by Louise M Moore
(November 17, 2009) Stellar award nominated artist Wess Morgan has come a long way. His story of pain, hope and redemption has reached the world. He has been transformed from a drug and alcohol user into the successful independent artist, label owner and family man that he is today. But it was more than five years ago when a mix of cocaine, alcohol and road rage nearly cost him his life.
He was speeding at 90 miles per hour on a Nashville interstate with a front and backseat passenger when his vehicle slammed into an embankment, flipped over and crashed into a concrete wall. In an instant, he thought he had lost everything.
Despite the intense impact of the crash, Morgan never lost consciousness, and was not hurt. Not even a scratch. But as he crawled from the wreckage of the mangled, overturned car, he could see that his friends were not OK. They were both lying helpless, covered in blood.
When police arrived at the scene, Morgan was quickly arrested. Not knowing what his fate would be, he sat handcuffed in the backseat of the police car gazing at the LifeFlight helicopter as it airlifted his critically injured friends to Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville. "That is your friends that you probably just killed," Morgan remembers the officer saying. "You'll probably spend the rest of your life in prison for vehicular homicide."
"My heart dropped to my feet. Blood rushed to my head," recalls Morgan, fearing that he had killed two people and sealed his fate with life in prison. But by the grace of God, his friends survived.
The violent, reckless events of that night did not depict how Morgan's life had begun. He was reared in a Christian home. He, along with his parents, Pastors Joseph and Yolanda Morgan, and his siblings Joey and DeLana, had traveled and sang together for many years. But in spite of his upbringing, Morgan began using drugs and alcohol by the time he was 10 years old. His life began a downward spiral that resulted in substance abuse, jail time and recovery centers.
Although he had later gotten married (to Betsy) and had two children, Malachi and Elizabeth, he would still go back to crack houses; disappear for long periods of time and go back and forth to jail.
"While I was in jail (after the wreck) I began to talk to God and ask him for a strategy to get out of this situation and better my life," says Morgan. "I wanted to get out of jail but I knew that if I didn't have a strategy I would end right back in there."
"God gave me a strategy and went into 100 percent accountability to my family. I never went anywhere without them. I didn't trust myself."
Answering the call on his life to minister and use his musical talent, Morgan released in 2007 his debut album Look At Me Now on his own record label Bowtie World Music. The title song was Morgan's personal testimony of how God changed his life in the face of the naysayers who thought his life was hopeless. He was simply saying, "Look at me now!" Since the release of his first CD, he has earned a Stellar Award nomination and has become well known and respected in the gospel and Christian music industry for his raspy, soulful, tenor voice on songs like Look At Me Now, It's My Pleasure and He Brought Me Out, an upbeat collaboration with gospel legend Daryl Coley. Morgan's much anticipated sophomore project Under An Open Heaven was released October 2009 and is already a blessing to the body of Christ. And, his non-profit organization, Repre Foundation, is working with churches, government programs and community centers to deter youth from drugs and alcohol use, creating a safehaven for prevention and recovery.
It's been more than five years since that near fatal accident, and Morgan is officially released from his probation. Associate pastor and senior worship leader at Celebration of Life Church in Nashville, he travels the world singing and preaching about how God resurrected him from a life of irreparable shame. But, most of all, his incredible testimony has resonated with the world, offering hope and redemption from the life of a condemned man who stands now completely transformed.
For more information on Wess Morgan, go to http://www.wessmorgan.com/.