WACO, Texas (BP) – This Sunday, Eden Morris will take steps upon holy ground. It’s a lesson she was taught, an example she witnessed, ever since she was a little girl.
Her father Wade, a popular evangelist who died last year from complications of COVID-19, was known for preaching barefoot. In camps and churches – from Destin to Falls Creek, Knoxville to South Korea, Wichita Falls to Huntsville – he shared from his Bible, sans shoes and socks.
Eden and her sister, Trinity, became part of Wade’s messages as illustrations of biblical principles regarding the love and patience of a father. Over time, the girls became familiar to those who would hear Wade often.
“I feel like I already know you,” strangers would tell Eden upon meeting her.
Beginning in middle school, Eden began traveling with her dad regularly to those camps. Often, she would end up on stage sharing her testimony as well as Scripture in front of thousands of students. It was part of her father’s guidance to be prepared, in season and out of season.
“Dad challenged me to be ready,” she said. “He’d say ‘You’ve got this.’”
Wade’s sudden death last summer hit hard, despite a reassurance of his place with his heavenly Father. Eden had not only lost her dad, but her mentor. He taught her that ministry takes place not only on a stage, but in a conversation hours later with a teenager whose spiritual connection has become frayed.
Eden watched those conversations, and learned.
She opted to delay the start of her freshman year at Baylor University last fall. Instead, Eden interned at several places that had partnered with Wade Morris Ministries. The desire to share God’s Word never faded, though.
“My dad and I are similar,” she said. “We both love to meet new people. His job was to travel and speak and that’s what I want to do.”
The times on stage while traveling with Wade Morris Ministries brought inspiration to others in the crowd. Someone the same age as most of those in the audience was unashamed to share how Christ was working in her life. For many, it brought a motivation to do the same with their own friends and at their own school.
The loss of Wade’s earthly life will make the upcoming Father’s Day a bittersweet one. And yet, Eden has been taking steps to honor him. She sees the needs of her generation for the gospel and has dedicated herself to sharing it.
“I’m inspired by who he was on and off the stage. He had such a passion for people and the Gospel, all aspects of it,” she said. “God had clearly called him to do what he did.”
Speaking opportunities in front of students have come her way. They started last fall and, she admits, were hard to do. Being on stage was foreign without her dad watching close by.
It’s gotten better. She talks about Jesus; she also talks about Wade. The microphone is hers now, and she can share the embarrassing dad stories alongside those that speak of a loving and gracious father on earth modeling the Father above.
Those messages can get emotional, as one did in Shreveport. Talking about being heavenly minded, she related to the experience of losing her dad. Two kids got saved that night.
All of it only fuels her passion for sharing the Gospel, she said.
Other steps mark the evangelistic legacy of her father. In March, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Wade had attended, announced the establishment of a scholarship in his honor.
Wade’s pride in his daughters became evident through his messages and elsewhere. In an Instagram post a few months before he died, he beamed at Eden sharing from the stage.
“She knows the Word, is an amazing person, intelligent, a really good speaker, and is truly the kindest person I know,” he wrote. “… I bet she will [be] getting booked to speak like her daddy really soon.”
“I go back to that post a lot,” Eden said. “It drives me, the way he encouraged me and loved me. It makes me want to know and love the Lord and shared that love with people every day.
“He left a legacy on everyone he came across. I want that to be the way I live my life.”
That process of honoring her father, getting more familiar with presenting the Gospel, continues this Sunday evening, June 12. She will talk to another group of students.
And she’ll do it with feet bare, continuing a legacy delivered from holy ground.