In the early 1880's, a group of dedicated men and women, along with their children, worshipped at Bush Harbor on the land of Mr. Isaac Jones (located across the highway from our present church).
A vision of a morning star, to bring light and hope to hungry souls, and unbearable weather conditions birthed Morning Star Baptist Church (on January 25, 1986) on one
acre of land from Mr. W. H. White. The trustees for this transaction were Mr. Moses Saunders, Mr. Eley Butler, Mr. Charles Winfield, and Mr. Jacob Bailey.
Rev. Israel Cross was the first pastor succeeded by Rev. Simmons, Paige, Harris, Paige (again recalled), Harrell, Freeman, Turner, Riddick, Morgan, Diggs and Cook. During the pastorate of the earlier ministers, the foundation of our present church was built around the old one because it was built with such skill. The improvements under the later ministers included the purchasing of new pews during the pastorate of the late J. E. Williams.
The spiritual life reached an all time high during the time and of the late Rev. E. D. Harrell and Rev. C. J. Freeman. Our Hammond organ was installed while Rev. Freeman was with us. He taught us how to be successful through careful planning and unity. Our Building Fund was started during Rev. Harrell's pastorate. He introduced us to many new ideas, and our Building Fund grew because of his creativity.
Rev. Jacob Turner gave us the idea of becoming a liberal contributor to the Christian Cause. Then, our building was improved with indoor plumbing and restrooms. Rev. Willie E. Riddick was called to serve in 1970. He came with the vigor, aspiration, and enthusiasm for the youth; as well as exemplifying the love of God. He constantly reminded us that there was much to be done and continuously emphasized positive thinking or these times.
Our church was completely remolded under the pastorate of Rev. E. E. Morgan, who succeeded Rev. Willie E. Riddick. Under Rev. Morgan's leadership our church reached new dimensions in areas of Christian Education and social outreach. His attributions included the Bible Class, mortgage burning and cornerstone laying, Angelic Choir, and the purchasing of additional land. Rev. Henry E. Diggs united with us in January of 1987.
He came with a strong and powerful zest of getting things done and a charge to commence with high ideals. Under his leadership, he developed a strong and continual tithing program for our church, beautification of our sanctuary and grounds, the addition of the fellowship hall, and the baptismal pool.
Rev. Johnny L. Cook has made his name synonymous with the strong leadership and programming, and he strengthened the adage that "we will rise up and build". Towards these ends, putting God first, the past twelve years of activities have followed the same tradition of seriousness.
The untiring effort that has gone on in the past has been noticed and appreciated by many. Rev. Cook unveiled member participation in both new-and-exciting as well as tried-and-true projects. The projects have reached parallel heights through the shared vision, faith, and partnership of like-minded individuals, organizations, and groups.
During this period of time, the church has been completely redesigned, renovated, and refurbished with the sound system, stained glass windows, cushioned pews, and the computer-technology system which has just recently incorporated the Morning Star Baptist Church Web page.
Praise God for the "flow" of our great history, the seeds planted many years ago blossomed into many spiritual blessings. The commitment and talent (to God's program and spirit of humility) of our leaders proves their worth as leaders through their performed task. They built a bridge bigger and stronger than the one they crossed over.
The generations who are to come after will know that a great builder has passed their way because they will see the strength of the leadership. We are thankful for our heritage, and we pray to God that Morning Star Baptist Church will continue to be a "Beacon Light to All".