Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church

About Us

History of the morning star Missionary Baptist Church

1929 – present

                In 1929, under the leadership of Rev. P. C. Keel, about 90 followers of Christ organized the Keel Memorial Baptist Church. They began meeting in the Jackson Hall, located in the 1700 block of East Washington Avenue, North Little Rock, Arkansas. After purchasing some property, the church moved to 1324 East Second Street, where they held services in a BRUSH ARBOR.

In 1930 Rev. Keel resigned. The church then called Rev. H. Mathis as pastor. Under his leadership the name of the church was changed to the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in 1931. In 1932 Rev. Mathis resigned. The church then called,  Rev. John Gatlin as pastor. The church was still worshipping in the BRUSH ARBOR, The church continued to progress both Spiritually and finicality.  Rev. Gatlin led the church in it first building project.

The church moved back to Washington Avenue while a frame building was being constructed. Rev. Gatlin resigned in 1939. In that same year, Dr. C. E. Canady was called as the fourth pastor. Under his leadership, the church continued to grow. Nearing the end of his pastorate, Dr. Canady led the church in the construction of a buffed brick building which was dedicated on April 2, 1967. Rev. Canady rendered his services to the church for (28) twenty eight years.

In July 1967, Rev. Laverne Swain was called as pastor. Under his leadership, the church continued to progress. The church added a fellowship hall with offices and a kitchen. Also a parking lot was added. Rev. swain resigned in May 1976. He served the church for (8) eight years.

In December 1976, Rev. Robert J. Jenkins was elected as our sixth pastor. Rev. Jenkins became our second pastor elected from the flock with Rev. Swain being the first elected from the flock. The church kept moving and growing spiritually. On February 22, 1990 our Church building was destroyed by fire. For more than one year, we worshipped in the F. C. James Auditorium of Shorter College of the AME Church, 604 Locust Street in North Little Rock. During our stay at Shorter, God blessed us with more than 50 new members.

We moved into our new Church building the first Sunday in August 1991 at 105 North Smothers Street. Our structure is able to accommodate 500 people within our sanctuary and balcony. The Pastor’s study, conference room, offices and classrooms are located in our Church Annex. There is a video room for recording tapes for our sick and shut-ins. In 1998, 2003, 2005 and 2009 we purchased more property added another parking lot.

In December 2001, Pastor Jenkins became the longest tenured Pastor in the history of Morning Star Baptist Church. He has rendered 34 years of loyal and dedicated service.


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