Listeners and viewers are frequently astounded by the voice and personality of Bishop Paul S. Morton. Whether in a televised appearance with childhood friend Aretha Franklin or in his capacity as the senior pastor of Greater St. Stephens Full Gospel Church in New Orleans, Bishop Morton is a powerful force in the spreading of "the good news." His is a voice of exceptional range and beauty, but it is something on the inside that gives him such authority. He freely acknowledges that that something is the power of the Holy Ghost.
Born into a preaching dynasty in Canada -- his mother, father, brothers, and sisters all received a calling -- Morton left the family fold to follow God's directive to go to New Orleans, where he became affiliated with the then-small Greater St. Stephens Church in 1972. Under Morton's inspirational leadership, the church has become the largest African-American church in the state, with three locations in the city. The church's numerous ministries include teaching and outreach programs, a home for "seasoned citizens," a housing development, and a school. He married a daughter of the church; his wife, Elder Debra B. Morton, became co-pastor, with her own powerful ministry. The three Morton children are all musically talented and participate in the work of the church. Pianist son Paul Morton, Jr. is the author of one of the church's most compelling songs, "Let Him In."
The Bishop's influence in the gospel community in New Orleans, the nation, and the world cannot be overstated. The visionary preacher is the founder of the Full Gospel Movement, which in just a few years became a worldwide phenomenon. It is based on the right use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as stated in scripture. Morton has the remarkable ability to encourage the best in others; the church motto is "Striving for Excellence," and a number of new churches have been spawned out of the mother church to help spread "the good news." Full Gospel Fellowship churches have been founded in countries throughout the world.
Bishop Morton has used his influence as a renowned preacher and singer to further the Biblical injunction to preach the gospel to all nations. He has a daily radio show, and a nationally broadcast television show. His award-winning CDs, such as Healing Hands, We Offer Christ, Crescent City Fire, Still Standing, Cry Your Last Tear, Best Days Yet, and Legacy: Live in New Orleans are stirring tributes to the One he serves. Truly, the message is in the music. The CDs contain many of the artist's most popular gospel hits, such as "Your Tears" and "God's Got Those Healing Hands." Morton is ably backed by the Stellar Award-winning Greater St. Stephens Full Gospel Baptist Church Choir. The Bishop also appears with the Full Gospel Baptist Mass Choir on their A New Thing, Experience the Fullness CD, which he produced. His charismatic style combines sincerity with talent, with which he seeks to "change a generation" through his ministerial exhortations to accept salvation and follow Christ. ~ Rose of Sharon Witmer