Russell C. Morris, former pastor of a Southern Baptist Church in Dundalk, died of cancer April 18 on the island of Hawaii. He was 55.
For 14 years, Pastor Morris led the Woolford Memorial Baptist Church, which he attended while growing up in Dundalk.
He left Dundalk in 1989 to launch a new Southern Baptist Church in Waikoloa, a planned community on the island of Hawaii.
At his first service in the new church, only one person attended. About 40 people have been attending recent services at the church, and the church has purchased a 12-acre site for a permanent home.
Pastor Morris had battled liver cancer since 1991. Despite his deteriorating condition, he preached at a dedication service for his new church March 14.
While at Woolford Memorial, Pastor Morris served as pastoral counselor with the Baltimore Baptist Counseling Service of the Baltimore Baptist Association. He was also a trained consultant tTC in Sunday school, lay evangelism leadership and discipleship for the Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware. He served on various committees for both the association and state convention.
Pastor Morris began preaching in 1957, while working as a machinist at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Sparrows Point Shipyard.
He founded the Harbor Heights Baptist Church and served as its lay pastor.
He earned a bachelor's degree in English and religion in 1964 from Buies Creek, N.C. In 1968, he earned a master of divinity degree from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
Survivors include his wife, the former Brenda White; a son, Barry Morris, serving in the Air Force in Germany, and a daughter, Kyra Morris, of Waikoloa.
Services were conduced May 3 at the church in Waikoloa. A memorial service is set for 4 p.m. June 26 at Woolford Memorial Baptist Church, 1710 Delvale Ave., Dundalk.
The family suggested that contributions could be made to the Waikoloa Baptist Church building fund. Checks can written to the Woman's Missionary Union of Maryland/Delaware, 10255 Old Columbia Road, Columbia, Md. 21046-1736. The union will forward donations to the church.