John Morrison was the first of two children born to Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Morrison, a socially prominent East Coast couple. During his freshman year in high school, he rebelled against his parents, until he became a Christian. He later attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania, where he met his future wife, Mary James. There, John Morrison studied to be a lawyer, and, after marrying Mary, the two moved back East for him to attend law school. Following law school, the couple moved to Coleraine, where John became a lawyer.
Since that time, John Morrison has developed a reputation as a wise, dependable, trustworthy man. He is now the mayor of Coleraine, now with five children.
Mary James Morrison grew up in a Wisconsin college town, where her father, Michael, taught history. She learned early on how to play hard, as she had to compete with her six brothers. However, even though she had a tomboy’s spirit, she found her joy and passion in books. History was a love of hers - passed on from her father, as well as literature. Mary liked the intellectual environment that she grew up in, learning how to think for herself and defend her beliefs. Mary was very hard on her mother, Elizabeth, because she was very much feminine and conservative, and Mary was far from that girlish stereotype. Mary had a fiery spirit even as a child and often became excited and passionate over things she believed in.
The Jameses attended church together regularly, and when Mary became a Christian in first grade, it seemed the most natural thing in the world for her. From that early age, she read and asked questions about the Bible just as much as she did about other books she loved. Mary, independent by nature, decided to attend a private Christian college in Pennsylvania. It was at this college where she met her husband John.
Brooke Morrison is the first-born, and by nature, she is very reliable. Being the oldest in a pretty big family, Brooke almost had no choice but to become the responsible one. Although it’s always been easy for John and Mary to lean on Brooke, they both tried their best to allow her to act her own age. At the age of 5, Brooke took her daddy’s hand one night, and told him she was ready to ask Jesus into her heart. Even as a little girl, when Brooke had thought about something enough and had come to a decision, there was no going back.
Like Mary, Brooke loves books and stories. As a young girl, she just couldn’t get enough when her father read the Bible out loud at night. Like John, Brooke has an easy way with people, and a natural ability to be who she is no matter whom she is with. She has never been one to spend a whole lot of time getting ready or trying to fix herself up. Her shoulder-length curly brown hair is usually pulled back simply, and she feels no need to wear make-up. After all, who does she have to impress? Just as John's friends looked to him and sought his approval, Brooke’s friends always look to her - she was a silent leader. She loves her little brothers and little sister, and they all look up to her and love how special she makes each of them feel.
During the summer before entering high school, Brooke decides to go out for cross country. She loves to run, but mostly she figures it will be a good way to get to know people before school begins. As the first day of high school approaches, despite all her confidence, her knees are a little shaky.
Justin Morrison is the second child in the Morrison family, and let’s just say he was never the average rough-and-tumble little boy. Even before he could talk, Justin was a studier. He just always seemed to know something that no one else knew. He loved to curl up with mom or dad while they read to him and Brooke... he had such an attention span. Justin was way ahead of the rest of his class when he started school, and his strong will and kindness made him very well liked. When he wasn’t in school, Brooke often helped him mix potions together in his younger years to try and figure out how things worked. Justin has always been quick to help Michael when school problems arise, and Michael has always been there for Justin when he needs assistance in sports.
This messy-haired blond boy was always full of questions in Sunday school. Justin, however, did not pray to ask Christ into his life until he was entering the third grade. He wasn’t about to take that big step until he was absolutely sure. Give Justin a rocket to build or a math problem to solve, and he’ll happily show you a thing or two. He concentrates so hard on whatever he’s doing that he doesn’t always notice when his shoes are untied or his glasses are on crooked. But the thought of entering junior high makes his stomach a bit upset. Justin may be the brains of the family, but he’s still got a lot to learn.
At first glance, Michael Morrison doesn't seem to fit in too well with the rest of the Morrison family. He doesn't like reading, doesn't care too much for school, isn't exactly graceful, and is frequently in hot water at school and at home. Often, the only thing that gets him out of trouble is his charming smile or the twinkle in his eye. There is more to Michael than trouble, though. He is a true athlete who excels at every sport he tries, but even though he's rough and tough on the playing field, he does have a tremendously sensitive heart. He also loves to entertain an audience, which makes him quite the class (and family) clown.
After Justin became a Christian, he was consumed and excited by his new faith. This rubbed off on Michael, who would lie awake at nights on the top bunk in the room he shared with his brother and listen to Justin tell him why he should become a Christian. Michael figured Justin was smart, and the whole notion of becoming a Christian seemed to make sense to him, too, so one night, at age six, Michael decided he wanted a change in his life, and prayed with Dad to ask Christ into his heart.
Now, Michael faces another change—the 5th grade. There is a new girl in his class, and a new teacher to get accustomed to. Hopefully, his heart and his abilities will carry him through this exciting year in one piece.
Haley is the fourth child in the Morrison family, and is easily the most talkative of the family. Haley is smart, charming, and fun loving. She has always surrounded herself with a large group of friends. She’s a social butterfly and a girl in every sense of the word. Like Michael, she has a good heart and is always interested in other people and their stories. Things aren’t all sunshine for Haley, though-unlike other members of her family, she places high value on physical appearance. Her long blond hair means a lot to her, and, unlike Brooke, she would love to be allowed to wear make-up. She’s easily swayed by what the popular kids are wearing and doing. As if that weren’t enough, her talkative nature often gets her into sticky situations-she just can’t seem to tame her tongue!.
In fact, sometimes she’s talking so much that she can’t listen very well. Thankfully, God was able to break through. One summer, Haley decided to attend Vacation Bible School so she could be around other kids. When her friend stayed home sick one day, Haley was quiet enough to listen to what the teacher had to say-and to hear that she needed a Savior. At the age of seven, she accepted Christ into her life as her Savior-a direct result of a VBS lesson-and prayed a prayer for salvation with her VBS teacher. She then went home and eagerly told the whole family about her experience.
This fall is a changing point for Haley-fourth grade is exciting and new, and she’s really becoming aware of image and peer pressure. This promises to be a big year of growth for Haley as she makes some interesting new friends and figures out her place among her classmates.
Born the baby of the family, Tim "Timmy" Morrison loves to get that extra attention to know he is special. Since he was the last child home with mom, they enjoyed their one-on-one time reading together, going to the park, running errands and building forts. And he especially loved those days when dad would come home from the office to have lunch with just him and mom. Although he can entertain himself with his wild imagination, there’s nothing he loves more than to spend time with his brothers and sisters. Timmy tries his best to avoid trouble, but has been known to find himself right in the middle of it - although his heart is usually on the right path.
One autumn day when he and Mary were on a walk to see the fallen leaves, he began asking her a lot of questions about why the leaves changed color and die. Soon, Timmy was asking deeper questions about life and death. Mary told him of heaven and how Jesus is the only way there. Timmy knew about these stories already, but it finally made sense to him. That day mom prayed with Timmy, and he became a Christian.
Though it’s easy for Timmy to make new friends, he’s not very excited about going into Mrs. Wynkoop’s first grade class. After all, he won’t even have a cubbie to keep his blanket in anymore like he did in kindergarten. But most of all, he’s not looking forward to being separated from his mom all day.
Hope Morrison (Turner)
Hope was introduced to DGL in episode 110, "The Hope That Heals," and became a fixture in the Morrison household throughout the last four seasons of DGL. At first she was the Morrison's foster child, but she was adopted by them in the Season Ten episode "a hope by any other name"
Hope is about six years old and has been through much in her short life, living with her grandmother after her mother signed away her rights to Hope. With the help of the Morrisons, she has adjusted to a "normal" family life and has become a Christian.
Grace Andrews is blind, and has lived in Coleraine since the middle of Season One. She lived in Coleraine when she was a young girl, but she was in a car accident that blinded Grace and killed her parents. Up until Season 4 much of Grace's childhood and espicially her injury had been kept a secret by the Richter's. It is revealed in this season that Tom Richter caused the accident that blinded Grace and killed her parents. Grace is good friends with the Morrisons as well as a mentor and Sunday School teacher for many of the local kids.
The Richter family
The Richters are one of the main families in Down Gilead Lane. Tom and Monica Richter have three children: Caleb, Tiffany, and Maya. Maya is very good friends with the Morrisons, and for a long time she was the only Christian in the Richter family. Later Caleb became a Christian and now attends college with Luke Taylor. Tom also became a Christian in later seasons.
Born into an affluent Coleraine household, Maya has never really felt like she belonged in the Richter family. In fact, Maya has never really felt like she belonged anywhere. She has felt pressured to excel in everything she does - to excel as her brother, Caleb, and her sister, Tiffany, have done. Second-best isn’t an option in the Richter family; Maya is well aware of that. The problem is that everything Maya is in, Tiffany is in too, and everyone, including Tiffany, is so busy praising Tiffany that Maya is virtually forgotten. Inspired by the Morrison family as well as her relationship with best friend Michael, Maya learns to simply trust God. Day by day, things start coming into place.
Jeremiah Key is the Morrisons' neighbor. For the majority of his time with Down Gilead Lane, Mr. Key was not a Christian and displayed hostility towards the Christian faith. Later we find out his father was a minister who deserted his family, explaining Mr. Key's apprehension towards Christianity. He later becomes a Christian shortly before his death, with no evidence of his relationship with Jesus but a small note scribbled in his journal.