15 things you didn't know about Greater Mt. Calvary Baptist Church pastor Montari Morrison
IF YOU GO
• WHAT: Greater Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
• WHERE: 3101 Callis St., Victoria
• PASTOR: The Rev. Montari Morrison
• CONTACT: 361-575-8548
Greater Mt. Calvary Baptist's the Rev. Montari Morrison never considered his future was in ministry.
The son of three generations of Baptist pastors before him, Morrison has been a lifelong follower of the Christian faith.
But the Mount Pleasant native assumed any role he may have in the church as an adult would be, at best, secondary.
"I've been in the church all my life. It's all I've known, and I've grown to love it. I love the institution and what it stands for," Morrison, 31, said. "But I always thought I'd just be a member of the congregation or leading the music ministry."
Six years ago, while sitting in a barber shop and reading the Bible, a verse from Philippians changed the pastor's career path.
"I came across a story about these men who were asked why they were sitting idle. They responded that no man was high enough," he recalled. "They were told to get up and work in whatever way they could and that God would reward them."
That was the genesis of Morrison's calling into the ministry. The following year, at 26 years old, he was ordained.
Since relocating to Victoria two years ago to work at the church, Morrison has committed himself to growing a citywide ministry that stretches across race, religion and socioeconomic statuses.
Here are 15 things you may not have known about Silver City's Baptist pastor.
Morrison was installed at Greater Mt. Calvary the same weekend he married his wife, Tosha "T.T." Morrison.
Morrison taught himself to play piano when he was 14 years old on a $20 keyboard, listening to rhythm and blues on the radio. Today, he's a gospel singer and songwriter who cannot read music. He can play and improvise any song by ear.
His nickname in high school was Steve Urkel because he used to wear thick glasses. Morrison jokes that he's a few years away from becoming legally blind.
One of Morrison's favorite pastimes in Victoria is going door-to-door in Silver City and meeting his community. He visits with families at their homes, prays with them and invites them to church Sundays.
Morrison has been a video game junkie for the past 20 years. His favorite game is "Madden NFL."
Whether speaking in front of crowds of 10 or 10,000, Morrison said he never experiences stage fright.
Morrison is both the church pastor and senior music minister at Greater Mt. Calvary.
One day, Morrison aspires to couple his church preaching with a career as a gospel recording artist.
Morrison loves being a father to 10-month-old Montari "Stink" Morrison Jr. He said as a father, he's an excellent diaper changer and bottle maker. And his son loves dancing to the song they wrote "together."
Morrison doesn't see himself as an African-American pastor of a black church. He believes any pastor striving for ministerial success in the Crossroads must be able to transcend race, denominations and embrace the multicultural world views of South Texas.
Football is a major obsession for the young pastor, who watches ESPN and NFL Network at any opportunity. Morrison is a huge Houston Texans and Houston Rockets fan, and he said he's always checking his smart phone for updates on games.
Morrison's church installation at Greater Mt. Calvary is the first African-American church ceremony that Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor attended and delivered a welcoming speech.
Morrison keeps a photo of his mentor, the late Rev. V.L. Parker, in his Bible at all times. He said he draws inspiration and encouragement from Parker's photo - the first man to tell Morrison he would be a great preacher.
Before he was ordained, Morrison was a church and studio musician. He also taught music, piano and organ lessons.
In five years, Morrison has only presided over one wedding ceremony.