Be The Change
Greenfield, Indiana … Gene was born in Caryle, Arkansas on January 27, 1935. He dropped out of high school, but surprisingly he qualified for college entrance exams at Harding University. A year later he transferred to the University of Arkansas where he majored in agriculture. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree, and then went on to obtain a Master’s Degree. After graduation he moved to Indiana to work through the Purdue University Agricultural Extension Service. He continued in the field of agricultural development throughout the state for the rest of his career. One learns quickly of his achievements in this field, but it is obvious this is not his first love. That position is reserved for his wife Jean, and their church related mission focus as a couple.
Jean was born in Danville, Illinois on December 26, 1926, and lived her early years with relatives in Southern Illinois. She lived in Pennsylvania and Ohio before attending school at both Taylor University and Indiana University. Not only did she attend both schools at the same time, she graduated from them the same year. Fresh out of school with a nursing degree in hand Jean spent much of her career pioneering infection control in hospitals throughout the Midwest. She proudly tells of one case where the infection rate had reached 20%. After the hospital put her proposals into effect the infection rate dropped to 1%. But, like Gene, it is obvious when talking to her that her heart is not with her career, but with her husband and their commitment to missions around the world.
Not surprising Gene and Jean met while working in a paper drive program to support church missions. They married on November 2, 1984, and settled in their small, modest home on Spring Lake, near Greenfield, Indiana. Jean describes the next years as a time when, “entertaining was our mission.” Settling in with the Greenfield Church of Christ they committed the next 26 years to their work with this suburban congregation located 15 miles east of the city of Indianapolis, Indiana’s capital city.
Gene and Jean Morris have focused intense energy and attention on gathering clothes and games for the children at Shults Lewis Children’s Home in Valparaiso, Indiana. They also directed and assisted in additional support for World Christian Broadcasting, and foreign mission points in Nigeria, Ghana, and Zambia. In recent years this unusual couple have assisted the Malawi Project by gathering large amounts of shoes, clothes, hand tools, and books for shipment to Malawi. The Malawi Project expresses deep appreciation to Gene and Jean for their help to thousands of people in Malawi, Africa for their faithful support.