Oswald "Os" Howard Morley


Oswald "Os" Howard Morley is remembered as an earnest personal evangelist, as well as an excellent athlete and the Coach and Athletic Director who played a pivotal role in establishing the athletic programs at Fort Wayne Bible College (FWBC). In one sense, intercollegiate athletics began at FWBC in 1952-1953. But when "Os" arrived on campus in 1959, he inherited what were little more than club sports, which he then led into serious varsity competition. The programs he scheduled usually overpowered his own squads, but the bar was set for real engagement with recognized opponents. Os coached and taught eight years at FWBC (1959-1967), and in that time he laid the foundations for a multi-sport athletic program. His best season at FWBC (1964-1965) came when his own son Steve was a senior on the basketball team. They had their first winning record (14-9) and claimed the Lincoln Christian College Tournament championship. Os also made ministry and evangelistic outreach a trademark of athletics at FWBC. He took seriously the early FWBC athletic nickname, "Ambassadors," and wanted every player to be a genuine ambassador for Jesus Christ.

Oswald Howard Morley was born on December 20, 1914, in Yoncalla, Oregon and died in Lake Havasu City, Arizona on November 29, 1998. He spent some of his early years in California, then graduated from Salem High School back in Oregon in 1934. He married Virginia Mason in 1940. He was the father of Tamara Ann (FWBC 1961) and Stephen Howard (FWBC 1965) and grandfather of four grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren, whom he loved deeply.

Os attended a three year program at Northwestern College in Minneapolis (1947-1950).  After graduating in 1950, he was ordained that same year by First Baptist Church back in Salem, Oregon. While studying at Northwestern, Os had served as a player-coach for the school; and, following graduation, he stayed on as Coach and Athletic Director for another seven years. There he coached a variety of sports, including men's and women's basketball. One of his players, Floyd "Gundy" Habich was good enough to scrimmage routinely with the Minneapolis Lakers, who begged him to play for them; but Floyd followed God's call to career missionary service with the Ifugao people in the Philippines.

There followed two one-year stints at Pillsbury College in Owattona, Minnesota (1957-1958) and Buffalo Bible Institute in New York (1958-1959). Then, after his time at FWBC, where his son Steve would succeed him, Os finished his career in higher education at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa (1967-1982), where he was Dean of Students, Athletic Director, and until 1970, Coach.

Os kept right on working in a variety of positions after formal retirement and served for four years as Pastor of Desert Hills Baptist Church in Tuscon, Arizona (1986-1990).

Os was a serious athlete for many decades, playing basketball into his 50's and tennis and golf even longer, until shoulder surgery precluded competitive matches. When he was in his mid-50's and living in Fort Wayne, Os was assaulted on the street by two young thugs seeking to rob him. Os knocked out one assailant, chased down and tackled the other, then took his captives to the police station, witnessing to both about the love of God while doing so. He ultimately led one of the young men to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Os combined fearless athleticism and stern discipline with a warm heart and constant concern for the personal salvation of everyone he met.