How it all began ...

With a degree in English, Morris was involved in a number of theater productions as a young man. Later, in his first parish, he coordinated the creation of an ensemble performance of the Gospel of Mark called Mark-on-Tour. The 16 actors performed 8 performances in different churches in the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1997. Many of the same actors came together again three years later — plus ten children — and performed it as an ensemble six times at the Church of the Transfiguration and called it Mark 2000: The Millennial Gospel.

Two years later, a broken leg requiring two surgeries and a long bed-ridden recovery provided the opportunity for Fr. Joseph to revisit the Gospel of Mark. This time, he decided to memorize the entire Gospel himself and research if it might be possible to perform it as a one-man endeavor.

During those five months, he read every commentary he could find on the Gospel of Mark and books on one-man shows. He attended one-man shows, such as of the Gospel of John  performed by Bradley Sherrill and appreciated his advice. He met with Dr. John Gentile, a professor of drama at Kennesaw State University, and discussed the possibility with him.

When the first performances of Mark's Gospel LIVE were booked in the fall of 2002, the priest was still hobbling. The intention was to perform one season, but since then Mark's Gospel LIVE has enjoyed hundreds of performances throughout the U.S., U.K., and Canada. 

Ellen Kennerly