During its 121 years in the service of the Lord, the Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ has been richly blessed. Empowered by the everlasting wisdom and mercy of God, four dedicated men have led the church in its efforts to provide for the spiritual development of all who seek the Lord. Additionally, "The Star" has remained a presence in the community it seeks to serve by leading souls to Christ, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, educating young and old, and modeling a Christian spirit and behavior.
Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18
Reverend Robert T. Winn, the founding pastor, heeded the call in 1890 to develop Morning Star. Beginning from a mission in his home at 909 Pierce Street, Reverend Winn and a small group of Christian soldiers, Ada Cheeseman, Frank Gregory, Lizzie Jackson, Albert Simpson, Brother Trent, Maria Winn, Hattie Winn, and Mary E. Strange, were soon joined by others who regularly met to worship.
The first four years were often difficult ones, but the band of Christians remained steadfast in their faith. Reverend Winn was ordained in 1894, and at that service, twenty-seven of his followers were given letters and blessings from Leadenhall Baptist Church that endorsed the transferred of their membership from Leadenhall to Morning Star. Thus, Morning Star, no longer a mission but a full-fledged church, became incorporated in that year and the congregants adopted Leadenhall as its "Mother Church".
As the membership increased during the early years, the church relocated three times. In 1913, the congregation moved to a newly erected building at Saratoga and Rock Streets. Several clubs, such as the Baptist Young People's Union (B.Y.P.U.), and organizations focusing on spiritual and educational growth were formed. At the same time, the first choir was organized under the direction of Mrs. Nora B. Marner. The Sunday School, Prayer Meeting, and other key units of Christian training were strengthened. Needing an even larger worship facility, in 1920, the church relocated to a brick structure in the 900 block of West Saratoga Street.
On December 20, 1915, Reverend Winn married Ms. Mary Frances Carter who continued to render her faithful service under the leadership of the three pastors who followed her husband's administration.
After thirty-three years of unselfish service, Reverend Winn passed on September 22, 1923 after a brief illness. The last chapter of his life was over but he left an enduring legacy for Morning Star.
I will instruct thee in the ways which thou shalt go;
I will Guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32:8