History of Morningside Baptist Church 1979 – Present
In December of 1978 a group of about 40 people from Faith Baptist Church decided that the time was right for a new beginning. They began meeting at the Sun Federal Bank Building, located on West Tennessee Street. On January 10, 1979, the members of this group met and voted to form a new church. This new church called Reverend Horace Chapman to serve as the first pastor.
For several weeks, the church worshiped in private homes and at the Sun Federal Bank Building until they finally rented a small house on the corner of U.S. 90 and Pedrick Road. During a meeting in that home, the group decided to name the church “Morningside”, because they were located on the morning side of Tallahassee and were the first Tallahassee Baptist church to greet each new day that God would send. Morningside Baptist Chapel remained in that house for two and one half years. In January of 1981, Reverend Chapman was called away from Morningside.
The church was led to call Reverend Ray Tindall to serve as pastor. Reverend Tindall accepted the call under the condition that he could complete his service as interim pastor at First Baptist Church of Crawfordville. Morningside accepted this condition and then called Reverend Tom Thompson to serve as interim at Morningside.
On April 22, 1981, the members of Morningside Baptist Chapel voted unanimously to accept the sponsorship of the First Baptist Church of Tallahassee. This new sponsorship coupled with the arrival of Reverend Tindall in June of 1981 brought new life into the church. July 12, 1981, the church began meeting at W.T. Moore Elementary School.
Reverend Tindall launched a campaign to raise $6,000 dollars to complete the purchase of 6+ acres of property on Pedrick Road. God provided as Morningside Baptist Chapel met this goal and purchased the property for $47,000. On May 22, 1983, a ground-breaking ceremony was held and construction was underway. On April 8, 1984, the first service was held in the new sanctuary, and May 6, 1984 the Morningside Baptist Chapel building was dedicated. God continued to bless as the church grew.
By 1987, Morningside Baptist Chapel was ready to become constituted as an autonomous Southern Baptist church. On July 12, 1987 Morningside Baptist Chapel was officially constituted and became Morningside Baptist Church.
After faithfully serving as pastor for 8 years, Reverend Ray Tindall expressed his desire to retire in the summer of 1989. Morningside Baptist Church assembled a pastor search committee and they called Reverend Donnie Holley as pastor on November 19, 1989.
During Reverend Holley’s tenure as pastor, God continued to bless as the church continued to grow. Eight additional acres of land were purchased and educational additions were completed. The church also bought a new bus. Reverend Holley served faithfully for ten and one half years before being called away from Morningside Baptist Church on April 30, 2000.
Once again, Morningside Baptist Church assembled a search committee. The church called Reverend Ron Bonds to serve as interim on September 24, 2000. On December 16, 2001, Reverend Brian Gilliland was called to serve as the fourth pastor of Morningside Baptist Church. God is continuing to bless the ministries of our church. As we consider our history, we must thank God for His goodness and mercy and pray that we may be found faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to our care.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2