Ministerial History

church history

“The Witnessing Church”

“Celebrating 130 Years of Telling All Generations the Wonderful Works of the Lord”

The Church can be described as the universal body of all believers and the Church as the Body of Christ (Matthew 16:18 & I Corinthians 15:9). Worship is necessary for the corporate life of the Church (Ephesians 1:6). With these Biblical verses we see the reasons for starting a church.
Taking these Biblical verses to heart, the foundation for the inception of Morning Star Baptist Church began to take seed in the mind of Reverend Robert T. Winn, the founder and first pastor. In the year 1890, Morning Star began with a few dedicated followers worshiping in Reverend Winn’s home at 909 Pierce Street. Twenty-seven (27) letters of transfer were sent from our Mother Church (“Leadenhall Baptist Church”), which confirmed that Morning Star Baptist could become a separate church.
As Morning Star grew and developed under Reverend Winn’s leadership, it was necessary to expand the church home site. This expansion would occur twice since its beginnings in 1890. But the most significant move occurred in 1913. Morning Star Baptist Church moved to a newly erected building located at Saratoga and Rock Streets.
After years of dedicated service to the Lord, God called Reverend Winn home on September 22, 1923.

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:15 (KJV)

With the previously expressed wishes of Reverend Winn, Reverend George Jacob Garnett would become the second pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church. Reverend George Jacob Garnett accepted the pastorate to Morning Star in October of 1924.
Morning Star would continue to grow and develop. As the congregation grew, it became necessary to seek a larger church. Under Reverend Garnett’s guidance, the deacons, trustees and growing membership sought a new location. A suitable location, was found at 1063 West Fayette Street, Morning Star’s present location. The Pastor, officers and members marched into their new location on March 29, 1925.
Reverend Garnett became the catalyst for Morning Star Baptist Church becoming a dynamic force in the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland. While delivering a sermon as guest preacher at Fulton Baptist Church, Reverend Garnett took flight to his heavenly home. This occurred in May, 1949.

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding His twelve disciples, He departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.” Matthew 11:1 (KJV)
The third person to receive the call to become pastor of Morning Star was Reverend Nathaniel Wicks. He answer the call to become one of God’s servants in 1950. He was a dedicated man of God who served both his church and community. Morning Star Baptist Church continued to flourish under Reverend Wicks’ pastor ship.
Reverend Wicks was a quiet and gentle man. However, he was faithful and strong in his conviction to serve the church and mankind. Reverend Wicks faithfully served as pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church for 17 years. Ill health caused Reverend Wicks to retire from his ministerial duties. He met his Savior six (6) months after his retirement in 1967.

“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15 (KJV)

Morning Star Baptist Church’s fourth pastor, Reverend Dr. Samuel Ray was installed as our leader on December 17, 1967. It was under his strong direction that Morning Star Baptist Church became Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ (“The Witnessing Church”). It was under his leadership that Morning Star developed many new ministries that serve as a template for churches to follow.
Reverend Ray’s capable leadership made it possible for the church to adjoin a Christian Education Center in 1972. This center was built to serve both the church and the community. More importantly, many souls were added to the Body of Christ under his leadership. Reverend Samuel Ray leaves a strong legacy for Morning Star Church of Christ to follow. Reverend Ray is resting in Jesus’ arms after many fruitful years of labor.

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season: reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” II Timothy 4:2 (KJV)

The fifth pastor to receive the call to lead and to continue the legacy of Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ is Reverend Clarence E. Fowler. Reverend Fowler became a member of Morning Star Baptist Church in 1971. A prophetic dream showed him that he would become a minister who would preach the word of God to the people. He would prepare for this mission by increasing his knowledge by attending Baltimore City Community College, St. Mary’s Seminary, and Howard University-School of Divinity.
Reverend Fowler was ordained into the ministry at Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ in March, 1982. On January 15, 1988, Reverend Fowler was elected and installed as the Assistant Pastor to Morning Star. He served faithfully beside Reverend Dr. Samuel Ray for thirty-five (35) years. Reverend Ray was his Pastor, Spiritual Father, Mentor, Confidant and Friend.
Since being installed as pastor of the Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ on November 5, 2017, Reverend Fowler has continued being a faithful and committed Servant. He is supporting the ministerial legacy of Morning Star Baptist Church of Christ by assisting disadvantaged men, women and their children; attending to the spiritual needs of the church and community members; counseling the sick and those who are grieving; and feeding his flock by preaching the word of God and spreading the Gospel throughout the land. To conclude, Reverend Fowler is truly a “man moving forward… following God’s lead”!