Henry Morrison was born May 30,
1842 in Montgomery county, Tennessee. His
parents died when he was very young and he
was raised by his grandparents. The rugged
religious atmosphere and the constant spirit
of revival throughout the Blue Grass region
made a profound impression upon him. It awakened
his consciousness to 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.
He entered the ministry in 1865 and served
for twenty-one years in the Louisville Conference.
For four years he was pastor of the First
Church, Atlanta. He was elected missionary
secretary in 1890 and was re-elected four
years later. During his last term as missionary
secretary he raised one hundred and forty
thousand dollars and paid off the debt on
the Board of Missions.
In his work as a circuit
rider and station pastor, he was called to
one of the most responsible Methodist churches
in Kentucky. He eventually left the pastorate
to give himself to the work of evangelism
and to the publishing 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 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
The camp meeting became one of his
chief instruments; 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 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 for souls."