Labrador Retrievers Put Their Paws on the Gospel

Johnny Morgan’s life has really gone to the dogs, and he couldn’t be happier.

“I’m getting to use a passion of mine for God. It’s a blessing to use my Labrador retrievers to teach about obedience and present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a unique way,” Morgan, founder of the ministry Obedience 2 Death, said.

The nonprofit organization, based in Denham Springs, La., uses dogs as visual illustrations and blends timeless biblical truths with humor to show the power of obedience in a believer’s life. Morgan named his ministry after Philippians 2:8: “Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

“We have to die to ourselves,” Morgan said.

An avid hunter, Morgan was raised around hunting dogs. While growing up he trained and hunted with rabbit dogs, coon hounds and squirrel dogs. He is amazed at the quirks and turns in his life that opened the door to a ministry where dogs help lead folks to the Lord.

“God can use anything we have if we make ourselves available. It’s very humbling to me that God is using a country boy and his dogs for His glory,” Morgan said.

Obedience 2 Death ministry was birthed in July 2013.

Morgan, pastor of Live Oak Baptist Church in Denham Springs since April 1 of this year, had served as the student minister and associate pastor of the church from 2004.

When a tornado ripped the roof off the worship center in 2008, the congregation started meeting in a local high school gym. In May 2008, the church invited Hank Hough, founder of Kingdom Dogs Ministry in Houston, to make a presentation.

After that event, Morgan and Hough became friends, and eventually Morgan became a presenter for Kingdom Dogs Ministry. By 2013, Morgan knew the Holy Spirit was leading him to start his own dog ministry, and through a group of generous friends, Morgan was able to buy his first dog, a chocolate Labrador retriever.

Morgan calls the dog “Glory,” a dual champion in land and water competitions, when giving commands. But the canine is officially registered under a different name.

“When I asked Hank what Glory’s registered name was, he told me, and I got real quiet. Glory’s registered name was Psalm 46:10. That’s my life verse. It was like God had ordained Glory to be my first dog in this ministry,” Morgan said, explaining that Hough uses Scripture to register his ministry dogs with the American Kennel Club. It is a practice Morgan has continued with the purchase of his two other dogs. Zach, a 4-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, is registered as “Proverbs 3:5-6.” Morgan calls his 18-month-old yellow Labrador, Trinity, but registered the retriever as “2 Corinthians 13:14.”

“The curiosity about the dogs’ registered names has sparked conversations that have led to salvations,” Morgan said.

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Source: Baptist Press