The Church established a Bus Ministry in May of 2003, and the Richard T. Donaldson Scholarship was established in honor of its contributor, to help our graduating High School seniors attend college. Our Youth department also received accolades for active participation and dedication to the mission of the Durham County Youth Council. We now have a church website and we can reach even further into the world with the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have experienced tremendous growth in all areas of the church, including the addition of two more new deacons, Kelley and LeSane. We have even more to thank God for as Pastor Henderson has led us to the retirement of our church mortgage, and the mortgage for our Mitchell House.
Once again we give God all the PRAISE, all the HONOR, and all the GLORY, because without Him we could not have come this far.
B r i e f H i s t o r y o f M o r n i n g S t a r
The Morning Star Baptist Church was conceived out of God’s masterful plan and under His Holy guidance when we were called from our former church body. Rev. Johnny Leak began to hold healing and bonding services, which began June 2, 1990 and were held at the Scarborough & Hargett Memorial Chapel. Twenty-one people attended the first service.
In July of 1990, members of a Young Adult Missionary group met at the home of Reverend and Mrs. Leak and the fellowship was named “Mission for Christ." Their goals were to visit nursing homes and to assist families referred by Social Services. During this time, Brothers James Holland, Denson Kelley, David Jones, Mack Baker, and Sisters Lois Hinton and Sheila Leak worked together through their suggestions and helped the fellowship become a church. Rev. Leak was officially elected as Minister. Then in September, the Missions For Christ Fellowship became the “Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church". Finalization of the name took place at the “Visions of Victory Fall Retreat," held November 10th at the Markham Chapel Baptist Church in Durham.
During this meeting the body officially became a Church, adopted a constitution, obtained a tax-exempt status, and began financial planning for land and a new building. Reverend Leak was validated as the Pastor of the Church.
In December of 1990, Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church was incorporated by the State of North Carolina, accepted into the New Hope Missionary Baptist Association, and accepted into the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
In February of the following year, Morning Star purchased 2.6 acres of land for our Church Building. The choirs were formed as funds were raised to complete the land purchase. The Church secured a grand piano and organ as construction of the current edifice began. Construction was completed in May of 1995, and we marched into our new worship center.
In June of 1995 Deacon Melvin Baker gave his initial sermon, and became Morning Star’s first Associate Minister, and the fellowship hall was named the Scarbough/Byrum Fellowship Hall, out of respect to them for the use of their facility for almost 5 years. Reverend Johnny Leak continued to serve as pastor until October of 1995.
In March of 1996, the Reverend E. L. Clark, Jr. became Morning Star’s second pastor. The church grew as new programs and ministries were added. New Members Orientation was held every quarter, the Ushers held their first Usher’s Retreat, and the youth held their first Sleep over. A Spring Festival was added as well as Morning Star’s first Young Adult Choir, and a quarterly Family night program to promote fellowship and Christian unity. Under Pastor Clark, Deacon Edward Bernard Jones gave his initial sermon and became Morning Star’s second Associate Minister. And the Reverend Timothy Burrell joined the church family.
Deacons Henry McLean and Israel Hill were added to the Deacon Ministry, and the Trustee Ministry increased to 11 members. The Mitchell House was purchased in 2000, as even more programs were added. Reverend Clark resigned as pastor in July of 2000.
Then the Lord sent us the Reverend William A. Henderson, Sr in March of 2001. Under Pastor Henderson’s leadership, many new ministries have been initiated. We also started an annual Worship in the Park service, and we have an annual Fashion Share program coordinated by our First Lady Sister Shanequia Henderson.