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About Us

Our History

Morningside Baptist Church began in 1949 as a mission of Southside Baptist Church on the corner of Converse Street and Collins Avenue. Southside purchased a military chapel from the former Camp Croft facility and moved the building to this site. The first service was held in the reconstructed chapel July 31, 1949. On June 4, 1950, Morningside transitioned from being a mission to being a church. Lewis Brazell became its first pastor.

Rev. Fred Dabney, who became the second pastor on November 23, 1952, led the church to rapid growth. A new sanctuary, seating 800, opened May 8, 1955.

Rev. James Gibson became Morningside’s third pastor on May 20, 1962. During Rev. Gibson's pastorate, plans were made for an additional educational building.

Rev. Joe Crook became Morningside’s fourth pastor in April 1966. Two years into his ministry, the church’s educational building was opened. The 1970’s brought monumental change to Morningside. The church moved from its original site in Duncan Park to its current location at 897 South Pine Street.

While Morningside’s new Pine Street facility was under construction, the congregation held Sunday morning services at Pine Street Elementary School and used the facilities of the former Ruth Memorial Presbyterian Church on Union Street. The new church building was dedicated February 6, 1977.

Rev. Mike McGee became the fifth pastor of Morningside in November 1979. Mission trips became a major emphasis. Mission teams traveled to Belize, the Grand Cayman Islands, Korea, Uruguay, Chile, and other parts of the world sharing the Good News of Christ. The church’s youth ministry began an annual summer mission trip that continues today.

In June 1996, Dr. Kirk H. Neely became the church's sixth pastor. Morningside experienced phenomenal growth during this time. The increased attendance in worship resulted in a decision to have to add a second morning service. Under Dr. Neely's pastorate, the purpose statement for church became, "We are a family of faith, living in hope, serving in joy, and bonded in love.”

In December 1998, the church purchased the adjacent 2.2 acres and existing building, which was converted into temporary educational space for youth and adults. Currently this facility houses the church's conference room, the Scout Troop, and the Spartanburg Interfaith Hospitality Network (SPIHN). As Morningside entered the new millennium, it had grown to over 1,500 members and celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sunday, June 4, 2000. Sunday, August 12, 2001, the church broke ground for a two-story educational wing and Fellowship Hall. Dedication services were held in the completed facility on Sunday, November 17, 2002.

In 2007 the church acquired an additional building adjacent to the property. It now serves as an outreach building which houses multiple non-profit organization.

In January, 2012, we began work on the "Extreme Makeover" to renovate and update all office spaces for the staff and church office, senior adult, children and preschool classrooms, with the addition of a Multi-Purpose Room. In August, 2013, the Morningside Preschool began as a full-time daycare ministry.

On June 29, 2014, Dr. Kirk H. Neely retired as Senior Pastor after 18 years of ministry. In July of 2016 Rev. Steven Owensbey became the next pastor of Morningside. He seeks to encourage every member to be a disciple maker and share the gospel with every person you meet. To God be the glory, great things he has done.

The work on the “morning side” of town continues to advance the Kingdom of God. Morningside is a Southern Baptist Church and fully supports Southern Baptist missions.

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