"We've lost our sense of shame in society. We are living on the perfume of an empty bottle." - Larry Morrow
by Michele A. Yowler

The Voice of Cleveland: Larry Morrow Speaks to Society's Sins

Meet Larry Morrow, one of the best known and respected personalities in Ohio. He began his career in Cleveland radio in 1966 as a Disk Jock with WIXY 1260-AM, one of the highest rated radio stations in America at the time. Cleveland radio was instrumental in establishing a national "break-out" market by being the first to play new Rock and Roll records and introducing fans to new up and coming artists. Morrow recalls. "It was a wild time."

Morrow's arrival to the city is chronicled in his memory as the day the city was burning down, July 23, 1966. "It was a time of moral, spiritual, and civic decay." Cleveland became the butt of jokes on a national level. Inquiries included, "Is Cleveland the end of the world?" The reply, "No but you can see the end of the world from Cleveland." Morrow took personal offense to this and others negative comments.

Believing that Cleveland was a great place to live and raise a family, Morrow began a personal campaign using his position from a highly rated radio morning show to speak positively about the city. "I had a sign I kept in my office for many years. It said - Cleveland is the greatest city in America to live, work, play and raise a family."

Cleveland's history has taken her from being ridiculed as being as effective as a one legged stool to an all-American City. Morrow was instrumental in this endeavor.

In 1979 Morrow was active in a citywide effort to bring Cleveland together and change the attitudes of her people toward their city. He along with other leaders of the city joined the mayor of the city, George Voinovich, in walking the streets of the most troubled neighborhoods in Cleveland. They spoke with the people who lived and worked in these areas. They listened to the issues facing the schools and businesses. Then they worked hand in hand to bring about resolutions. One-on-one conversations changed the way problems were addressed. A problem with the city became a personal issue for everyone involved. This movement altered the attitude the residents had of their city. Soon they took ownership of situations and began to effect changes. The nation took notice. Cleveland experiences a rebirth. Today it is considered a great place to live as well as a celebrated vacation destination.

It was during this time that Mayor Voinovich proclaimed Morrow as "Mr. Cleveland".

Affecting the lives of people individually is the way Larry believes he has gained the respect of many people. Larry makes 100 -250 appearances a year. His positive outlook has become contagious for residents of Cleveland as well as the prominent visitors that have visited the city.

He has met many influential people throughout his 37 years in radio. Most notably, when President's Carter, Regan, Bush and Clinton came to Cleveland, Larry was asked to introduce them.

Currently, Morrow is involved in a new campaign. His endeavor includes working with area church leaders and evangelists to change the attitude of people toward Jesus Christ.

He began to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ when a pastor pointed out that knowing Jesus is different than walking with him. Morrow seeks to live out what the Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:15 "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." He aspires to hear the words many Christians aim to hear when they stand before Jesus Christ, `Well done, good and faithful servant!'

Every morning Morrow can be hear introducing Alistair Begg's radio program, Truth for Life, which airs three times daily. Working with Alistair Begg has challenged Morrow to become a stronger Christian. "I am continuing to grow and want to fulfill the longings in my heart to spread the gospel. The truth spoken by Alistair has gripped my heart."

Our society still faces many moral and spiritual issues. "We've lost our sense of shame in society. We are living on the perfume of an empty bottle." Larry believes that in order for our society to continue to advance we need to take steps toward acknowledging our iniquity. By learning what the Bible says about sin and adopting the solutions offered by God, we could effect lasting change. Choosing to obeying the Word of God and following the commandments of Jesus Christ he believes we can turn our society around. Larry wants to affect the lives of people in the community who are leading confused lives by introducing them to Jesus and the answers He has for their lives.

Note: This article was written prior to the September 11 attack.

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