Our Director - Pastor Robert Morris, M. Div
Pastor Robert Morris, M.Div
Bob Morris was born October 29, 1947 in Newport, Rhode Island, the first-born son of a Jewish mother and Gentile father. He was circumcised and redeemed in accordance with Jewish law by a local Rabbi. Beyond that, however, he received no spiritual training. As a teenager, he rejected his Jewishness on a religious basis and only grudgingly admitted that his heritage was Jewish.
In 1966-67, during his sophomore year at the University of Washington, he encountered genuine Christians. Because of these contacts, he received Jesus as his personal Savior when he was 19 years old. As a result of Bible study, Bob saw that Jesus was also his promised, Holy, Jewish Messiah. At that time, he embraced his Jewishness.
Bob and Susan were married April 26, 1969, and they have two children: David born in 1971 and Jenessa born in 1974.
In December 1979, Bob met Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Director of Ariel Ministries, at a prophecy conference held at Bob's church. God used the Biblical message presented by Dr. Fruchtenbaum to convince Bob that he should be personally involved in presenting the message of Jesus the Messiah to his own Jewish people.
In May 1981, he set a new precedent by becoming Ariel's first volunteer missionary. He established the Beth Ariel Center in Seattle, Washington and for three years saw the programs at the Center effectively disciple Jewish and Gentile believers. The Center grew to the point where Bob felt called to full time missionary service.
In September 1984, Bob and his family moved to Portland, Oregon to attend Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in order to prepare for a future staff position with Ariel Ministries. He completed a Masters of Divinity program with a concentration in Jewish ministries in the Spring of 1988.
In the fall of 1989, he planted Kehilat Ha-Mashiah (Congregation of the Messiah), a Messianic Jewish congregation in Portland, OR. Bob served as the Teaching Elder for the first seven years of the congregation's existence. During that time, he watched the church grow from 15 to 140 people in attendance and saw a steady number of Jewish people come to faith in Jesus. Concurrently, he carried out responsibilities as a Bible camp director/teacher and as a conference speaker. These ministries took him across the United States as well as to Russia, Germany, and Israel.
In the fall of 1997, Bob and Susan moved to Southern California to become Ariel Ministries Executive Director. He reorganized the ministry, began and directed Ariel's Department of Missions and Training, and served as Field Representative.
In March 2001, Bob began another pioneering work when he became the Director of HaDavar Messianic Ministries in Irvine, CA. HaDavar's field of service is Southern California, the second largest Jewish population center in the United States. Bob's ministry focus consists primarily of teaching the Bible from a Jewish perspective, thereby training Christians to reach their Jewish contacts effectively. He also supports evangelistic activities on college campuses as well as training local Messianic fellowships, Messianic congregations, and conventional churches.