by Bernard R. DeRemer
Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918-2006), founder of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), was not always a creation champion and vigorous opponent of evolution. For many years, he was "satisfied with theistic evolution" while a "nominal Christian."
But the Lord opened his eyes and enabled him to contribute to "not only the entire creation movement, but also the biblical inerrancy, Christian school, and home school movements as well."
Henry was born in Dallas, Texas. Dr. R. A. Torrey, the great revivalist, during his meetings there visited the young family. He took Henry in his arms and prayed fervently that he would not only come to know the Lord but also to be a "faithful warrior for the King and be used in a mighty way." Future years revealed the "exceedingly abundant" answer.
Henry's father deserted the family, leaving them almost destitute during the Great Depression. As soon as he was old enough, Henry sold newspapers on street corners to provide food for the table. Because of poverty, he was sent to live with his grandmother, who pointed him to Christ and gave him his first Bible.
Henry won a scholarship to Rice Institute (now Rice University), where the famous atheistic evolutionist Julian Huxley dominated the science department. Henry became an evolutionist, though still a nominal Christian.
Working in El Paso, Texas, Henry got involved in a good church and joined the Gideons. He memorized Scripture and saw it transform lives but put aside the origins issue.
During World War II, Rice offered Morris a teaching position. There he would "train Navy seamen in the engineering skills they would need in the war effort."
Witnessing to these who would soon face death on the battlefield, he found that "evolution was a serious stumbling block to their accepting Christ as Savior." He found that the key to creation/evolution was the great flood of Noah's day, so he returned to graduate school for further training in hydraulic engineering in order to understand the power of the flood. This led to a fruitful career in engineering and the publication of many books including The Genesis Flood, co-authored with John Whitcomb in 1961, "which for the first time presented a serious scientific defense of the biblical world view."
In 1970, he joined with Tim LaHaye in founding what is now San Diego Christian College. Its science staff would research and disseminate creation information.
Today ICR, now headquartered in Dallas, Texas, provides a wide range of books, tapes, conferences, radio programs, field trips, graduate school courses, and other efforts to promote the message of creation and refute the errors of evolution. Information is available from 1-800-337-0375. Dr. & Mrs. Morris had six children, 17 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren. His eldest son, Dr. Henry M. Morris III, is currently the chief executive officer of ICR, and his second son, Dr. John Morris, is president.
Dr. Morris' favorite Scripture passages were: Psalm 33:6; 119:89, Isaiah 40:28-31; Jeremiah 32:17; Romans 12:1-2, 2 Timothy 4:1-8; and 1 Peter 3:15.
His first stroke left him unable to stand and put him in a rehab facility, where "he witnessed to everyone and spoke often of heaven." Following another stroke, with the baseball season starting, he quipped, "Three strokes and you're out."
He went to sleep on Feb. 25, 2006, and died peacefully. God blessed him "with fruit which will last for eternity and allowed him to change the world."
More than 2,000 attended the memorial service at Shadow Mountain Community Church near San Diego.
For 50 years, a plaque on his wall proclaimed: PERHAPS TODAY!
He has now heard those cherished words, "well done, thou good and faithful servant . . . enter into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt. 25:21).
This article is based on information from ICR.
Bernard R. DeRemer has chronicled the lives of dozens of God's choice leaders,
across recent centuries, in more than a decade of writing for Pulpit Helps.