Photo: Dr. J. Derald Morgan, a scouting ministry specialist in the Missouri Annual Conference, stands near the entrance to the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia, the future site of the National Scout Jamboree. Morgan will be on the staff at that July 15-24, 2013, event which will be attended by some 45,000 Scouts.
BRANSON WEST, Mo. –– Dr. J. Derald Morgan, a 50-year adult leader veteran of scouting, is helping six churches in the Ozarks South District of the Missouri Annual Conference develop effective ministries to youth through scouting.
A scouting ministry specialist, Morgan has led boys on two Philmont treks in New Mexico, and two high adventure trips on the water ways of the Northern Tier in Minnesota. He has also served on the staff of two national scouting jamborees in Virginia. He is scheduled to again serve on the staff at the 2013 jamboree in West Virginia.
He has received several scouting awards, including the Scouters Award (1969), Scouters Key (1971), Award of Merit (1976), Silver Beaver (1982), Webelos Den Leader Award (1990), and the Robert Burt Boy Scout Volunteer Award from the Sons of the American Revolution (2007). He is also an Order of the Arrow inductee.
While his list of awards is long, he takes greatest pride in the fact that his son, his oldest grandson, and a son-in-law are all Eagle Scouts. Two other sons-in-laws are a cubmaster and a troop committee member.
While serving as president of his own electrical engineering firm, Morgan has still found time to attend the Philmont training for wilderness survival and Wood Badge Beaver Patrol training. He is also an active member of Kimberling City UMC where he is the Charter Organizational Representative and Unit Commissioner for the Pack.
A 1962 graduate in electrical engineering from Louisiana Tech University, Morgan began a teaching career as an instructor at the University of Missouri-Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology) in 1963 after working for Eastman Kodak following graduation. After completing a master’s degree at that school, he moved to Tempe, Ariz., in 1965 as a Ph.D. candidate and an instructor in the engineering department of Arizona State University. After receiving his PhD, he returned to teaching in Rolla in 1968 and was named chairman and Emerson Electric professor of electrical engineering in 1978.
In 1985, Morgan was invited to serve as professor and dean of the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. And in 1999, he was named vice president at University of Alabama in Huntsville and executive director of the Alabama Huntsville Foundation; he became special assistant to the chancellor of the University of Alabama in 2008.
In his professional life he has been elevated to fellow of the National Society of Professional Engineers, a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a fellow of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers.
In all the moves, Morgan became an active member in a local United Methodist congregation. He has served as a teacher, youth leader, and chair of the administrative board, chair of the board of trustees and finance chair. While serving as the finance chair at Madison (Ala.) UMC, the congregation completed a $2 million remodeling project.
Role as scouting ministry
Morgan is currently helping churches in Branson, Kimberling City, Forsyth, Reeds Spring, Nixa and Ozark develop their scouting ministries.
“It is important that our pastors and congregations understand that the scouting programs –– Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, American Heritage Girls and other value-based youth programs –– are ministries. They are opportunities for expanded youth ministry in every UM congregation,” says Morgan.
“UM churches should adopt the position that these programs are not just an obligation or something we have always done but rather incorporate them into the entire youth ministry effort.
“We have one of the greatest opportunities of all time today to advance the development of youth with values of their faith demonstrated in character-building scouting programs. One thing that has declined over my life has been the number of men assuming responsibility for the faith and values development of their children,” says Morgan. “I challenge UM men to meet their full responsibility to children. I also challenge pastors to teach the PRAY (Programs of Religious Activities with Youth) programs for their church youth.”
If you are interested in becoming a scouting ministry specialist, please contact LaNisha Sayles (LSayles@gcumm.org or call 615-620-7260).