Our Church History
We are blessed with a rich history that is filled with wonderful
milestones and spans more than 125 years.
History of the Morning Star Baptist Church
In 1891, the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church was in the infancy of a very humble beginning. It was a time of great depression all across the country, reaching every nook and corner of America. A small group of devoted Christians discussed the possibility of beginning a new church for their generation. With an inspiration similar to that of Andrew Bryon, a slave and Pastor of the First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia, this courageous group had as its Spiritual Leader, Rev. C. Saunders, a man with a vision. There were only thirteen members and their leader.
A lot was purchased on South Lee Street, and a building was erected with one door and two wooden shutters for windows. Bench like pews without backs were fastened to the walls. Comfort was a byword with these faithful followers. Small kerosene lamps were attached to the walls, providing light for night services. Despite all the hardships, the brave thirteen carried on and God was with them. For thirteen years, Rev. Saunders served faithfully until God called him home in 1906.
God’s people, given a new symbol of life and hope, were then led to call to the pastorate Rev. E. J. Wesley, who served for two years (1906-1908). In 1908, after Rev. Wesley resigned, Rev. John Henry Harrison was called as pastor. He proved to be not only a pastor, but a builder as well. The present simple building was torn down and another was erected, much larger to accommodate members and friends. New pews and electric lights were installed to the delight of the congregation. Members were added to the church roll, and Morning Star climbed steadily under the leadership of this Gospel Giant. After twelve prosperous years, Rev. Harrison resigned in favor of Rev. L. M. Mathis. Under his pastorate, God blessed the church and Rev. Mathis was called to an even greater work.
Morning Star was then without a pastor for five months. In April 1924, the Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson was called as pastor. Finding only $5.07 in the church treasury, Rev. Johnson was not discouraged. He began improving every department of the church and organizing auxiliaries for the benefit of the membership.
The church was painted inside and outside. New pews were added at the cost of $600.00. Considering future growth, Morning Star purchased two lots on South Troupe Street for erecting a new church home, but the idea was abandoned and the lots were sold.
Under Rev. Johnson’s leadership, the Missions Department put in new restrooms at the cost of $235.00 and a pool was installed. The new Sunday School rooms were completed at a cost of several thousand dollars. Rev. Johnson, with God’s help and guidance, proved his ability to lead.
The third time the church was dedicated was July 14-20th, 1941. Officers were as listed: Deacons: Lorene Marshall, John Marshall, Jesse Edward, Lewis Williams, John Thomas, Simon Randall, W. M. Jackson, Henry Moore, W. M. Robertson, Hilton Mansfield, Wesley Scruggs, Edward J. Jefferson, A. C. Morris, Thomas Jones, John Lloyd, John Rogers, Austin S. Gatlin, Solomon Perry, Peter Mazon, John Stockey, Andrew McLendon, Rephard Benjamin Moore, Sherman Morrell, Johnnie Crawford, Marion Johnson, S. Roberts, E. Johnson, Henry Bevel, Robert Farmer, Will Morris, Elliot Holtzendoff, Louis T. Boyd, and Willie Sampson.
Assistant Clerks: Catherine Scott, Catherine Boyd, and Hazel Gibbs, and Anne Bell Thompson.
Musicians: Josie Hunter and Laverne Register.
Since that time, other church members have served faithfully. They include: Ever Ready Club: Georgia Anderson and Essie Hall (30 years).
Choir Directors: Rev. Rephard Benjamin Moore (1941), Rev. Marion Calvin Johnson (1944), Arthur Hall (1949-1953), Thelma Scott (1955-1990), Lillie Mae Williams (1972-1975), Hazel Hall Gibbs (1975-1995), Frank Moore (1994-1995), Melissa Bradley (1994-1995). More recent choir directors include Marion Duckworth, Altamese Morgan, Fairie Tooley, and Donna Ebron.
Clerks: Viola Miller, Hattie Lucille Riley, Sarah Jones, Bettye Wilson, (1963-2001) (Lawanna Hodge and Veronica Graham, Assistant Clerks)
Financial Secretary: Hazel Gibbs (1958-2001)
Matron of Youth Department: Atlanta Wilson (Over 40 Years), Sis. Sarah Jones (1981-1994), Sis. Carol Stevenson (1994 – 2006).
B.T.U. President: Atlanta Wilson (1957-1995)
Secretary of Senior Choir: Sis. Odessa Homer served for over 35 years.
In 1958 and 1959 an Extension School was opened at Morning Star then located 425 South Lee Street. The class was taught by Rev. Douglas M. Reddick. The following were enrolled in this class: Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson, Rev. Marion Calvin Johnson, Sis Atlanta Wilson, Rev. Henry B. Bland, Sis. Ella Harper Bland, Sis. Ethel Carter, Rev. and Mrs. Ezekiel King Howell, Rev. and Mrs. James Louis Lomax, Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Lester, Sis. Mary Marable, Bro. Eddie Hunter, Rev. Booker T. Jenkins, Sis. Lula Roberts, Rev. L. A. Whitehurst and Bro. L. M. Wright.
Another Stepping Stone
Lots #785 and 767 on South Troupe Street were purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Edward Louis Boykin in 1958 at a cost of $1250.00. These lots were selected by the late Brothers Robert Gunter, Dan Emanuel and George Phillips for the future home of the Church. On March 31, 1958, Ground Breaking for the Greater Morning Star Church was held with Rev. Marion Calvin Johnson as Master of Ceremonies. The program was as follows:
Opening Song . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………… . . . . . . . . Pinevale Chorus
Scripture: 127th Psalm . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………. Rev. Ezekiel King Howell
Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………………………Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson
Scripture: Psalm 115:1-15 . . . . . . . . . . ……………………… Rev. Ezekiel King Howell
Song…………………………….. “My Lord is Riding” …. . . . . . . . . . . . Pinevale Chorus
Prayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………………………………Rev. Marion Calvin Johnson
Scripture: Genesis 29:10-22 . . . . . . . ………………………… Rev. Ezekiel King Howell
Hymn #491, “I Love Thy Kingdom Lord” was lined by the pastor. The address was given by Rev. James Louis Lomax. His subject, “The Soil”, was an inspiration to all. The members were then arranged in groups for taking pictures. First Group: Rev. and Mrs. Calvin Boyd Johnson, Second Group: Little Maude Johnson and Bro. Elliot Holtzendoff, oldest Superintendent. Third Group: Lizzie H. Jackson and Mary Lester, oldest members with the longest memberships. Fourth Group: Sherman Morrell and Andrew McClendon, oldest deacons. Fifth Group: Dan Emanuel, Samuel E. Johnson, Lawyer Brown, Cortez Smith, Arthur Hall, Robert Gunter, faithful trustees. Sherman Morrell, Will Morris, Johnnie Crawford, Robert Farmer, Henry Bevel, Elliot Holtzendoff, and Samuel E. Johnson, faithful deacons. Bro. Cephus Harrell, faithful Janitor.
Ground breaking: One member from each auxiliary placed one shovel of dirt on the ground led by the pastor:
The Church . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………………..……… Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson
Deacons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………………………Andrew McLendon
Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………. . Dan Emanuel
Deaconesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………………………….Flora Jefferson
Mission. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …………………….. . Eliza Tarver, Junior Mission
Missions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………….. Annie R. Hall
Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………………………….. . . Mary Lester
Ushers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………… . . Kirbie Farmer
Bible Class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………. . . . Katie Harrell
B.T.U. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………………………….. Atlanta Wilson
Floral Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ……………………………….. . Lizzie Jackson
Every Ready Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………… . . Marie Overstreet
Pulpit Aid Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………… . . . . Ida Powell
Sr. Choir . . . . . . . . . . . …………………………. . Hattie Samuels & Mary Ollie Sirmans
Donation (Mr. Clifford Mitchell) . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………… . . . $10.00
Total Raised . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ………………………………… . . $20.00
Ministers Presents: Reverends Calvin Boyd Johnson, Marion Calvin Johnson, Ezekiel King Howell, James Louis Lomax and L. Whitehurst.
The pastor lined the Hymn “A Charge To Keep I Have.” Benediction was given by Rev. James Louis Lomax.
The Church building itself was finished by November 18, 1962. The dedication service was held the 3rd Sunday in November 1962. The pastor and members marched from the old church on 425 South Lee Street to the new sanctuary on 761 South Troupe Street. The march started at 10:00 A.M. led by Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson and Deacon Will Morris. Upon arrival at the Church, the Ribbon was cut by Sister Lizzie Jackson. Devotional Service was led by Deacon Johnnie Crawford. Prayer was by Deacon Robert Farmer. The song, “It Is In My Mind” was led by Deacon Will Morris. The Rev. Marion Calvin Johnson from First Baptist Church of West Tampa, Florida, his choir, and congregation were special guest for the service. Rev. Marion Calvin Johnson preached the sermon and all rejoiced in the Spirit of the Lord. Before and after the transition from Lee Street to Troupe Street the Rev. James Burnell Robinson served the Pastor and congregation as an associate minister for four years.
On Sunday, November 15, 1970, Rev. Marion Calvin Johnson, his choir, and congregation were special guests for our Homecoming and burning of the Church Mortgage. Rev. Marion Calvin Johnson preached the sermon. Mr. Daniel Emanuel presented the Mortgage. Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson led the responsive reading. The Mortgage was burned by the oldest member, Sister Lizzie Jackson, and the youngest member, Little Tammy Mabry. Offering, remarks, and benediction was given by Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson. Dinner was served at 1:00 p.m.
Since then, the Greater Morning Star Baptist Church’s front parking lot has been paved, the men’s and women’s restroom and the Baptism Pool have been tiled, and a new roof has been put on the Church. The Junior Choir presented an outside bulletin board in 1969. Church hymnals were dedicated January 7, 1973, a gift from the Ever Ready Club. A committee, chaired by the late Mrs. Lilla Williams, presented the Church Sound Systems. A new wing has been built and furnished, housing the pastor’s study and the ladies’ lounge. The Sunday School area has been carpeted. Mrs. Ethel Lee Howard donated the Order of Service cards. A Tract Rack has been placed in the entrance to the church, a gift from Mission Circle #2. Bros. Dan Emanuel, Cortez Smith and Frank Wilson were ordained deacons. Since the passing of Deacon Will Morris, Bro. Dan Emmanuel became the Trustee and Treasurer. Vacation Church School was held for two weeks (1973-1976) with Mrs. Cora S. Howell as principal. Mr. Herbert Williams, Sr. made concrete outside benches for the church. An additional lot at the cost of $3400.00 was purchased to be paved to accommodate additional parking.
During the summer (1977-1979), Christian Education was provided for one week by the Good News Club, directed by Ms. Maude Johnson and Mrs. Juanita Wright. Teachers were Mrs. Paulette R. Smith, Ms. Dianne Moore, Miss Lisa Jones, and Mrs. Earnestine Gardner. The Church has also received a new steeple, central heat and air was installed in the Sunday School area.
In October of 1982 Sis. Qubia Carnegie became assistant Matron of the Junior Usher Board.
During 1978-1979, Morning Star lost some of its oldest members, Mrs. Mozella Bailey who dedicated many years to Missions. She served as the President of the General Mission. Also, Mrs. Hattie Samuel, deaconess and treasurer of the Senior Choir passed away.
On October 13, 1979, we lost our beloved Pastor of 55 years, the Rev. C. B. Johnson. Servant of God well done, rest now from thy love employ. The battle has been fought the victory won; enter now into thy Master’s joy, well done.
Sis. Barbara Russell began serving as President of the General Mission in 1979. In 1979, God appointed his faithful servant, Bro. Moses Hardin, as teacher in the Wednesday Night Bible Study Class.
On Sunday, July 6, 1980, the Rev. Otis Pitts ordained Bro. Moses Hardin and Bro. David Hart as Deacons. In December 1980 the church purchased a forty-four passenger bus at a cost of $5,555.00. The purchasing committee included Deacons Dan Emanuel, Cortez Smith, David Hart, and Bros. Willie Rayford and Herbert Williams.
Fifteen months after the passing of our beloved pastor, Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson, and with the Rev. Henry B. Bland serving as Interim Pastor, the congregation met in conference on January 16, 1981 and voted to extend the pastorate to Rev. Otis Columbus Pitts, one of our members. Rev. Pitts, a true servant of the Lord, showed his love for everyone. Under his leadership, Sis. Sarah Jones was appointed Youth Director, and the General Missions sponsored Membership Roll Call and the Annual Calendar Tea. Also, memorials were presented to the Church:
Painting of Rev. Calvin Boyd Johnson by the Faculty of the Department of Developmental Studies, Valdosta State College, (May 1980).
Hymnals by the family of Mrs. Hattie Samuels in her honor (September 1986).
Bulletin Board by Mrs. Huggins in honor of Mrs. Hannah Simmons (October 1986).
The Lord continued to bless Morning Star in a number of ways. In August 1984, Bro. William C. Morgan was ordained a Deacon. (In October 1985, Bro. David B. Moore, Sr. was ordained a Deacon at Shiloh Baptist Church, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.)
On March 16, 1987, Bro. Gus West, who served as President of the Usher Board for 46 years, was called to get his great reward.
In September 1989, under the direction of Rev. Otis Pitts, Morning Star began a Nursing Home Ministry at Crestwood Nursing Home. (Also, that ministry was extended to include The Heritage Nursing Home in 1993). In September 1990, Morning Star began a Prison Ministry in Nashville, Georgia.
God, in all His patience and faithfulness, continued to smile upon Morning Star, and on Sunday, October 6, 1991, Deacon William C. Morgan, our own, preached his Trial Sermon and became a licensed minister. The Church’s rear parking lot was also paved in October 1991.
On the first Sunday in January 1992, Bro. Willie Rayford was ordained a Deacon and one of our oldest Deacons, Dea. Johnnie Crawford, passed that same month. On April 19, 1992, after returning to Valdosta, Deacon David Moore, our own, preached his Trial Sermon and became a licensed minister.
What unspeakable love God expressed toward his people, for on January 26, 1993, Rev. William C. Morgan and Rev. David B. Moore, Sr. were ordained Ministers. Morning Star was also blessed to have three other membership Associate Ministers: Rev. Lavester James, Rev. Donald Slater, and Rev. Melvin Fluellen.
On May 4, 1993, the Lord called Home our beloved Pastor, Rev. Otis Columbus Pitts. He led Morning Star along the path of righteousness for 12 years. Truly God gave us a Pastor after His own heart.
On October 17, 1993 Bro. Gary Moore, Bro. Bernard Rose, and Bro. Herbert Williams were ordained Deacons.
M.S.B.C. Keeps Stepping
Six months after the passing of Rev. Otis Columbus Pitts, the congregation met in Conference on November 19, 1993 and voted to extend a call to one of our own members, Min. William C. Morgan, to lead God’s people. The Church’s Mission was also given Sunday, December 5, 1993: “To Spread the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Throughout the World in Word and in Deed.”
Minister Morgan was installed as Pastor on Sunday January 9, 1994. On the first Sunday in February 1994, the Morning Star Baptist Church began having Service four Sundays per month with Evening Service as well as on the 1st and 3rd Sundays at 6:00 p.m. A Youth Choir and a Male Chorus were organized to sing on the 2nd and 4th Sundays respectively.
Our Heavenly Father kept smiling on His people. In 1994 Sis. Carol Stevenson was named Youth Director. The Church was blessed with a computer, printer, and copier, and the church’s first Bulletin was published the first Sunday in February 1994. Deacon Bernard T. Rose preached his first trial sermon on Sunday, February 11, 1994 and became a licensed Minister. On June 6-10, 1994 Morning Star held it first Youth Revival, with Rev. Norman Edwards as the Evangelist for the Week, and on June 25, 1994, the congregation obeyed God and observed its first “Annual Day of Prayer”. The entire Church was remodeled and Rededication Service was held on Sunday, July 3, 1994. A portrait of our late pastor, Rev. Otis C. Pitts, was placed in the Sanctuary and 100 Hymnals and 10 #2 Choir Robes were dedicated.
In August 1994, the Rev. Melvin Fluellen and his family were transferred to Shaw Air Force Base, S. C. Rev. Fluellen, who served God by dutifully serving Pastor Pitts, did a mighty work exhorting and encouraging the Membership in the Word of God for five years. He was also our Nursing Home Minister.
In August 1994, Morning Star started it Prison Ministry for both men and women at the Lowndes County Jail. The two oldest members of our church also passed away: Sis. Annette Holtzendoff, age 100 (December 1994); and Sis. Isabella Myrick, age 97 (January 1995).
In 1995, God placed Sis Geraldine Jones as Director of the Church’s B.T.U.
On Sunday, February 12, 1995, Rev. Bernard T. Rose was ordained a Minister. A dedication Service was held on February 19, 1995 for a television, VCR, stand, and easels. Also, a bulletin board was purchased and placed in the annex.
During the month of July 1995, a new sound system was installed, and in August 1995, two new church vans were purchased and dedicated to the Lord’s service. In August 1995 the New Members Orientation Class was formed with Dea. Willie and Sis. Patricia Rayford as teachers. Our church family was also blessed with a new Baby Grand Piano, dedicated to the Lord’s service September 1995.
On February 18, 1996, Bro. Stanford Rome and Bro. John Ebron were ordained Deacons, and Dea. Clarence Harris was officially added to the Morning Star Deacon Board. Also, Sis. Jennifer Volley began serving as Director of the Church Nursery. Bro. Hollie Williams, Jr. & Sis. Jennifer Volley Williams were named Assistant Teachers to the New Member Orientation Class.
The Lord continued to bless Morning Star and to provide more stepping stones. A new devotional table and chairs were added to the sanctuary in the Fall of 1996.
Sis. Cilla Ross a faithful usher, choir member and chairperson for the Church’s Floral Club passed away in December 1996.
Under the direction of Bro. Bobby Wiseman and Bro. Jonathan Carter, the Lord established the Boys and Young Men’s Ministry the first Saturday in February 1997. Youth Choir robes were dedicated the second in Sunday in February, 1997. Bro. Charlie Johnson passed away March 1997. Also, in 1997 Bro. William Greg Harris preached his trial sermon and became a licensed minister. Sis. Irma Lester Jenkins was named Assistant Financial Clerk.
To whom much is given, much is required. God had continued to minister to others through the congregation. On May 28, 1998 the Sister’s Two Ministry began with Sister Verna Harvey as teacher. On September 26, 1998, God established another ministry at Lakehaven Nursing Home with Sis. Sarah Jones as a teacher and young Sis. Jacinta Harvey as pianist. In November 1998, God put together the MSMBC Mass Choir under the direction of Sis. Marion Duckworth. During the Winter 1998, the Lord provided another Nursing Home Ministry at Holly Hill Nursing Home with Minister Leroy Henderson and Bro. Robert Brown as teachers.
On January 16, 1999, Morning Star began its Street Evangelism Ministry. With the Holy Spirit leading, the congregation went into the hedges and highways pointing souls to Christ. Circle #4 sponsored the First Annual Women’s Conference held on January 22-23, 1999. Sisters throughout the Valdosta communities were blessed, taught, and rededicated their lives to Christ. Also, during 1999 the Lord lead the Congregation to begin the Brother’s Two Ministry with Brother Robert Brown as teacher.
On March 13, 1999, God called Sis. Atlanta Wilson home. She served Morning Star faithfully for 55 years until she suffered illness in 1995. On March 30th, Sis. Wilson would have been 93.
During the fall of 1999, the Lord moved upon the heart of the congregation to begin the process of securing land for a new Church home. A land committee was formed with Dea. Gary Moore serving as chairman.
On October 3, 1999, Dea. Stan Rome preached his trial sermon and became a licensed minister. In December of 1999, the Lord initiated the Young Women, Wives and Single Parent Ministry with Sis. Shirley Hardin as teacher and Sis. Carolyn Collier as the assistant teacher.
In February 2000, Sis. Cora Howell, our former President of the Women’s Department was called home by the Lord. She served the Lord and His people faithfully.
On February 18, 2000, the congregation looked out among ourselves and chose Bro. Robert Brown and Bro. Lenon Harvey, Sr. to serve as deacons. Also, Dea, Matthew Tooley was selected to be added to the Morning Star Deacon Board.
In March 2000, the front and side parking areas on the north side of the church property were paved.
In April 2000, the Lord led us to and secured for us 16.7 acres of land on Howell Road at Clay Road for the site of our future Church home.
In July 2000, a Building Committee was established with Dea. Lenon Harvey, Sr. serving as Chairman.
On October1, 2000, Minister Stanford B. Rome was ordained a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In November 2000, the Church applied for incorporation through Attorney Roy Copeland. The official name of our church is Morning Star Baptist Church. The process for incorporation took several months.
In November 2000, a Building Fund Committee was established with Dea. Moses Hardin serving as Chairman and on Sunday, January 28, 2001, members began making their pledges and giving their sacrificial offerings toward the building of our new place of worship.
During the year of 2001 the following events occurred:
April 13, the Tape Ministry was established under the supervision of Dea. Robert Brown
August 12, The Education and Scholarship Committee was formed. Sis. Sarah Jones serves as the President of this committee; At this time, Sis. Emmese Josie Morgan established five Memorial Scholarship for Graduating High School students. On August 31, Morning Star’s first webpage which was designed by Sis. Verna Harvey and Sis. Charlotte Brown was established and dedicated.
Bro. Randy Washington was appointed as Team Leader for Street Ministry. Bro. Washington faithfully serves in this capacity under the supervision of Pastor William C. Morgan.
September of 2001, Sis. Betty Wilson, our Church Clerk from 1963-2001 resigned. In December of this same year, Sis. Hazel Gibbs, who served as our Financial Secretary from 1958-2001, also resigned. On the 3rd Sunday in September 2001, both Sisters received much love, thanks and plaques thanking them for the service they rendered to the Lord.
September 2001, Sis. Erma Lester Jenkins was appointed Church Clerk and Sis. Veronica Graham was appointed Assistant Church Clerk.
Also, during the year of 2001; 33 members were added to the Church roll, one church member was united in Holy Matrimony and our Pastor officiated 15 Home Going Celebrations.
During the month of December 2001 the congregation asked the Lord for a Historian, a record keeper of all His blessings towards us and He gave to us, Sis. Authoreen Homer as Historian, Praise God!!!
In January 2002, Sis. Verna Foster Harvey was appointed Church Financial Secretary. Sis. Lawonna Hodge, was appointed Assistant Financial Secretary, then assumed the appointed duties of Church Financial Secretary on May 16, 2002. Sis Phyllis Moore was appointed Assistant Financial Secretary, on May 16, 2002.
January continued to be a busy month for Morning Star. Sis. Anissa Wiseman was appointed as the Building Fund Financial Secretary, Sis. Clarese Morgan was appointed Assistant of the Youth Choir under the leadership of Sis. Donna Ebron Director and Bro. James L. Black assumed the position of church organist.
On February 15, 2002, Sis. Pamela Rome accepted the appointment of Building Fund Financial Secretary.
Morning Star’s Pastor, Bro. William C. Morgan, graduated from Bethany Bible College and Theological Seminary, in Dothan, Alabama on June 6, 2002, receiving a Doctorate in Theological Studies.
August 4, 2002, Minister David Adams and his family, joined Morning Star and serves as one of the Associate Ministers to the Pastor.
On August 16, 2002, Sis. Verna Harvey was appointed Tax Advisor for the Church.
In October of 2002, Sis Anissa Wiseman was appointed as the Pastor’s Secretary. On October 18, 2002, Bro. Bennie Montgomery, was appointed President Emeritus of the Usher Board. Bro. John Roberts began serving as President. The Ministers Wives Auxiliary was established with First Lady Altamese Morgan serving as Teacher.
In January 2003, offering baskets were purchased and dedicated and in February 2003, fifty new National Baptist Hymnals were also purchased and dedicated.
On February 20, 2003, Minister David Adams was called to be the Pastor of Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Valdosta, Georgia. He was ordained on Sunday, March 23, 2003 here at the Church.
In July 2003, a Teen Girls Ministry was started under the leadership of Sis. Sheila Butler and Sis. Pamela Rome.
On October 24, 2003, the congregation looked out among ourselves and chose Bro. Randy Washington and Bro. Bobby Wiseman to serve as Deacons. On December 7, 2003 both brothers were ordained.
On December 21, 2003, Sis. Elmira West was honored as President Emeritus of the Deaconness. She served for over 50 years as President of the Deaconness.
In December 2004, two of our members published their first book. Sis. Doris McGee published The Power of God which is a book of poems. Sis Verna Harvey published Growing God’s Way.
In August of 2005, Sis. Barbara Russell Byrd retired as President of the General Missions serving for 27 years. She was elected as President Emeritus of M.S.M.B.C. General Mission. Sis. Geraldine Simmons became the new General Missions President.
In October of 2005, Bro. Lenon Harvey and Sis. Verna Harvey were appointed to teach the Sunday School’s Couples Class on first and third Sunday mornings.
Sis. Qubia Carnegie served as Assistant Matron under Sis. Cilla Ross and she became Matron in December of 1992. In September of 2006 Sis. Qubia Carnegie resigned as Matron of the Junior Usher Board. Sis. Jacinta Harvey served as Matron of the Junior Usher Board.
In October of 2006, Sis. Carol Ann Stevenson resigned as being Director of the Youth Department which will be effective on October 1, 2007. Sis Stephanie Clark was appointed to be the new Youth Director.
On Sunday, January 7, 2007, two of our Associate Ministers, Minister LeRoy Henderson and Minister Anthony Moore were ordained.
In January of 2007, the Christianity 101 Class began with Bro. Luke and Sis. Barbara Crawford as teachers.
In March of 2007, one of our very own, Sis. Verna Harvey published her second book “The Blessedness of Waiting on God”.
On March 2, 2007, Minister Leroy Henderson was called to be the Pastor of Second Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church of Clyattville, Georgia. He was installed on Sunday, April 1, 2007.
The Groundbreaking Ceremony for our new sanctuary was held on Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 11:00 a.m.
Pastor Morgan lined a hymn, read the scripture and prayed.
People that were given a shovel to turn the soil were:
Dr. William C. Morgan, Pastor
Dea. Moses Hardin, Building Fund Committee Chairperson
Dea. David Hart, Chairman of M.S.M.B.C. Board
Dea. Lenon Harvey, Building Committee Chairperson
Dea. Frank Wilson, President of M.S.M.B.C. Incorporation
Bro. Johnny Goss, Sunday School Superintendent
Sis. Geraldine Simmons, General Missions President
Mr. John Stafford, General Contractor
Mayor John Fretti, City of Valdosta
Pastor Edgar Roberts, Lowndes County Commissioner
Mr. Anthony Payton, Architect
Mrs. Pam Yeager, Vice President/Chief Operations of Commercial Bank and Company (CBC)
Mr. Chuck Beard, President of CBC
On October 8, 2007 the building of the new Sanctuary began at 1051 Howell Road, Valdosta, Georgia.
In October of 2007, Sis. Stephanie Clark resigned as being the Youth Director. In November of 2007 Dea. Bobby and Sis. Anissa Wiseman became Co-Directors of the Youth Department. Sis. Charlotte Brown was appointed as the Pastor’s Secretary.
In October of 2007, our Christian’s Singles’ Class began with Sis. Veronica Graham as the teacher.
On Sunday, November 2, 2008, Bro. J.P. Robinson preached his trial sermon and became a licensed Minister.
On Sunday, December 21, 2008 our new Church edifice located at 1051 Howell Road was dedicated. The Pastor and members marched from the old Sanctuary on 761 South Troupe Street to the new sanctuary on 1051 Howell Road. The march began at 9:00 a.m. Upon arrival at the new Church, the Ribbon cutting ceremony was held with Sis. Essie Allen Spruel, the oldest member 106 years old, cutting the ribbon. Morning service was held at 11 a.m. with Pastor Morgan bringing the message entitled “The Dedication of God’s House” 2 Chronicles 7:12-16. The Dedication Service was held at 3 p.m. with Dr. Clarence Moore, Pastor of the Good Shepherd Missionary Baptist Church and President of General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, Inc., preaching the dedication sermon” It All Belongs to Him” St. (Matthew 16:13-20).
On February 25, 2009, we began 12 noon Wednesday Bible Study Class.
On August 10, 2009, Minister Anthony Moore and Sis. Vanessa Moore were appointed as Teachers of the Couples Class
Morning Star began a tutorial program for students (K thru college) on Tuesday, March 3, 2009. The classes are held each Tuesday and Wednesday from 5:00 p.m.-6:30 p.m. during the school year.
In June 2009, Herbert Williams was appointed Coordinator of the Tutorial Program.
On August 28, 2009, Sis. Essie Allen Spruel died. She was 107 years old.
On September 13, 2009, the congregation selected three brothers to be ordained as Deacons: Bro. Luke Crawford, Bro. Johnny Goss, and Bro. John Roberts.
On October 16, 2009, one of our very own Pastor David Moore, Sr., Pastor of St. Mary Baptist Church, Naylor, GA & Moderator of South Georgia Missionary Baptist Association passed away.
On November 1, 2009, Min. J.P. Robinson was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel.
On November 19, 2009, Sis. Cheryl Copeland was selected President of the Education and Scholarship Committee.
On January 1, 2010, the old sanctuary at 761 South Troupe Street was sold to The Truth In Action Apostolic Faith Church.
On February 14, 2010, Bro. Ricky and Sis.Cynthia Roan were appointed the teachers of the New Member Orientation Class.
On February 23, 2010, Sis. Qubia Carnegie, former matron of Junior Ushers passed away.
In February 2010, Sis. Pamela Rome was appointed as the Assistant Church Clerk.
In January 2010, Brother Brian Haugabrook established a new website morningstarvaldosta.org. for the Church.
In February 2010, Sister Brenda Brown became the new Financial Secretary.
In February 2010, the Church’s new Video System was installed and dedicated.
On February 18, 2010, Minister James P. Robinson became the new teacher at the Holly Hill Nursing Home Ministry on the first and third Sunday mornings
On Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 7 p.m.the College Bible Study Class held its first session. Brother Ronnie “Brent” Brinson was appointed as teacher.
In March 2010, a picture of Morning Star’s late Pastor, Rev. John Henry Harrison was dedicated and hung in the Gallery of Pastors.
The Morning Star Youth Department and Chaperones (60 Members) went on an educational trip to Washington D.C. on June 27th thru July 1, 2010.
In July 2010, Brother James “Jim” Black our church organist resigned after 8 years of service to the Morning Star Family. Brother Black’s faithful service, humility and professionalism have made an immeasurable spiritual impact on our Church and we will always thank God for the time he spent with us.
In December 2010, Brother Bryan and Sister Ebony Haugabrook became the new teachers of the Christian Couples Class.
In January 2011, Deacon John and Sister Ruth Roberts became the new teachers of the New Members Orientation Class.
In January 2011, the Young Adult Choir, after being organized for several years, was given permission to sing every 1st Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. beginning on February 6, 2011. The first selection from the choir on that Sunday was “Ride on King Jesus”. The choir will also sing every 5th Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Bro. Ronnie “Brent” Brinson serves as director.
March 2011 to March 2012
There were 60 new members added to the Morning Star’s roll. Three members were wedded in Holy Matrimony. We also had three members to pass away.
On July 18, 2011, Sis. Pam Rome was appointed as the new President of the Program Committee.
During the year, two new Memorial Education Scholarships were formed: the Catherine Shiver Memorial Scholarship and the Maceo and Emma Lee Coleman Memorial Scholarship. This brings the total number of Morning Star Educational Scholarship and awards to 15.
On February 15, 2012, Sis. Shirley Hardin was elected by members of the Education and Scholarship Committee to serve as the Committee’s new President.
On Sunday March 18, 2012, we thankfully dedicated our new garage to God which will house our two vans, our tractor and our clothes closet.
March 2012-March 2013
On August 5, 2012 Morning Star held its last 6:00 p.m. evening service. Pastor William C. Morgan preached the closing message.
On February 17, 2013 Bro. James Ward preached his first sermon.
There were 57 new members added this past year. We funeralized eight of our members this year.
Today, Morning Star celebrates its 122nd Church Anniversary. Thanks be unto God for His indescribable Love, Mercy, Grace, Friendship and Patience that he has extended to His people here at Morning Star. All Honor and Glory belongs to Him. For truly “We Have Come This Far By Faith” and we will continue to lean on the Lord.
“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.
March 2013- March 2014
There were fifty-nine new members added to the Morning Star’s roll. Four members were wedded in Holy Matrimony. We also had seven members to pass away.
On Sunday, May 26, 2013, Bro. Ronnie Brent Brinson preached his first sermon.
Sunday, July 14, 2013, Minister Corie & Dj’ana Goss and their two children joined Morning Star. Minister Goss is a Licensed Minister.
July 21-26, 2013 Morning Star & Thomas Chapel Baptist Church hosted the 2014 General Missionary Baptist Convention’s Congress of Christian Education. Receptions were held at Thomas Chapel Baptist Church & Valdosta High School. Classes were held at Valdosta High School and Late Night Services were held at Morning Star. The Rev. Curtis Raines, Sr. was the Convention President.
September 9, 2013, Sis. Deborah Terrell was appointed interim Coordinator of the Church Tutorial Program.
On Thursday, October 17, 2013, the Church met in Conference and chose four faithful Brothers of the Church to become Deacons: Brothers George Robinson, Lawrence Colbert, Robert Forrest and Sam Robinson.
On Sunday, October 20, 2013 Minister Ronnie Brent Brinson was Ordained as a Gospel of Jesus Christ Minister.
On Sunday, November 17, 2013, Bro. Lawrence Colbert and Bro. Sam Robinson were Ordained Deacons and Deacon Robert Forrest and Deacon George Robinson became officers and added to the Deacons Ministry.
On Sunday, November 24, 2013, Minister Ronnie Brent Brinson was installed as the new Pastor of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church of Sparks, Ga.
March 2014-January 2015
There were thirty-five members added to the church. One member was wedded in Holy Matrimony. We also had three members to pass away.
In January of 2014 the Church purchased (2) new speakers and new amplifier for the sanctuary. The church also purchased a new copier for the secretary’s office.
In April of 2014 Morning Star agreed to adopt a No Gun Policy on the Church’s property. The exceptions are law enforcement personnel on duty. Two “This is a Gun Free Property” signs were made and placed at both drive way entrances to the Church.
June 9th-12th, 2014 Morning Star Youth Department went on an Educational trip to Washington D.C.
In July 28, 2014 The Church approved the followings for the corporation: President: Dea. Willie Rayford, Vice President: Dea. Bobby Wiseman, Secretary: Dea. Moses Hardin , Treasurer: Dea. David Hart.
In October 2014 Dea. Nathaniel & Sis. Pricilla Herring became the new Co-Chairs of the Church’s Food Bank Ministry.
Minister Corie & Dr. Djana Goss became the new teachers for the Church’s Couples Class which meets as part of the Sunday School on the 1st & 3rd Sundays at 9:30 a.m.
Also, in October 2014 a new Computer Lab was dedicated with 8 new computer and stations. The Computer Lab is utilized for our Tutorial Program, Beginning Computer Classes for our Church’s Seniors and for members who need access to a computer and the internet. Bro. Chris Brooks is the teacher for the computer class. Deacon Nathaniel Herring is the assistant teacher.
In October 2014 Sis. Alice Williams became the president on the Women’s Department/General Mission.
On November 2, 2014 Minister James Ward and Minister Corie Goss were ordained as Ministers of Jesus Christ. Minister Goss having joined Morning Star, as a License Minister in the A.M.E. Church, was also given his “Baptist License.”
Also, in November of 2014 a Church Beautification Committee was formed. The committee members are Bro. Anthony Coleman, Sis. Barbara Crawford, Sis. Barbara Goss, Sis. Shirlean Henderson, and Sis. Debra Holley.
March 2015-March 2016
On March 19, 2015 the Church approved a minimum age of 18 to vote on Church business. The Church also purchased a new Sound Craft Mixer and a new Tascam CD Recorder.
On April 16, 2015 Sister Deanna Brooks was appointed the new Coordinator of the Tutorial Program with Sister Jackie Lyons as her Assistant.
On September 17, 2015 Sister Marion Duckworth retired. She was a faithful pianist for Morning Star for 49 years (1966 to 2015). Sister Duckworth played for Choir #2 and the Male Chorus, along with being an anointed gospel singer. We will forever be grateful to God for Sis. Duckworth service to Him and His people and we thank God for showing us what faithfulness to His Kingdom looks like.
Thank you, Sis. Duckworth!!!
Valdosta State University student Sister Briyona Brack became the new pianist for the Young Adult Choir and Bro. Kwame Holden became the new pianist for the Male Chorus.
On October 15, 2015 Sis. Sheila Walker was appointed the new teacher for the Christian Singles Class.
The Church approved the new Ushers’ Guide Handbook. The Ushers’ Guide Handbook was published locally by the Morning Star Ushers Ministry.
On December 17, 2015 Deacon Gary Moore was elected to be assistant Treasurer of the Church.
Minister William G. Harris was restored as an active Minister of Morning Star.
On January 14, 2016 the Church approved a “Statement of Faith and Marriage Policy”.
On February 19, 2016 after a six months trial, the Church approved the new Morning Star Children’s Church. The students range in age from 5 to 14. The Children’s Church will meet each month on the 4th Sunday. The first Pastor / Deacons Retreat was held (locally) at the Holiday Inn.
From March 2015 to March 2016 there were thirty-six new members added to the Church. We also funeralized seven members.
March 2016-March 2017
June 16, 2016 Morning Star began a “Parking Lot Ministry” with Dea. Lawrence Colbert as the Coordinator. The Parking Lot Ministry will primarily be on duty during evening services and during large events and services.
On Sunday October 9, 2016 Morning held its first Old Fashion Day. Moving Forward Old Fashion Day and Family and Friends Day will be observed together annually the second Sunday in February.
On January 22, 2017 for the first time in Morning Star’s recorded history, we canceled all Sunday Services due to a “Tornado Warning” and heavy rains in the Valdosta area. The inclement weather occurred during the time of the Sunday School and morning services.
On February 16, 2017 the Church approved setting up a calling post service (or Robo calling servie”) to notify all members in case of emergencies (such as severe weather).
We have had 54 members added to the Church. We have funeralized seven members.
“… And upon this rock (that I Am the Christ, the Son of the living God) I will build My Church” (St. Matthew 16:18b).
March 2017-March 2018
Sunday, May 7, 2017, Minister Corie F. Goss was installed as the Pastor of Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, Cecil, Ga.
On Thursday, May 18, 2017, The King James Bible became the Official Version of the Bible for our Congregation.
On Thursday, June 15, 2017, Brother Cameron & Sister Carla Williams became Co-Directors of our Youth Department.
On Tuesday, July 18-24, 2017, The Morning Star Youth Dept. took an Educational & Cultural trip to Washington D.C. (Nat’l Museum of African American History & Culture) & New York City (Historic Sites).
On Sunday, September 10, 2017, Worship Service and all other services were cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.
On Sunday, October 1, 2017, Sister Melissa Bradley resigned from all duties as a musician after approximately 25 years of service to God and His people here at the Church (Her resignation letter was submitted on Monday, May 15, 2017 to be effective on October 1, 2017). We thank God for her beautiful Gift and we thank her for sharing her Gift with us in our times of Worship and Praise; in our times of learning songs and music and in our times of Joy and Sorrow. We thank God for her contributions to our lives.
On Tuesday, December 26, 2017, Morning Star became a member of the “Calling Post-Automated Messaging Service”. We are now able to contact every family in our Congregation at one time in case of emergencies (inclement weather, fumes or vapors coming from surrounding companies, etc.). The service can be accessed by computer, landline phone or cell phone.
On Sunday, January 28, 2018, Minister Jerry Lee Miley, Sr. received his Ministerial License.
On Wednesday, February 7, 2018, Morning Star began a weekly Wednesday morning Bible Study Class at 11 a.m. at the Langdale House.
Bro. Furman & Sis. Peggy Tisdale were appointed the new Co-coordinator of the Food Pantry Ministry.
Bro. George Robinson now serves as the teacher of the New Member Orientation and Christianity 101 Class. Dea. Nathaniel and Sis. Priscilla Herring are the Assistant Teachers.
On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Morning Star sold our old facility at 761 S. Troupe St. to Truth in Action Church of Apostolic Faith, Inc. We thank God for allowing us to utilize and own this facility for 56 years. (And) We certainly Thank God for all the experiences we’ve had at this Worship Center and for the precious memories that we take with us.
On Monday, February 26, 2018, Morning Star paid off the mortgage on our current facility at 1051 Howell Rd. The 25 year mortgage with Commercial Banking Company of Valdosta was paid off in 9 years and 2 months. To God Be The Glory For The Things He Has Done!!!
On Sunday, March 18, 2018, during our 127th Church Anniversary Celebration, we conducted the Mortgage Burning Ceremony.
Please continue to pray as we continue to “Strive to Be Loyal to Christ.”
To God Be The Glory, For The Things He Has Done!!!