Home » Bishop James Morton, 76, noted musician and preacher, dies

Bishop James Morton, 76, noted musician and preacher, dies

by The Grio

A Georgia community is mourning after the passing of well-known musician and preacher Bishop James Morton, who died of an unknown cause on Feb. 11. He was 76.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Elder Shawn Bryant, an assistant minister who remembered Morton as a humble man, said the Decatur pastor suffered a heart attack in August and had a heart valve replaced.

Kimberly Morton Powell, Morton’s daughter, recalled visiting her father’s body with her mother after his passing.

“I knew whatever happened, he was at peace,” she said, according to The AJC, “he didn’t have a scowl or a frown on his face. He looked like he was at peace.”

Morton started preaching at 22 in Detroit’s Mount Zion Church of God in Christ, per his relatives. He accepted a call from True Faith Baptist in Detroit two years later and spent the next 14 years there until becoming the pastor of Thankful Baptist Church in Atlanta.

According to The AJC, in August 1993, Morton left Thankful Baptist, taking 1,000 members with him, and established New Beginning Full Gospel Baptist Church in the Decatur High School gymnasium. The following year, the congregation relocated to a property on Valley Brook Road, its current location.

For 30 years, Morton, the popular pastor and musician from a distinguished family of ministers, led his congregation at New Beginning in various missions for the poor and homeless. He also spoke at and led worship services.

Special assistant Paul McClary, the ministry liaison, said New Beginning has more than 40 ministries covering almost every subject, from providing food for the community at Christmas and Thanksgiving to helping the hard of hearing.

According to McClary, Morton intended to address the demands of the people. He reportedly gave church members his home phone number and encouraged them to call when they needed him.

“If someone said they didn’t have money…

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