William H. (Bill) Morris, founder and president of the successful insurance agency The William Morris Group, shared his faith journey and details how his friendships with music legends forever changed his life in a Q&A with The Christian Post about his new book.
This Magic Moment: My Journey of Faith, Friends, and the Father’s Love, released last month, details the God-ordained moments in the businessman’s life and his experiences with some of doo-wop’s greatest artists that tore down racial and societal walls in the music industry at that time.
The William Morris Group, which specializes in elite insurance consulting and marketing, has become a household name but not many people know how the businessman was impacted by his enduring friendships with members of two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame groups, The Moonglows and The Original Drifters.
Morris, a devoted Christian, is president of Hallelujah Productions and produced The Original Drifters’ first two gospel CDs. The life-long native of Jackson, Mississippi, was also instrumental in founding the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Madison.
Below is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Morris where he discusses his new book, his faith, and how the music industry has changed since he first formed deep friendships with some of America’s doo-wop music legends over three decades ago.
CP: Talk about the power of music and how God has used it in your life.
Morris: I often say that my love for music started in the womb, because it has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I believe God planted that seed of passion to guide me toward my purpose and to put me where He could best use me for His glory. Music touches my soul, connects me to other people, and helps me experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
As a young man, I spent hours listening to music. I loved almost all genres of music: classical, opera, jazz, country, big band, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, and doo-wop. I paid half my way through college hosting dances with some of the popular local groups, and later helped booked big-name bands for my fraternity’s social events while in college.
While I opted for a career in the insurance business, my appreciation for music, especially R&B and doo-wop, never waned. At age 38, with a successful insurance career and a family, the power of music once again intervened in my life in a major way.
Through a series of events that could only have been orchestrated by God, and despite having never had a microphone in my hand, I found myself performing on stage in Washington, D.C., with my favorite group, The Moonglows. A year later, I discovered the purpose of that incredible experience and what else God had planned for me that would enrich the next three decades of my life.
CP: Can you briefly share your faith journey?
Morris: My maternal grandmother was the greatest spiritual influence in my early life. I saw a peace and loving purpose in her that I wanted for my life. However, I did not develop a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father until well into adulthood. A turning point came when my wife, Camille, lost her beloved father unexpectedly at a relatively young age. She was devastated, and I found myself ill-equipped to comfort her. It was then that I sought a deeper faith and understanding.
I committed to give the Lord the first hour of every day to reflect on His Word, pray, and journal about the things happening in my life. I have kept that commitment since February of 1982 and have compiled 18 handwritten journal volumes representing 3,000 legal pages. This “quiet time” of reflection and my “love letters to Him” is a resource that lets me see how His direction has affected the course of my life. Without my journals, I would have never been able to write my new book, This Magic Moment, or to realize how all aspects of the journey I write about were perfectly orchestrated by God.
CP: Can you talk about the spirituality of some of the legends you came across early on?
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law