Dr. Barry Morgan, who retired in May after 29 years of teaching Bible classes at Hannibal-LaGrange University, believes that "one of the greatest blessings I have had is I have been able to teach God's word to hundreds of students over the years.
"That has been my priority," Morgan continued, "that I have been able to teach other people God's word and help them understand how to put it into practice."
Reporting he "primarily taught Bible classes and theology classes," he said he also taught Greek, explaining that "the New Testament was originally written in Greek."
Learning Greek is important to Bible scholars, he added, because it is "very, very helpful to know the original language, so you can study the original language and make informed decisions about the meaning of the text. It helps you evaluate the modern translations."
Although he has retired, Morgan will continue to teach New Testament Bible classes as an adjunct professor.
A native of Tyler, Texas, Morgan met his wife, Darby, as a high school student there. Their family now incudes sons Heath and Matt, who are both doctors; and seven grandchildren.
Barry Morgan earned a degree in aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University, and became a U.S. Air Force pilot. While serving in Vietnam in 1972 and 1973, he flew more than 200 missions in his F-4 fighter jet.
Later he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, when he felt God's call into the ministry. "I felt like God was changing my priorities that I considered to be important in life," Morgan said. "He just changed my career plans. I was a fighter pilot and loved what I was doing."
Morgan earned a master's and doctorate at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth before joining the HLGU faculty in 1984.
Among the awards he has received from HLGU are the Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Parkway Distinguished Professor Award.
Morgan also has written Sunday School and commentary material for the Southern Baptist Convention.
When asked how HLGU has changed during his tenure there, Morgan was quick to respond, that "it has not changed. ... One of the greatest things about Hannibal-LaGrange has been the unity and harmony among the faculty and staff and administrators.
"It has always been more of a family atmosphere," he said. "People help one another for the good of the institution. At some places there tends to be competitiveness. That was never the case at HLGU. That's been one of the great blessings of working there - the people I worked with."