The Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church History
The facts are limited and somewhat contradictory, about the humble beginning of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. Available records show that Morning Star was organized in the home of Reverend and Mrs. Fred Lee on Fifth and Chandler Streets in August 1946. The eleven founding members were:
Reverend and Mrs. Aaron Cave, Sr.
Reverend and Mrs. Fred Lee
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wells
Reverend and Mrs. Aaron Cave, Jr.
Mrs. C. McVain
Mr. Willie Richardson
Mrs. Carolina Parker
The first Pastor of Morning Star was Reverend Aaron Cave, Jr. After two years, Reverend Cave left to accept another call-in Wenatchee, Washington. The Reverend C. Ward acted as interim minister until a new Pastor could be found.
Reverend William A. Clayton was called and accepted the Pastorate of Morning Star on July 11, 1948. During this time worship services were held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Horace McVain on Jackson Avenue. As the congregation grew, it became necessary for the membership to seek larger facilities and on February 1, 1949, the church located to 959 East Hartson Avenue. Morning Star conducted worship services for two years at this location.
Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church was incorporated with the State of Washington in 1950.
The congregation purchased its first permanent place of worship at 2024 East Boone Avenue in March 1951. On March 1, 1955, Reverend Clayton resigned and preached his farewell sermon to the nine-year-old congregation on April 30, 1955.
Reverend C.D. Hamm accepted the call as Morning Star’s third Pastor and preached his first sermon in July, 1955.
Hardships and struggles for survival were constant, but Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church forged ahead seeking to do God’s will within the City of Spokane and the State of Washington. Under Reverend Hamm’s leadership a church edifice and property was purchased, located at 527 South Spokane Street in 1956. In 1959, Morning Star affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA. Reverend Hamm continued his pastorate until his home going in early 1960.
Reverend J.T. Campbell succeeded Reverend Hamm in February 1960, and departed in August that same year.
In 1961, Reverend Talton B. Fentress became Morning Star’s fifth Pastor. Under his leadership, the church grew greatly. In March 1964, St; Luke’s Hospital submitted an offer to purchase the Spokane Street church location to construct a new hospital. Under the guidance of Reverend Fentress the sale was consummated and the church then purchased two pieces of property with buildings located at 1823-1829 East Mallon Street, from the First Free Methodist Church. In 1967, additional property for a parking lot was purchased.
On November 14, 1967, the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church family was witness to God’s calling home a faithful servant, Reverend Talton B. Fentress.
Eleven days later the congregation extended a unanimous call to Reverend Freeman Simmons to become Morning Star’s sixth pastor. On Sunday, November 26, 1967, Reverend Freeman Simmons delivered his first sermon. He brought with him his wife Mrs. Willie Mae Simmons. Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church continued to grow and prosper spiritually, financially, and numerically during Pastor Simmons leadership. In 1968 the church affiliated with the National Baptist Churches Inc., USA. In 1973, the church liquidated the mortgage on the church building and three lots. During 1975, two more lots were purchased. In 1984 additional property 1828 East Mallon was purchased. The entire indebtedness was cleared in December 1985. In December 1999, Pastor Simmons retired after 32 years of faithful service.
After Reverend Simmons’ retirement, Reverend Charles M. Neal served as Interim Pastor, then was called to be Pastor and led the congregation until November 2001, when he resigned and moved back to Chicago.
From December 2001 until August 2003, Morning Star was without the leadership of a Pastor.
On August 18, 2003, Reverend John A. Claiborne was installed as Pastor of Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. He served until June 11, 2004, when he resigned.
On December 5, 2005, with the aid of the American Baptist Convention Interim Program, Reverend Dr. Arthur L. Jarrett became our interim Pastor until June 21, 2006.
On July 2, 2006, a call was extended to Reverend Herman Lewis to pastor our church. He and his family accepted and Reverend Lewis was installed. Under the pastorate of Reverend Lewis, Morning Star relocated to present worship facility. On October 22, 2006, Reverend Lewis preached his first sermon in our new church home and the church continued to grow. On June 3, 2007, Pastor Lewis was relieved of his duties.
On August 12, 2008, the church extended the call and elected Reverend Dr. G.L. Booker as Pastor. He remained faithful until the latter part of November 2010, when he resigned and relocated back to his home state.
On March 17, 2011, Reverend Amos Atkinson was named Interim Pastor until he resigned on June 30, 2013 and returned to be Assistant Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church.
On November 3, 2013, Reverend Walter J. Kendricks preached his initial sermon, the subject “A Message to the Captives”, from Jeremiah 29:1-4. On November 16, 2013, a call was extended to Reverend Kendricks and, he accepted the call and became Pastor of the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church of Spokane Washington. Morning Star feels blessed to have Reverend Kendricks as our Pastor and look forward too many spirit filled and productive years together.