By Alicia Hein
Genuine. Fun. Caring. Faithful. All words that could be used to describe Dr. Dan and Melanie Morgan by the many who had the privilege of working and interacting with them in their ten years of ministry in Canada.
Because of his extensive ministry experience and academic expertise, CSBS&C pursued Dr. Morgan to join the faculty as Professor of Church Planting and Missions. The Morgans arrived in Cochrane in 2010, following the call to spend their last decade prior to retirement in Canada. In addition to his teaching role at the college and seminary, Dr. Morgan took on various leadership roles in church planting with the North American Mission Board. He eventually served as NAMB’s Director of Missions for all of Canada. Melanie quickly jumped into a number of ministry roles as well, joining the staff both at Bow Valley Baptist Church and at the Canadian National Baptist Convention. Together they formed a dynamic team that now leaves a tangible gap in our seminary family.
I personally had the privilege of interacting with Dr. Morgan in both of his primary contexts. My first semester at the seminary included one of his church planting courses, and soon thereafter I was hired as the administrative assistant for his role with NAMB. In the classroom I watched him communicate his passion for church planting to the students he hoped would catch the vision. In the office I sat behind a desk with him as he reached out to and encouraged those doing ministry on Canada’s front lines. In both contexts I experienced his personal care and mentorship, to the point that I began to feel more like an adopted daughter than a student or employee. This was the kind of care with which he led those he served, recognizing that his ministry was not to accomplish a job but to invest in the people God had given him to influence.
Toward the end of the fall semester, our seminary community had the privilege of hearing Dr. Morgan speak in chapel one last time, and reflect on his ministry and some of the lessons he has learned through a lifetime of following God’s call. It was something of an emotional service, as students heard the testimony and wisdom of a beloved professor who was truly finishing well. The bedrock of our lives, he emphasized, is the simple truth that God loves us. This is the one element of life that will not change, and around which everything else needs to be oriented. Grounded on the foundation of this one truth, then, God’s children can learn to avoid ministry pitfalls such as pride, haste, and bitterness. They can know that they are completely and totally forgiven, that they are not alone, that their final destination is sure, and that their one purpose in life is to bring glory to God. Anyone who knew Dr. Morgan could attest to the evidence of these truths in his own life; in his peaceful demeanor, his lighthearted sense of humor, and his calm assurance that God would indeed work everything for the good of his children.
The Morgans have now moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to be close to children and grandchildren, and to discover what God has for them in the next season of their lives. We already miss them dearly, but we are so thankful that God allowed their lives to intersect with our school for the past decade. Their legacy of faithfulness will continue to impact our community, and we know that God will continue to use them to expand His kingdom.