In the summer of 1925, Morning Star Baptist Church came into existence as a result of a split from Pearlie Grove Baptist Church of Jackson, MS. Reverend Albert Thornton organized Morning Star Baptist Church with fifteen members in 1925. Services were held in Cuney Hall, located on the corner of Farish and Amite Streets. There was one Deacon, Ike Brown. Two months later, five additional deacons were appointed: I. S. Brown, John Pearson, Lee James, Bill McCuring and Dempsey Lewis. Brothers Leonard Wilson, H. C. Carter and Landy McWright served as trustees. The first mothers were Lula Lofton, Carter and McQuine. The first church clerk was Clarence Winter.
The Missionary Society was organized by Sister Lula Lofton who served as its president; The Sunday School was organized by Brother Sell Mason who served as superintendent; The Baptist Training Union was organized by Brother Leonard Wilson who served as director and the Senior Choir was organized by Deacon I. S. Brown who served as president. Deacon Brown later organized other choirs and directed them for more than 29 years.
The first revival service was held under a tent on Hamilton Street with Reverend Billy Sunday, from Alabama, serving as evangelist. During this service, 25 candidates for baptism were received. Baptism took place in the Pearl River.
Under the pastorate of Reverend Thornton, land was purchased to build a church; however, Reverend Thornton resigned in 1928. Reverend James Beard and Reverend Richard Hardis then led the church for short periods. Reverend N. C. Johnson was later elected as pastor, and a frame church was built. Upon completion of the church, Reverend Johnson resigned.
In 1930, the church chose Reverend John H. Sims as pastor and he served for four years. Reverend P. E. Lott was invited to conduct revival services in June 1934, and was chosen as pastor in September of 1934. His administration lasted for 31 years, September 1934 through January 1966.
During those 31 years, Sister Lula Newman served as president of the Missionary Society. Several organizations were formed, which included the J.M.A., Matron’s League, Y.W.A., Sunshine Band, Red Circle, Crusaders and the Pastor’s Aide Club which was organized by Sister M. A. Roebuck.
Membership grew rapidly and after a short period, it became apparent that a larger building was needed to accommodate the worship service. Thus, a massive building program was started. A larger edifice was erected at 960 Kane Street in 1947. Upon Reverend Lott’s resignation, he recommended that Reverend Sterling Jones be accepted. Reverend Jones was immediately elected and preached his first sermon on February 13, 1965.
Morning Star continued to grow, and a small plot of land was purchased directly behind the church with the intention of expanding. It was later decided that a new site was needed. Two and one-half acres of land located at 3420 Albermarle Road was purchased. This land serves as home of the present church.
Reverend Jones resigned as pastor on January 25, 1970 and on March 30, 1970, Dr. M. K. Nelson was elected as the 8th pastor. Under Dr. Nelson’s leadership, he designed a half-million dollar structure which was liquidated during the first week of May 1988. On April 16, 2001, after several years of illness, God called Dr Nelson to eternal rest. The valiant men and women of this church who kept the faith through trials and tribulations give light in a dark world, peace to the troubled, compassion to the weary and love to all God’s children.
On March 9, 2002, our current pastor, Reverend John Russell Johnson, Jr. was elected to be the 9th pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church. Under his leadership, Morning Star has grown into a larger more diversified congregation with essential ministries for internal study, growth and external outreach. The following ministries were adopted under Pastor Johnson: Daughters of Destiny, Prison, Crown, Greeters, Brotherhood, Assimilation, Children’s Church, Transportation, Young Adult Choir, and Adopt-A-School. The following services and activities were changed or modified under Pastor Johnson: Christmas Eve Worship Service, Mid-day Bible Study, and Fun and Family Day were established. Vacation Bible School was restructured to incorporate the entire family. A Church website, Church newsletter, Church family and pictorial directories were developed. Other activities to include the annual Couples Sweetheart Banquet and an alternative to the traditional Halloween were implemented.
- Young Males Ministry (13-25 years old)
- Senior Adult Ministry
- Singles Ministry
- New Parking Facility
- Family Life Center