From Maine to Kansas City
I grew up on the beautiful rocky coast of Maine in a non-Christian home. I fortunately had a lovely Christian grandmother who had the greatest impact on my life. Because of her love for me and the Lord, when it came time to decide to go to college, I decided I wanted to go to a Christian school so that I too could become a Christian like her.
I went to Eastern Nazarene College and studied biology, because I wanted to be an underwater researcher. After my freshman year, I knew this was not the major for me, but I did not know what I wanted to study, so I stuck with biology. I became a Christian my freshman year and began working at a local church my junior year.
After graduation, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the Bible, so my pastor encouraged me to attend Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. I did attend GCTS and received a Master of Religious Education with a concentration in youth ministry. I worked in youth ministry for 10 years and then found myself branching out into other areas of ministry.
I served as Associate Pastor in a number of the larger churches in New England and particularly began to have a strong desire to teach and preach God’s Word. After my last Associate Pastor position, I began attending GCTS again, full time, to obtain a second Master’s degree. This was out of obedience to God’s calling for me to go back to school. I went to school for 3 years not knowing WHY I was in school. When I was in my last semester of completing my MDiv, God called me to get another Master’s degree. I dug my heels in and said, “Father, I have been going to school for 3 years not knowing why I have been here. I am exhausted, weary and ready to be done. If you want me to go for another degree, could you please tell me why?”
His gentle response was two-fold: “Lisa, this next degree will begin to fulfill your passion and vision of writing and speaking my Word to others, and you could not get this next degree without getting the one you are currently completing.” In May 2006, I graduated with my Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology in Preaching.
I have taught for Eastern Nazarene College in the Adult and Graduate Studies, Religion, and Communication Departments. I served a number of years with our District Training Center as an Instructor, Education Director, and eventually, as the Executive Director. I also served as Pastor of a local church in Plymouth, MA for eight years.
In 2015, my life changed drastically. God fulfilled a 20+ year desire of mine to teach overseas in one of our Nazarene colleges. I went to Nazarene Theological College in Johannesburg, South Africa as a guest lecturer for a semester. At the end of the semester, God woke me up at the crack of dawn one morning and said that one of my students was the daughter I had always wanted and then shot a love burst into my heart for her. What was ironic was that of all my female students, I was least close to this one (Thapi).
Over the next couple of weeks, God forged an amazing, anointed relationship between us. The night before I was to come back to the States, I told Thapi what God had told me. She said she felt the same way about me.
On my long plane ride back home, the Lord began to speak to me about bringing Thapi to the US to do an internship with me at my church in Plymouth over Christmas break. The Lord made a way for her to come, and we had a month of God ordained and God anointed ministry.
When Thapi went back home, unbeknownst to either of us, God began to speak to each of us about her coming to the States to continue her education at Eastern Nazarene College. This was frightening for both of us. For Thapi, she had not liked the US, therefore she had no desire to come back to visit, let alone stay for an extended period. For me, I was not in a financial position to provide the means for her to get a college education.
Long story short, God provided for all of our needs. Thapi graduated from ENC and is now attending Nazarene Theological Seminary. And me? Well, God let me know that He wanted me to continue the journey He had Thapi and me on, so I too, moved to Kansas City to support, encourage and mentor her. I am currently waiting on Him to show me where He wants me to serve him in the Kansas City area.
I love the ocean. God blessed me by giving me the opportunity to live by the sea all of my life up until now. I love to travel, especially internationally. I so enjoy engaging in different cultures, and I love to read Biblical fiction.
Rev. Lisa M. Morrison, Adjunct Professor NBC
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 05/19/2020