|'Twick' Morrison, racial justice advocate, dies|
A UMNS Report
By Linda Green*
Feb. 8, 2008
Martha Cooper "Twick" Morrison, 76, a champion of racial justice and
reconciliation in Mississippi and across The United Methodist Church,
died Feb. 7 at home in Vicksburg with her family, following a 20-month
battle with lung cancer.
"My wife was a remarkable woman who was loved dearly by her family," said Robert Morrison, husband of 55 years.
She was born in Turner's Station, Ky., and graduated from Blue
Mountain College with a bachelor of arts degree. She later was awarded
an honorary doctor of humanities degree. She also received a master of
arts degree in English from the University of Mississippi.
Morrison was president of the Foundation for United Methodist
Communications from 2004 to 2006, and served on its board of directors
for 10 years. The Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist
Communications, described Morrison as a "tireless advocate for justice
and a determined voice for ending poverty."
As the president of Foundation for United Methodist Communications,
Morrison brought "enthusiasm and generosity" to the foundation’s work,
Hollon said. She "energized others and inspired us all to work harder
for our mission to communicate effectively about poverty and to provide
the means for those without voice to have the tools, training and
capacity to tell their own stories," he said. Under her leadership, the
foundation more than doubled its charitable income.
"She will be greatly missed, but her commitment to doing the right
thing for all people will live on through her hundreds of friends,"
Hollon said. "Standing for justice, embracing all and living out
compassion is her legacy."
‘Sent for a purpose’
Morrison served in numerous leadership and teaching capacities on
local, regional and national levels for more than 50 years across the
denomination, including as vice president of the Women's Division of the
United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. She taught in the Schools
of Christian Mission, an annual education program from the Women's
Division, and was a leader of the Mississippi Annual (regional)
Conference, coordinating the work of the laity across the state.
"She was a very special person who touched a lot of lives."– Jackie Pennington
She was one of five United Methodist lay representatives in the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches and
participated in mission trips in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Russia,
Eastern Europe, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Basin.
She was also founding member of the Good Shepherd Community Center in
Vicksburg, Miss. and was recently named a recipient of the Livesay
Service Award by United Methodist-related Millsaps College in Jackson,
Miss. She was a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church in
"It is hard to sum up Twick in a few words," said Jackie Pennington, a
friend and president of the Mississippi Conference of United Methodist
Women. "She was a very special person who touched a lot of lives."
Mississippi Bishop Hope Morgan Ward agreed. "The arms of Twick's
faith were always up and out. You saw God in her, with her, through her
and around her. She was sent among us for a purpose."
‘A powerful presence’
According to Lois Dauway, an executive with the Women's Division,
Morrison "was small in height, but had a powerful presence in very
Dauway noted Morrison’s passion for racial justice. "I found it
inspiring to meet a woman with such passion from Mississippi. She was a
very savvy person who understood and loved the church enough to
challenge its structure and policies."
Before her death, Morrison designed her "celebration of life
service," including the prayers, liturgy, hymns, said Ward, adding that
Morrison wanted the Lord's Prayer recited at her funeral. She placed an
emphasis on "Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven."
In addition to her husband, survivors include two sons and their
wives, Paul Cooper and Frances Rone Morrison of Jackson, Miss., and
Robert R. III and Corin Coleman Morrison of Vicksburg, as well as seven
The funeral service was scheduled for Feb. 9 at Crawford Street
United Methodist Church. Burial was to follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Crawford Street United Methodist Church,
1408 Cherry St., Vicksburg, MS 39180, or Good Shepherd Community Center,
629 Cherry St., Vicksburg, MS 39180.
*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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