment. Did I mention there are nine kids in my family? Three of us were still at home, and Mom babysat six or seven more kids. It was crowded. And it was here that family secrets and lies began to unravel.”
Luke struggled with shame over personal and family issues. He was depressed and even considered suicide. The weight of a life falling apart drove him to pray: “God, I know you’re real – there’s no question about that, I just don’t know if I’m gonna follow you anymore.” He had grown up in church and knew a lot of “religious” answers. But Luke hadn’t been changed by the gospel. He hadn’t really put his faith in Christ.
Luke knew the verse in Acts 16:31 “…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” But he also knew James 2:19 “…Even the demons believe – and tremble!”
He wanted to understand. He wanted the hole in his heart
to be filled. He wanted the ache in his soul to go away.
Then in Luke 9:23 he read Jesus’ challenge that “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke kept searching the scriptures. And at some point, grasped the gospel . . . and the gospel grasped him!
“When I came to Bryan,” Luke said, “I came in with salvation. The doctrine of salvation, as glorious as it is, was the only thing I cared about. But then I studied what it means to follow Christ. I actually love Jesus now, and not just what he does for us. I’m grateful to Dr. Davis (Jud Davis is Luke’s professor) for instilling in me the desire to follow Christ.”
Luke is majoring in Biblical Studies, and wants to serve in full-time ministry after he graduates. Coming to Bryan has already opened the door for him to serve as youth pastor at a church in Spring City, TN while he is still working on his degree. There’s no way Luke could have come to Bryan without the help of alumni and friends who give to the Bryan Scholarship fund .
When asked what he would want to say to scholarship donors, Luke said, “Thank you is insufficient. There really is no way to thank someone who has been the means by which your life has been changed from being a debased, horrible person to a redeemed child of God. It was the Lord that orchestrated my being here . . . and He led others to give.”
Who knows how many lives will be saved through the direct or indirect ministry of Luke Morris? Who knows how many lives God will save through your giving?
Stephen D. Livesay, Ph.D.
P.S. Thank you for helping students like Luke attend Bryan. Thank you for your Gift for the King . You are changing lives!