Citizen of the Year: Jim Morgan honored by friends, town

Published 9:02 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016

By Jesse Wright

The Daily News

Saturday afternoon, dozens of Franklinton residents paid tribute to Jim Morgan in that town’s 2015 Outstanding Citizen of the Year reception.

The reception was held at the First Baptist Church, where Morgan is a member and for which he does considerable volunteer work. Morgan has also served on the fair board, volunteered with Dixie Baseball and he has volunteered for years at Franklinton High School and Bowling Green School.

At the ceremony, Morgan’s friends, community and family praised his work in town. Marsha Newman nominated Morgan and she read from her nomination letter.

“Jim is one who does whatever is necessary to get a job done, expecting absolutely no recognition at all,” she said.

Newman praised his tireless church service and said he teaches Sunday school, although he and his wife, Sandy, have mentored young people for years.

“They were not asked,” she said. “They just saw the need and felt they could help in some way. Many Sunday mornings, Jim would drive for miles to pick up kids just so they would be in Sunday school and church.”

His son, Justin Morgan, also praised his father’s willingness to make time for others.

“The door was always open and he was always there to let someone into his home,” said Justin.

His son said his father’s desire to do good is rooted in scripture. Justin quoted Matthew 20:28, “even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

“He’s grabbed hold of some truths in the scriptures and he is holding on with everything he has in him,” said Justin.

Rev. Paul Watts, Morgan’s former pastor, also praised Morgan’s faith and friendship.

“They’ve been a blessing to my family,” said Watts, of Morgan’s family. “They’ve been there for us.”

After that, Morgan was awarded the official Citizen of the Year medal by the Daily News and following that, Franklinton Mayor Wayne Fleming presented Morgan the key to the city.

Morgan said he hopes his service encourages others to serve their community.

“I hope this encourages others to never be content doing for people in our community who are in need,” he said.

Morgan praised all the volunteers from Franklinton who are helping in the flood response in Baton Rouge.

“I’m proud to be a part of a community that helps others,” he said.