The History of Morse Street Baptist Church
Sunday, May 12, 1985 marked the beginning of Morse Street Baptist Church. Approximately 25 people composed the congregation who first met at the Denton Baptist Association Service Center. The Morse Street Church family later met at Camp Copass Chapel until the current edifice was completed. Rev. Robert Manson was selected and served as interim pastor during this time and did a splendid job in every way.
Through much prayer and determination, we finally moved into our new building on Sunday, September 1, 1985. Shortly after, a pastoral search committee was chosen from among us and charged with the task of selecting a pastor with God’s help. Through divine guidance from God, Dr. Don Hayes and his lovely wife Ann celebrated their first Sunday with Morse Street on March 2, 1986. Under the direction and leadership of Pastor Hayes and the faithful work of the church family, we made tremendous strides in broadening the ministry of God through Christ Jesus.
In 1986, we began our “Together We Can” Campaign setting before us goals that we committed ourselves to individually and collectively build a Family Life Center that would afford us further opportunities to serve our community. We know that through our dedication and giving, God will build to His glory. In 1988-1989, we purchased two additional tracts of land adjoining our present property. We also concluded our “Together We Can” campaign, not with total accomplishment, but with a greater determination to resume again in the very near future.
On November 5, 1989, the Holy Trinity Ensemble over our baptistery was dedicated in honor of our beloved Deacon George Mohair who passed away in July ’89. His spectacular service, distinction, and fidelity shall be greatly missed in our congregation.
With renewed goals and aspirations, 1990 was a great and refreshing year. We engaged in an intensive stewardship program “Planned Growth in Giving.” We acquired tremendous growth spiritually and financially through this great program. In 1991, the church grew to over 300 members under the interim pastorship of Rev. Robert Manson (October 1990 – July 1991) and the continued leadership of Don J. Hayes in July 1991.
In May 1998, Rev. A.R. Stokes was called by God to serve as the “Pastoral Candidate” and in July 1998 as Senior Pastor of Morse Street Baptist Church. Rev. Stokes and his lovely wife Sandee Stokes have led our church graciously and enthusiastically to greater heights and we are growing spiritually and every other way under their leadership. We thank God for them and pray that God will continue to be with us as we continue our “Upreach, Inreach, and Outreach”.
On June 1, 1994 Rev. James Kelly accepted the charge to serve as interim pastor of Morse Street. He served with enthusiasm and a commitment to promote spiritual growth and harmony in the fellowship. Under Rev. Kelly’s interim pastorship (June 1994 – December 1994) the church increased numerically and experienced a renewed sense of individual accountability.
On January 1, 1995 Rev. James E. Harris began serving the church as Senior Pastor. During his pastorship, he began the Early Morning Services on 2nd Sundays. Now, in 2004, 23 have Early Morning Worship every Sunday at 8 a.m. Rev. Harris served as pastor until March 9, 1997. Rev. James Kelly accepted the charge to serve as interim pastor on March 16, 1997. MSBC and its ministries continued to grow through prayer and faith.
We celebrated our Note Burning Ceremony in January 2000 and completed construction of the two outside recreation areas for our Nursery and Children in March 2002. We are currently making exciting plans to build our Family Life Center that will greatly enhance our church ministries and our community. Our prayer is that God will continue to bless us as we seek more opportunities to lead others to Christ through the diverse ministries at Morse Street Baptist Church Where Jesus is Lord. To God be the glory!