About Us

We are a church that makes disciples through dynamic worship experiences, sound biblical doctrine while caring for one another in Christian love. We are a dedicated group of believers committed to building a thriving ministry in Western Massachusetts. Currently we worship at 11 N Main in South Hadley, formerly the home of the Congregational Church of South Hadley Falls. Our high-spirited worship services are contemporary in style, yet maintain the traditional values and Biblical principles that have endured for generations. The teaching and preaching is relevant, practical, and equips people with enduring faith for real life situations.

Our Values

We Value Scripture

We are committed to clear and accurate communication of God’s Word; so that seekers find Christ and believers mature in Him. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

We Value Worship

We strive to acknowledge God’s supreme value and worth in our personal and congregational worship experiences. (John 4:23)

We Value Prayer

We rely on private and congregational prayer in the conception, planning, and execution of all church activities. (James 5:16)

We Value Leadership

We acknowledge Christ is the head of the Church and He sends Pastors to lead His local congregations until He returns. (Eph. 4:11)

We Value Fairness

We believe all people matter to God regardless of background or status, therefore all people should be treated fairly with His love. (Jas. 2:2-4)

We Value Encouragement

We encourage a Christian self-image which is not based on personal accomplishments or difficulties, but what God has done for you in Jesus Christ and what you can do through Him. (Phil. 4:13)

We Value Excellence

We recognize God set a standard of excellence when He gave His best to us; as a result we only give God our best to Him. 
(Rom. 8:32)

Meet Our Pastor:  Rev. Paul J. Starnes

 Our pastor knows about transformation through personal life experiences. He is a native of Springfield that graduated from the High School of Commerce with a goal to achieve in business. Soon after graduation he began his entrepreneurial career that spanned for more than two decades creating multiple successful businesses in the greater Springfield and New England areas. During his career he has had tremendous success as well as learned priceless life lessons through difficult situations.

While still an entrepreneur, the ministry call on his life began to outweigh his drive to build his company. He responded to his call and was licensed to preach in January 1995, by the Bethlehem Baptist Community Church in Holyoke MA. His grandmother was a founding member and it seems her spirit of church planting was passed down. As a result our pastor began to establish the Morning Star Church in January of 2000 and was ordained shortly after in May.

He is happily married to his wife Lisa and together they parent their combined family of four children and one grandchild. He is continuing his education at the University of Massachusetts where he is currently majoring in business administration while simultaneously pursuing his Masters of Urban Ministries degree at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminar. He is an active member of the Pastor’s Council of Greater Springfield. Our pastor has a passion for music and promoting events; he is the co-founder of Salt and Light ministries, where he uses his professional skills to create social activities that develop a Christian lifestyle. He also has a heart for the community and is one the original members of the Black Men of Greater Springfield.

Our Affiliation

American Baptists today are rooted solidly in nearly four centuries of a distinctive Christian tradition. As early Baptists overcame oppression by establishing a congregational church system emphasizing local church autonomy (self governing) and separation from state influence, so contemporary American Baptists continue to emphasize both the importance and the responsibility of every church and the individual believer before God.

While embracing independence from the state, American Baptists long have affirmed the principle of interdependence. This recognizes that the Holy Spirit is at work in congregations and other organized bodies and that great things can be done in God’s name through cooperation. In American Baptist Churches, the cooperative efforts of 5,800 congregations, 34 regional organizations and a number of national and international agencies have resulted in fruitful accomplishments in evangelism and social outreach.

We recognize that cooperative Christianity allows yet another dimension of God-ordained outreach to be accomplished. With that understanding, our churches have worked for God’s glory in local and regional ecumenical arenas. In addition, our denominational outreach for Christ has been extended because of our relationships with the Baptist World Alliance, the National Council of Churches of Christ, the World Council of Churches and with members of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Our Vision

We envision the Christian community in the Pioneer valley living an abundant life. This Christ-centered life affects each aspect of living. There are harmonious fellowships among Christian churches; good stewards meet and exceed their financial goals. This health-conscious Christian body is concerned with physical and mental well-being, as well as spiritual. Strong families abiding by Biblical principles are the foundation of thriving neighborhoods. Believers support businesses owned and operated by other Christians. These active followers enjoy a constant array of Christian activities beyond the walls of their local churches. The Spirit-filled believers enjoy their Christian lifestyle so much that they are eager to invite others to follow Christ.

We envision a new state of the art facility built on a peaceful and serene landscape. It has a reverent sanctuary, personal prayer rooms, Christian education class rooms, community child care center, banquet ready fellowship hall and kitchen, multipurpose rooms, recreational and fitness space and administrative offices. All are designed to minister to the total person; spiritually, physically, and socially.

We envision a generation of young people with zeal, energy and conviction. They are sincere disciples who embrace this vision and are committed to continue in the spirit of this vision for generations to come.

Our family oriented ministry takes a holistic approach. We are concerned with more than a person’s spiritual needs; we are concerned with all of their needs. Our focus is on faith, family, fellowship, finances and fitness. We pay more attention to where someone is going than where they have been. Our aim is to identify each person’s God-given gifts or talents and help them develop them for God’s glory.