God providentially used several key events to draw my father, Charles Phillips Morse, to salvation and into the ministry as a creation pioneer in the late 1960s, when a six-day biblical creation was largely disbelieved.
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy delivered a shocking speech before a special joint session of Congress describing his ambitious goal of sending Americans safely to the moon before the decade’s end. Little did Kennedy know that his space scheme was a cog in the Master’s plan to relocate my MIT-educated dad, with family in tow, to southern California to accomplish other purposes for His glory.
As our nation raced toward space, God pursued rocket scientist and devout evolutionist Charles Morse. Through the ministries of godly men, my dad was confronted with his sin, realized his spiritually bankruptcy, and turned from his former life to trust in the finished work of Christ on the cross. But he still held to an evolutionary view of the world.
After suffering broken ribs from a sudden fall, my father spent a week confined to bed. The newly converted Charles Morse decided to read through the entire Bible in one week. He consumed technical journals and books like most people eat potato chips—one entire book at a time! His big conundrum was the repeated origins theme that ran through the entire Scriptures. His first study Bible had evolutionary overtones inserting great gaps between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 to explain the fossil record and openly discussed millions of years, but he was beginning to question those assumptions.
At the same time, my dad was providentially introduced to Dr. Henry Morris’ work and read The Genesis Flood. Living in the area, it was convenient for him to drive to San Diego, where he met with Dr. Morris and other creation scientists. All his questions were answered, and his conundrums vanished!
After long days designing spacecraft engine parts and other rocket gizmos, my dad glued himself each night to his brown leather reading chair, studying science and researching answers to questions like “Where did the water come from in Noah’s Flood?” and “Where did the water go?” He even encouraged me to enter a science project in our school’s science fair demonstrating his Flood theory using continental uplift as an explanation. Angering my evolutionary science professor to no end, the judges awarded my Flood model (an aquarium with dual bellows) the grand prize. I experienced the wrath of my professor the rest of my time at school.
Most people are all familiar with the macabre transmission from outer space “Houston, we have a problem.” With that, the breakdown of Apollo 13 effectively ended my dad’s lucrative engineering job and left him permanently unemployed. At that point, God took over and hired Charles Morse as a full-time creation speaker, debater, and researcher. The ex-rocket man was free to study, research, and prepare for speaking engagements while living off the seven years of plenty accrued during his Apollo heydays. My dad would sometimes attend conferences with Dr. Henry Morris and Dr. Duane Gish and toured throughout California speaking at churches, schools, and colleges. His skilled Kodak Carousel slide projectionist (me!) attended most of his sessions, often being bribed with hamburgers and milkshakes after arduous lectures that sometimes went late into the evening.
Being unconvinced of the Bible’s integrity, many young people in southern California were leaving churches in the early 1970s for other movements. The Lord used my father in the lives of many to point them back to the surety of God’s Word. Honestly, my dad was largely unknown in the creation movement, but he was not unknown to his Creator. Charles P. Morse was a pioneer in his own right because he was on the front lines when the movement was small and seemingly fragile, faithfully serving his Creator along with the few other bold men and women.
Although my dad didn’t formally publish, he unknowingly inscribed his passion for creation and why Genesis matters on the heart of his only son and namesake, Charles (Chas) Morse. Because of this and for the glory of our Creator, I count it a blessing and privilege to now serve on staff at the Institute for Creation Research.
* Charles C. “Chas” Morse received a master’s degree in management from Bellevue University in 1996 and a master’s in military studies in 2000 from Maxwell Air Force Base. After retiring from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, Mr. Morse joined ICR in 2009, where he presently serves as Director of Church and Seminar Ministries.