The Associate Pastors at Morning Star Baptist Church (MSBC) serve in a supporting role to the church’s senior pastor. Sometimes that role is to be a substitute in the pastor's absence, or to preach in his stead if he has dual engagements. The associates are also being prepped for future pastorship, or performing roles that may free up the pastor such as teaching, and assisting in baptism. Although associate pastors are not found in the bible, scripture refers to them as “Elders,” and it can be said that the associate pastors are elders or leaders in the church serving alongside the pastor, with Jesus as the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23), and to recognize that a leader is a servant not to come to be served, but to serve others. The associate pastors or elders adhere to the same standards as the senior pastor. There is scripture that state “for this cause left I you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed you” (Titus 1:5). The associates or elders, especially those that teach, are supported by the ministry. “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17). The pastors or elders should be strong in the word of God and also have a ministry of prayer, which is one important ministry.
Our Deacons at MSBC are men who are lead through leadership of the pastor to support feeding the flock by teaching and assisting wherever necessary in activities as they are willing to serve. They are put in place to minister to the church’s physical needs while the elders and pastor minister to their spiritual needs. This also includes administrative, organizational, maintenance and financial depending on the needs and gifts available of the men. According to the Word of God, they are to be blameless, the husband of one wife, a good household manager, respectable, honest, not addicted to alcohol and not greedy (1 Timothy 3:8-12). The office of a deacon is an honor and a blessing. “For they that have used the office of a deacon gain good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 3:13).
The Trustees at MSBC are usually one who oversees the physical aspect of the church such as finance, property, buildings, legal matters and maintenance of the church property, as well as risk management and liabilities. In the Book of Acts 6:1-7, in the early church, seven men were selected to oversee particular needs of the church. Since the role of the trustee is not defined in the bible, though some U.S. states legally require trustees for organizational purposes. Certain trustees should be people of high character and have abilities in appropriate areas, such as skills in finance, construction and building maintenance.
The Missionaries at MSBC are members who are dedicated to the mission of helping and serving others who are in need. They make preparations for those being baptized, and they are dedicated to taking care of the needs of those within the church family and others in the community. Some of their activities are visiting the sick and shut-in, feeding and clothing the homeless, fixing meals for those who are, sick, or unable to do for themselves or have lost loved ones. They also support the American Cancer Society, and there are those who have supported feeding the community during the season of Thanksgiving, and the Salvation Army during Christmas, as well as assisting the pastor in areas needed.
CHILDREN’S CHURCH and NURSERY MINISTRY
MSBC has recently formed a “Children’s Church Ministry.” This ministry is being provided to teach our children about God in a way that they can understand, comprehend and receive. Our teachers are equipped to instruct our children about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit on their level of learning. Children’s Church is held on 1st, 3rd, and 4th Sunday of the month, and on 2nd Sunday which is Youth Sunday, the children gather in the main sanctuary together to lift of the name of Jesus. There is also a “Nursery Ministry” for those ages 5 and under.
TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY MINISTRY
The MSBC has a Senior Bible Study at 12:00 noon for those who are seasoned seniors, but also welcome those of any age. This is a time when they get together for praise, worship, and bible study having a loving good time fellowshipping one with another. They attend special events such as traveling to different plays, bowling, shopping, as well as special guests who are invited to inform the seniors about different issues as they age. A luncheon is held after bible study so the seniors can enjoy fellowshipping together. MSBC also has Wednesday night bible study beginning with praise and worship at 6:30 p.m. followed by Bible Study. This ministry caters to ages 18 and up, and there is also bible study for children ages 17 and under.
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION MINISTRY
Christian Education is not just about a Christian way of understanding, but a way of living. God’s word, the Bible, is central to all Christian Education programs for edification and evangelization at Morning Star Baptist Church. The purpose of Christian Education is to help all to become aware and understand the story of our faith in God by making use of the Bible, the history, and tradition of the church, human reason, and by handling with integrity our own cultural experience to assist in implementing the vision areas of the church (discipleship, worship, churchmanship, fellowship, and stewardship). The goal is that we might each relate faithfully in love to God, each other, and the world (Deuteronomy 4:19-14, II Timothy 2:1-5, John 8:31, 32).
MSBC has an Usher Ministry that ranges from the young ushers to the seasoned ushers. This service is very important because in Psalm 84:10 states “….I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” The role of the ushers is to greet one another with a warm smile and a gracious spirit and make those entering the sanctuary feel welcome. The ushers are to ensure that the church service runs smoothly by specific responsibilities such as greeting people as the arrive for service, passing out bulletins, seating guests, passing out welcoming packages, assisting with special needs, collecting the offering, and other areas of interest. This is a very important service because it is the first face and eye contact you see when you enter the sanctuary, and the heart of an usher is the heart of a servant who does the work of the Lord.
WOMEN AND MEN MINISTRY
The women and men of MSBC are dedicated to coming together to learn, fellowship, and evangelize to those who are lost. MSBC has Women’s Day, Men’s Day, and a Women’s Ministry as well as a Men’s Ministry as they come together during special events to empower each other, to help one another, and to learn about one another for the building of the Kingdom of God.
The “We Praise You Lord Tie Knot Blanket Ministry” is a group of women who have come together to provide hundreds of blankets for evangelistic outreach to Africa and other areas including the Tidewater area. These blankets are provided for those who are living in temperatures that are bitter cold, and also for those that are elderly, homeless, and in the hospital, providing the warmth of Jesus they can feel each day. These blankets are an evangelist tool that helps the local church reach out to their communities in a practical way. They are distributed by the women, and serves as a vehicle for international communication linking arms with brothers and sisters in Christ with one purpose of sharing and imparting love to people who are unknown in this region in the name of Jesus Christ.
THE MUSIC MINISTRY
The MSBC Music Ministry is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through song using voices and instruments. This is a part of worship and praise during service that encourages believers in their walk with Christ, lead the congregation in worship, and provide an avenue through which individuals may share their gift and talents as an integral part of worship. Music prepares the heart for the Holy Spirit to minister to them. It sets the atmosphere whereby we may see His glory! Some music ministries have praise teams or worshippers who center on the thoughts of God. For those who are not born again, it prepares the heart for the Holy Spirit to minister to them. MSBC has the Male Chorus (1st Sunday), Youth Choir (2nd Sunday), Inspirational Choir (3rd Sunday), Voices of Praise (4th Sunday), and the Mass Choir (5th Sunday).
PRAISE DANCE MINISTRY
The MSBC Praise Dance Ministry is a group of young ladies who does a form of dance in public that articulates praise to our God by using the hands and body with expressions to God. These are dances that are unto the Lord.
MIME DANCE MINISTRY
The MSBC Mime Dance Ministry is a powerful and demonstrative form of art through expressions of worship and praise to God by acting out without saying words, but movement, gestures, and expressions through the body as unto the Lord.
The MSBC Hospitality Ministry is a ministry of kindness and generosity as servants to the church as well as the community. This ministry address the physical needs of the church family as well as strangers for food and clothing. Hospitality almost always involves sharing meals, table fellowship by acknowledging the equal value of worth of people. There is a need to eat together to sustain communication and identification as a community. The table is a central practice of hospitality in the home as well as at church. It gives the church family as well as visitors an opportunity to establish new and old relationships and sustain existing ones. The team come together to serve others, as well as provide a food pantry for those in need.
The MSBC Jail Ministry’s primary focus is to equip offenders and ex-offenders re-entering back into society with practical spiritual guidance and to aid in their lives in order to avoid harmful patterns and unhealthy attitudes. This ministry also give guidance in avoiding addictive and destructive relationships and behaviors in order to not re-enter the prison system again, and become positive contributors to society and bring awareness to help others avoid this system which is becoming a fast growing population. Their role is to impact those incarcerated as well as those who are exiting the system. By spreading the gospel in the prison system, this can help change the lives of these inmates and not only offers hope of the gospel, but practical assistance to someone disabled by association or dysfunctioned due to their life and lifestyle. We must be the Body of Christ to help inmates rise out of these type settings and rescue the greatness that is within them. Even if there is one, who can return back to their families with a change of heart will bring joy and happiness because of the evidence shown through our ministry, power, love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Health Ministry at MSBC work to support and promote Christ-centered health and wellness of the body, mind and spirit. The Health Ministry is present to assist the congregation in case someone is not feeling well, or needs assistance health wise when attending church functions. There have promotion of health and wellness by providing resources and offering informal workshops. There is also a blood pressure screening and heart check-up every second Sunday after church service, as well as health advice and information by our nurses.
The MSBC Transportation Ministry provides a van to serve the Hampton/Newport News area bringing members as well as visitors to our church services. Transportation is made on Wednesday nights for bible study and Sunday morning services. There is also transportation for special programs that are held throughout the year at MSBC.