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King University News :: Michael Morgan to Showcase First Generation of the English Bible at Bristol Public Library during Buechner Institute Bonus Lecture Sept. 2

BRISTOL, Tenn., Aug.5, 2014 – As part of the Buechner Institute 2014-15 Lecture Series, musician and avid collector Michael Morgan will present “The First Generation of the English Bible, from John Wycliffe through the King James Bible” at the Bristol Public Library at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Morgan will also present a lecture to the King University Music Department on Handel’s Messiah on Sept. 2. The event is co-sponsored by Bristol Herald Courier and King’s Music Department.

“We are thrilled to have Michael share his collection with King and the surrounding community,” said W. Patrick Flannagan, professor of Music and director of choral activities at King University. “Michael is one of the leading collectors of Bibles, psalters, and certain historical musical scores. He will bring along with him an original 1611 King James Bible. There are three original printings of Handel’s Messiah; he owns all three. This is a rare opportunity for our community to experience such rare treasures.”

During Morgan’s lecture at the Bristol Public Library, he will share some of the incredible stories of the first English Bibles through the years of the Reformation to the appearance of the Authorized King James Version in 1611. “It is a story which is seldom told, and vividly comes to life through the exhibit of Bibles that form an important link with the past,” said Morgan. “Included will be original versions by William Tyndale (the martyr), Miles Coverdale (the bishop), the first ‘licensed’ Bible in English, the ‘Great Bible’ of King Henry VIII, the Bible of the English and Scottish refugees who fled Britain during the reign of ‘Bloody’ Mary, the Bishops’ Bible of Queen Elizabeth, the first Catholic versions, and a rare first printing of the [1611] King James Bible.”

Michael Morgan, a native of Pine Mountain, Ga., recently retired from nearly 40 years’ service as organist at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and continues to serve as the Seminary Musician at Columbia Theological Seminary. He holds degrees from Florida State University and Atlanta University, and did postgraduate work at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. He holds the highest certification of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians and has served as dean of the Atlanta Chapter, American Guild of Organists.

Morgan’s “Psalter for Christian Worship,” a metrical paraphrase of the entire book of Psalms, was published by Witherspoon Press in 1999 (revised edition, 2010), and has found wide acceptance throughout the U.S. and in Great Britain. In 1970, he acquired his first early English Bible, and, to date, he has amassed what is perhaps the most comprehensive private collection in the country, with over 4,500 volumes, representing virtually every translation in English of the Bible, the New Testament, the Gospels, and the Psalms. He has played recitals and seminars and has led worship services across the U.S., England, France, Spain, Germany, and Switzerland.

Michael Morgan will speak on “The First Generation of the English Bible, from John Wycliffe through the King James Bible” at the Bristol Public Library on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Pat Flannagan at, 423.652.4846 or visit


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