Jamaican-born pioneering clergyman Lance Morgan has passed away.
Morgan, who along with his wife Pat started the First Baptist Church (FBC) in Prince George, British Columbia, succumbed to a heart attack earlier this month. He was 79.
The pastor arrived in BC’s northern capital city in 1962 – the same year Jamaica achieved its independence – to assume the leadership of the struggling Central Baptist Church that was on the verge of being condemned. Morgan successfully encouraged the Baptist Union to assume the mortgage of the about-to-be condemned church and grant one-third of the money to build a new church.
The new FBC was dedicated on Easter Sunday 1964.
Prince George-Valemount Member of the Legislative Assembly Shirley Bond said the deceased and his wife have been a rare, selfless and strong team whose home was always open to those in need of assistance.
Their living room was converted to a tent city with bed sheets on Friday nights for Morgan to tell stories to area residents.
“It didn’t matter if you were an adult or a child, if you came to visit on Friday night, you got in the tent,” said Bond.
Such was the high esteem in which Morgan was held in Prince George that the city flag’s was lowered to half-mast to mark his passing.
“The honour reflects the unanimous decision of council to recognize the exceptional contributions of a community member,” said Mayor Shari Green. “We are indeed fortunate that Pastor Morgan made Prince George his home.”
Named the Citizen of the Year in 1984, Morgan was the city’s honorary chaplain in 2001 and the Baptist Union of Western Canada’s longest serving pastor – 36 years.
In addition to his wife, Morgan is survived by their four children.
A memorial service will take place at FBC on Saturday.