About Us

Who We Are

We grow in faith through dynamic worship experiences, sound biblical preaching while caring for one another in Christian love. We are a dedicated group of believers committed to building a thriving ministry in Western Massachusetts. Our high-spirited services are contemporary in style but maintain traditional elements that have endured for generations. The teaching and preaching are relevant, practical, and equips people with enduring faith for real-life situations.

Our church takes a holistic approach to ministry. 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. We aim to identify each person's God-given gifts or talents and help them develop them for God's glory.

Our Pastor

Rev. Paul J. Starnes
Rev. Paul J. Starnes

Our pastor knows about God’s transformation power through personal life experiences. He did not take the typical path to ministry; he started a business career early in life. His entrepreneurial experience spans more than three decades, creating several successful companies. During that time, he has had tremendous accomplishments and learned priceless life lessons overcoming challenging times.

While still an entrepreneur, the spiritual call to ministry began to outweigh his personal drive to build his business. He responded to the divine call and began preaching in January 1995 at his home church, the Bethlehem Baptist Community Church in Holyoke, MA. His grandmother was a founding member, and it seems he shares her same passion for church planting. As a result, he founded the Morning Star Church in January of 2000.

He is happily married to his wife Lisa, and together they parent their blended family of four children and five grandchildren.

Ministry Team

Lisa Starnes

Church Administrator

Darryl Bonner

Associate Pastor

Kevin Sharpe

Music Director

Tonia Bonner

Christian Education Ministry

Robert Rivera

Praise & Worship Leader

Pam Simpson

Media Ministry

Bill Gibson

Facility & Grounds Ministry

Our Affiliation

American Baptist Churches USA

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, contemporary American Baptists continue to highlight the importance and responsibility of every church and the individual believer before God.

While embracing independence from the state, American Baptists have long affirmed the principle of interdependence. In American Baptist Churches, the cooperative efforts of 5,800 congregations, 34 regional organizations, and several national and international agencies have resulted in fruitful accomplishments in evangelism and social outreach.

In addition, our denominational outreach for Christ extends 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.