2010 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
|Memphis||Dr. Eli T. Morris, III
In Memphis, Pastor Eli T. Morris serves as a chaplain for the FBI and, through his work with Hope Presbyterian Church, works to discourage teens from gangs, drugs, and violence.
Born and raised in Memphis, Dr. Morris spent 11 years on the staff of Young Life Memphis, a non-denominational Christian organization that works with teens. For eight of those years, he worked as the urban director, helping youth find healthy alternatives to gang life and violence.
In 1989, Dr. Morris left Young Life to join the staff of Hope Presbyterian Church, which at the time had only 120 parishioners. Today, Hope is the largest Presbyterian Church in the United States.
In addition to teaching and preaching at Hope, Dr. Morris remains committed to serving the city’s urban core. He was the first executive director of the Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies and has served as an adjunct professor, helping urban leaders access theological education.
Dr. Morris was also the first executive director of the Urban Youth Initiative, which works to equip, empower, and support dedicated youth ministers and the local church community to effectively reach urban youth in Memphis.
He is also a founder and current chairman of Oasis of Hope, a Christian community development corporation in North Memphis. He has served on the board of directors for the STREETS Ministry, the Neighborhood Christian Center, Luke 4:18 Ministries, and MIFA Emergency Services.