Remembering Twick Morrison: 'Her faith defined her'

2/8/2008

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 following a 20-month battle with cancer.

"My wife was a remarkable woman who was loved dearly by her family," said Robert Morrison, husband of 55 years.

She was a member of Crawford Street United Methodist Church in Vicksburg and served in numerous leadership and teaching capacities on local, regional and national levels for more than 50 years across the denomination.

Morrison was a person whose faith defined her, said her pastor, the Rev. Geoffrey Joyner.

"Twick was a committed Christian first and foremost. She was able to live out her convictions here in Vicksburg and around the world," he said.

Morrison most recently chaired the Mississippi Conference Commission on Religion and Race and served the church ecumenically as a current member of the United Methodist delegation to the National Council of Churches/Church World Service General Assembly and as a board member of Church World Service.

Morrison was president of the Foundation for United Methodist Communications from 2004 to 2006 and served on its board of directors for 10 years. From 1992-1996 she was vice president of the Women's Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries Mission. She taught in the Schools of Christian Mission, an annual education program from the Women's Division attended by more than 25,000 people annually in venues around the country, and was known nationally for her creative and engaging skills as a study leader. She served as president of Mississippi Conference United Methodist Women from 1979-1982.

A former conference lay leader, she was also a founding member of the Good Shepherd Community Center in Vicksburg and was recently named a recipient of the Livesay Service Award by Millsaps College.

"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 profound ways."

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."

In addition to her husband, survivors include two sons and their wives, Paul Cooper and Frances Rone Morrison of Jackson, and Robert R. III and Corin Coleman Morrison of Vicksburg, as well as seven grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Feb. 9.

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.

(United Methodist News Service and Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries contributed to this story.)