Russell Morgan, who preached on public passenger buses in Kingston for many years, has not allowed complete blindness to stop him from being a potent source of inspiration.
He, so far, authored two highly motivational books – My Faith Has Made Me Rich, as well as Put Down The Hurt; Take Up The Word.
“I have been through a lot of struggle,” the retired pastor told The Beacon.
“I realized that a lot of people are hurting, and so I decided to write and encourage them to put down the hurt.”
Morgan’s books, up to the date this story is published, can be ordered by calling: 876-516-6968.
The author, who now lives in the Linstead area of St. Catherine, was born and raised at Waterloo district in Manchester.
When he was about 15 years old, he relocated to Kingston to live with a sister.
“I was born near-sighted; I could glimpse a little,” he said.
The 71-year-old recalled undergoing a surgery at Kingston Public Hospital in the early 1960s when he was a child.
At that time, he was told that he would have become completely blind. “I was told that the nerves of the eyes were completely gone,” Morgan disclosed.
He doubted the initial advice until several years later when he became an adult, and was given the same prognosis after being examined by an expert in the United States.
“I lost my sight in 1993,” Morgan said. “It is something I have to live with; life goes on.”
Determined to live his best life despite being visually impaired, Morgan, who used to play the harmonica while he was growing up in Manchester, got one of the instrument from a pastor when he migrated to Kingston.
He played the harmonica in the capital city, and people sometimes gave him money.
“I did it [initially] because I didn’t have any clothes at the time,” he said. “Mi start to buy up mi clothes. That’s the way mi start off in life.”
Morgan later started to preach on buses to raise funds while simultaneously winning souls.
“Preaching became my living, and I started to preach from I was 16,” he explained.
“I preached on every bus in Kingston – all buses. I would preach on one going to Half Way Tree, then I changed from Half Way Tree and I travelled to Cross Roads, and I go back Downtown. That is what I used to help me before I started preaching in churches.”
Morgan left Kingston in 1989 to live in the Linstead area of St. Catherine.
He eventually became a pastor at the New Testament Church of God in Linstead, and ended up preaching in places such as the United States, Canada and England.
Morgan noted that his travel abroad and his general progress would not have been realized without the tremendous support he received from friends who once were strangers.
Evil also lingered.
Some people, who appeared under the guise of doing good, took advantage of Morgan because of his blindness.
To make matters worse, his first wife, Beverly, was also visually impaired.
“My first wife was totally blind and people used to steal from us a lot… They just take what they want and leave,” Morgan told The Beacon.
His first wife, who is also the mother of his two children, died in 2003.
But Morgan fell in love again.
He wedded Jennifer ‘Candy’ Stewart.
“Mi pray hard and say to The Lord, ‘I want another wife, but I don’t want a blind one this time,” Morgan recalled.
He added: “The Lord provided me with a nice sweet wife; she is more than sweet… Since I get this wife, The Lord said, ‘Call her Candy’. So, everybody knows her as Sister Candy.”
Morgan’s wife is not the only woman making a big difference in his life.
His sister-in-law, Sharon Denham Marrier, is his ghost-writer.
“I don’t do the writing [in relation to my books], because I am totally blind,” Morgan explained. “I dictate my expression to somebody and they write for me. I can’t write. I don’t know ‘R’ or ‘B’ or ‘C’. I don’t know ‘A’ nor ‘B’. I don’t know any letter.”
Morgan said he was sent to school for only four years due to his visual impairment.
Despite that, he has an amazingly sharp memory and he knows several scriptures by heart.
“I can give you scriptures on and on because I trust God and live,” Morgan said. “I depend on The Lord to take care of me. He is my provider and he takes care of me in a big way.”
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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