On November 3, 2018, our family, many congregants, and friends lost a husband, father, papa, uncle, brother, pastor, and friend in David Lee Morgan. He was a wise counselor, tireless listener, and a source of unconditional love and care. As a faith leader, he was a fearless advocate for progress and inclusion. His adventures—whether hiking the Appalachian Trail, hitchhiking across the country/world, stargazing, camping and hiking with family, friends, and youth groups—became unforgettable tales.
His life was defined by relationships – with Anne, his soulmate and partner in ministry, his daughter, Elizabeth, whose gentle spirit is so much like her dad. She brought Cory into his life and then his beloved grandsons, Austin and Sean. His daughter Rachel, a gifted writer and world traveler, shared his love of movies and laughter. He was raised in large part by an amazing grandmother, Ma Whisenhunt, who gave him wisdom and wings. His relationships grew to include congregations and lasting friends in GA, SC, VA, and NC. And throughout it all there was hiking and the shaping of the lives of those, especially young people, who learned to see God’s love through the wonder and beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.
Born on March 26, 1944 in Swannanoa, NC, he spent his childhood between Greenville, SC and Waynesville, NC, where at an early age, he began to hike his beloved mountains. At Waynesville Township High School, he was active in the band, drove a school bus, and graduated valedictorian. He attended King College (University) and spent nine months traveling in Europe.
At King Anne came into his life and following their marriage, he began his preparation for ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. This was followed by a year of Clinical Pastoral Education and later a D.Min. at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. During seminary and early in his ministry, he was blessed with the opportunity to serve as the secretary for the committee that wrote “A Declaration of Faith,” a contemporary theological statement of the Presbyterian Church.
David served as Associate Pastor at Second Presbyterian Church alongside Dr. Albert Curry Winn. Together they led that church to become an advocate for justice by caring for the homeless, the imprisoned, and the poor. When Anne graduated from Union in 1991, they began a new journey as co-pastors. In 1996 they were called to New Hope Presbyterian in Asheville, NC, and he was back “home!” While at New Hope, he and Anne did a brief pulpit exchange with a church in Scotland. Two short months into retirement in 2009, he began serving Oak Forest Presbyterian Church.
In addition to his love of family, lifelong friends and the outdoors, music was an integral part of his faith and life. Whether playing in his high school band, singing in the King College Choir and in the churches he served, with his family in the car, or with his uncles while his grandmother played hymns on the piano, music filled every part of his life.
David is survived by the Rev. Anne Morgan, his partner and loving wife of 51 years; his daughter Elizabeth Brooks (Cory), two beloved grandsons, Austin and Sean of Stuarts Draft, VA; his daughter, Rachel Morgan, of Hendersonville, NC; his sister, Gail Osteen (Gary) of Greenville, SC; his brother-in-law, David Smith, of Greenville, SC, and a sister-in-law, Sue Cumbus (John) of Wilmington, NC; three aunts, Edith Whisenhunt of Waynesville, Alice Falls of Fairborn, Ohio and Gladys Daily of Dayton, OH; as well as many loving cousins, nieces and nephews and very dear friends, Paul and Martha Osborne of Tucson, AR, Donald Davis of Okracoke Island, and Howard Garner of Richmond, VA. He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Agnes Morgan, his stepmother, Lila Morgan, and his sisters, Judy Smith of Greenville, SC and Sue Sanders of Summerville, SC.
Those who knew and loved David will miss his beautiful voice, his storytelling, his wonderful hugs, his aura of peace, and his thoughtful conversations. We are all better for having known him. And every time we gaze on his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains, especially Mt. LeConte, we will remember him.
A celebration of David’s life will be held at Oak Forest Presbyterian Church, Asheville, NC, 11 am on Saturday, November 17, 2018. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Oak Forest Presbyterian Church, 880 Sand Hill Road, Asheville, 28806; New Hope Presbyterian Church, 3070 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, 28803; Asheville Youth Mission, PO Box 2988, Asheville, 28802 or youthmissionco.org; Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) for Hurricane Relief – make checks to either of the churches; include “PDA - DR000194” on the memo line.