Husband, wife become chaplains for PBA
June 17, 2013
Rev. David and Rev. Edna Morgan are no strangers to helping people when it comes to serving their community. Whether it is serving as co-founders and spiritual leaders with their non-profit organization, Healing Place Ministries, or working with crime victims and youth. This husband and wife team is a true example of leadership and volunteerism in Pine Bluff. Now another opportunity to help their community has come their way -- serving as chaplains to Pine Bluff Arsenal.
The Morgan's were introduced to the Arsenal workforce at the annual Safety Stand Down Day May 9.
As chaplains for the Arsenal, the Morgan's will be available on a volunteer basis if there is a need. We want to be as supportive as possible during this time of furlough and scarcity across the United States. We want to help people and be a support system," said Edna.
David said that most of his time is spent during the week with crime victim's advocacy. "I have some flexibility, and what I am hoping I can do is rotate my time. I plan to be here at the Arsenal at least once a week to meet with people and be a presence," he said. "This is just what I am thinking.
Edna, who retired from Arkansas Regional Labs, located at the National Center for Toxicological Research, with 26 years of service, said that she would be spending one day a week at the installation just like her husband. "The Arsenal's Employee Assistance Program is finding a place for us but I think we will be more effective if we are allowed to roam and meet with the people in common areas," she said. "That way they get to know our faces and get to know us. We can hear some life stories and build relationships."
Under the Healing Place Ministries umbrella, the primary part of the Morgan's organization is serving as advocates for seniors (persons 50 and older), especially those who are crime victims. "We connect them with existing services in the community, such as legal and medical. We also do one-on-one counseling," said David.
In addition to support groups, the ministry has hosted a summer camp for children in the community, ages seven to 14, for eight years.
"When we initially started the camp, it was our intent to reach out to at-risk and disadvantaged children. However, more we thought about it, we had to say that all of our children are at-risk," said David. "They come for one week, and during the camp, we provide workshops on anger management, self-esteem, how to make good choices, nutrition, etc. We even teach the kids archery and there is a pond on site. We run it like a day camp because most of the children we serve cannot afford to go off for the summer."
David, a 22-year Navy veteran, completed a year chaplaincy program in 2003 at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, serves as an industrial chaplain for Central Maloney in Pine Bluff. He is also the senior pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Pine Bluff. Edna, who is a member of the Bluff Center Chapter of Federally Employed Women, completed her clinical pastoral education as a chaplain in 2005 at JRMC, and became a nationally certified chaplain in 2008. Both serve as motivational speakers in the community.