REV. BRUCE AARON MORRISON, JR., age 61, of Washington Court House, Ohio, went to his eternal home while surrounded by his wife and children on Friday, October 30, 2020. He was born November 25, 1958, in Pomeroy, Ohio, the son of Bruce Aaron Morrison, Sr., and Martha Mae (Boggs) Morrison and was the youngest of three children. Bruce was preceded in death by his father, Bruce Aaron Morrison, Sr., his mother, Martha Mae Bowman, and niece, Olivia Sue Wright.
Bruce leaves behind the love of his life, Carmen Elaine (Hershey) Morrison of Washington Court House, Ohio; children, Eunice Donegal (Morrison) Scott, Jacob Aaron Morrison, Hannah Grace Morrison, Victoria Rose Morrison, and Faith Noel Morrison; grandchildren Grace Elizabeth (Cameron) Parsons, Jo-Ann Marie Kibbe, and Robert Alan Kibbe; siblings Stephen Mark (Vicki) Morrison and Deborah Lynn Wright; father-in-law Dwight Hershey, mother-in-law Claudette Hershey, sisters-in-law, Teresa (Bryan) Wright and Krista (Travis) Stonerock; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Bruce was a 1976 graduate of Logan Elm High School in Circleville, Ohio. Following high school, Bruce proudly served in the United States Air Force as a Sergeant, where he was stationed at K.I. Sawyer Heritage Air Force Base in Marquette, Michigan, and worked as an Aircraft Armament Systems Specialist, Weapons Release Specialist, and Certified Aircraft Crew Chief from 1976-1980. His greatest event while in the Air Force was on May 27, 1979, when he accepted Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior.
Bruce wanted to draw closer to God, so he attended Circleville Bible College (now Ohio Christian University), where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Christian Ministries in 1984. In college, he quickly grew into a strong leader, serving as the Student Council President, the Group Leader of Maranatha Singing Travel Team, Co-Captain of the Soccer Team, and he was honored to receive the Mr. CBC award in 1983.
But Bruce’s life was so much more than dates, degrees, and details. Love—everything about him was love. Bruce loved people so much that ministry wasn’t a job to him—it was his passion and joy to pastor and sing. God’s anointing on Bruce as a song writer, singer, and preacher became undeniable while he traveled with the group, King’s Spirit. He formed a lifelong bond with the group’s members, who loved touching lives as much as he did. This love story was also evident in his early years of ministry at Smith Chapel Church in Latham, Ohio. It continued at Louisville Valley Church of the Nazarene in Kentucky, after he married the love of his life, Carmen, on August 27, 1988.
The Lord called Bruce to Lincoln Heights Church of Christ in Christian Union (later renamed Real Life Community Church) in Mansfield, Ohio, where he served as Senior Pastor from 1992 to 2007. Bruce wrote these words about his time at Real Life: “No amount of time will erase the kingdom memories I have, nor the love I hold for that GREAT CHURCH and those who call it home. God sure accomplished a ton of victories there.” The church grew from 30 to 350 in attendance and had two major building programs to accommodate the growth. Bruce created and led the worship team and band to create a vibrant style of worship, which was loved by all. Also during this time, he strengthened his ability to minister to families by earning his Master’s degree in Church Management from Olivet Nazarene University in 1997.
In 2007, the Lord called Bruce to Heritage Memorial Church in Washington Court House, Ohio, where he poured love into his congregation until the day the Lord welcomed him home. When Bruce came to Heritage he was asked, “What is the strongest part of your ministry?” He answered, “Passion. I love the Word of God and want others to love it also. I love the environment of a vibrant church seeking God’s heart. I want to develop relationships that result in ministry and transformation. I deeply believe in the urgency of life and Christ’s return.” His passion and focus at Heritage was for the church to be a bridge to connect people to God. It was an exciting time when Rose Avenue School was purchased and converted to the Rose Avenue Community Center in 2009. The Community Center has met a great number of people’s needs with the huge food pantry, clothing center, after school program, weekly worship services, and many meals and community events. Another exciting time was in 2013 when Bruce’s vision was fulfilled to build the Robert Kline Family Center and provide a place for worship and ministry to youth and families. This building is used often by the community. Bruce cared deeply about his community and wanted people to feel “at home” at the church.
Every summer from 1993 to 2017, Bruce and Carmen served together as the Youth Directors at the Gideons International Convention. They formed some of the strongest Christian friendships they have ever had with wonderful Gideons and the other Youth Directors. Bruce was blessed to see countless numbers of children from around the world receive Christ as their Savior. These 25 years of Gideon Ministry were also pivotal for spiritual growth in Carmen and Bruce’s children’s lives.
Bruce fiercely loved his family and friends and demonstrated that love in tangible ways. He loved to have family fun nights, family vacations, Mexican dinners with friends, motorcycle rides, and attend sporting events (Go Buckeyes and Columbus Crew!). Bruce and Carmen shared a deep love and respect for each other, always supporting one another and enjoying life as best friends. Bruce loved all of his children equally and continuously taught them his “Morrison Family Motto” of what to keep FIRST: F- Family, I-Initiative, R-Respect, S-Spirituality, T-Thankfulness. He proudly attended the children’s musical performances, awards ceremonies, and loudly cheered for them at their many sporting events. Family vacations were a treasured priority to him because he was able to totally devote his attention to making memories with Carmen and the kids.
A Celebration of Bruce’s Life and Worship Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 8, 2020, at Heritage Memorial Church, 1867 Old US 35 NW, Washington Court House, Ohio, with Dr. Doug Carter and Rev. Joe Duvall officiating. Due to the global pandemic, the church is providing a livestream service at http://heritagewch.com/ and on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/heritagewch/. The family strongly encourages travelers and anyone with health risks to join the service virtually, as they want EVERYONE to have the opportunity to celebrate Bruce’s life and ministry, but to do it in a safe way. The service will also be recorded and posted on http://heritagewch.com/ for later viewing. The family will receive friends at the church from 1:00-4:00 p.m. and 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 7. At the service and visitation, masks are mandatory and social distancing will be practiced. On Monday, November 9, there will be a private graveside service for the family at Reber Hill Cemetery in Ashville, Ohio, with Rev. Ron Reese officiating.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Heritage Memorial Church, 1867 Old US 35 NW, Washington CH, OH 43160 or to The Gideons International Processing Center, P.O. Box 97251, Washington, DC 20090-7251.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Summers Funeral Home. Online condolences may be sent to www.summersfuneralhome.com
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