Today, the grounds in Lynchburg contain an elementary school. Morgan faculty plan to send over a display of their history.
Wilson also learned of the role of the Rev. Samuel Green in founding Morgan. Green, a freed slave, spent years in a Baltimore jail after he was caught with inflammatory material: a copy of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," the anti-slavery novel.
Green was released from jail and urged Methodist leaders in the 1860s to make education a priority for African-Americans.
"He said, 'My people will learn to read and write," Wilson said. "And I think he was thinking, 'How to run this country'" — an allusion to the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008.
The crowd stood and swayed and cheered as the voices of mother and daughter rose higher and higher. Then Shirley Davis, a 1993 graduate, sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness."
Morgan freshman Stephen Thompson Jr. read from the Book of Hebrews. Senior Stephen Pearson read from Psalms. Junior Brittany Mitchell read from an epistle.
Andrew Mitchell and Kayla Lawrence, students named "Mr. and Mrs. Morgan," called out with pride: "We are Morgan!"
After the hymns, readings and prayers, all left the sanctuary — the students and worshippers, the alumni and pastors, a community that started 150 years ago a school that grew into a Baltimore institution.
They walked out singing: "We've come this far by faith."