Floyd Emerson Morris—born July 23, 1969, in Bailey’s Vale, Jamaica—had little expectation of academic and political success when he lost his sight as a young man as a result of glaucoma and left high school to become a poultry farmer. In spite of his visual impairment, however, and the countless challenges involved, Morris later enrolled in college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a Master of Philosophy in Government. In 2017 he graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of the West Indies. His most notable achievement, though, was being elected president of the Jamaican Senate in May 2013—the first visually impaired person to hold that position. He served as senate president until February 2016.
Morris is known in the region for being a strong advocate for people with disabilities, and actively promotes the passage of bills and programs that benefit this community. He has also written an autobiography titled By Faith, Not by Sight.
Although lauded by many for his accomplishments—including Adventist world church leaders at the General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas, in 2015—Morris credits God and his family for his success.
“I believe that God has a special plan for my life, and I have allowed Him to lead and direct me—and I am seeing the benefits of that faith in Him,” Morris told Adventist World. “God and support from friends and family have played an indelible role in the successes that I have had over the years as a blind person.”
Morris has been married to his wife, Shelly-Ann Gayle, since 2011. The couple are members of the Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kingston, Jamaica.