The Rt. Rev’d Morris K. Thompson, Jr.
Hometown: Born in Cleveland, Mississippi
Seminary: Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, University of the South, and Lexington Theological Seminary
What has led you to respond to this process for nomination to be the 11th Bishop of Louisiana?
Over the past sixty years the Diocese of Louisiana has experienced much joy, yet much turmoil. Alongside your rich tradition of establishing well-respected Episcopal schools, Solomon Episcopal Conference Center, St. James Place, and Christwood Retirement Community has been the southern civil rights movement, the traumatic death of a beloved bishop, the splitting of the diocese, and natural forces of nature that not only destroyed the homes and lives of the community but also deeply wounded your bishop. In the life of a body, the latter are significant with long-lasting scars.
These events speak to the pastoral side of my ministry. Walking with and holding the tension between hopelessness and hopefulness is how I know leadership. The re-building of the body involves a time of discernment and healing while remembering the story of God’s redemption. Reclaiming your tradition of being alive and finding ways to redeem those feelings rings deep within me. The possibilities are what drew me to this process. The possibility of doing something new and wonderful, of healing, and remembering we are God’s people is exciting to me.
I am drawn to your diocese because of your need for a pastor, someone who has proven administrative skills, understands the importance of daily prayer life, and has a passion for building strong relationships among colleagues. My administrative skills are strong, as a result of the type and variety of my previous experiences: service in the United States Marine Corps, Director of Pastoral Services, King’s Daughters’ Medical Center; Vice President of Missions, Bellefonte Hospital, and Dean, Christ Church Cathedral.
A major role of the bishop is to care for the clergy. Throughout my ministry, the relationships I’ve had with other clergy have been significant. I’ve had the opportunity to support other ministers in developing their spiritual formation and seen the importance of our relationships with one another. The commonalities we share are amazing and when our resources are pooled, the results momentous.