Morning Star’s commission from the beginning has been to reach unchurched people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It has been our attempt to do so by providing creative and authentic worship experiences, fellowship activities, and supportive educational and recovery groups for all ages. Our desire to reach unchurched people has led us to create a worship style that is informal and upbeat, warm and welcoming.
In December 1993, The Presbytery of Monmouth called Revs. Ed and Myrlene Hamilton as organizing co-pastors of a new church development in Bayville. After a series of organizational meetings, the pastors began holding regular Bible studies. The first worship services began on Palm Sunday of 1994. On March 23, 1997, we were chartered as a congregation by Monmouth Presbytery, with 75 members.
Morning Star has been nomadic from the beginning, and seeking a place to call home. We began meeting in the Township Nature Study building, then the Bayville Fire Hall, then Central Middle School, then the Berkeley Township Recreation Building. In the summer of 2000, the Presbytery purchased property for our use, just off Grand Central Parkway. In June, 2006, site work began on the property. Worship in the new building at One Morning Star Way, Bayville began in August, 2007.
Following Ed Hamilton’s death in January 2004, Myrlene Hamilton continued as solo pastor. Myrlene retired on September 1, 2016 after 22 years of ministry at Morning Star. The church hired Rev. Theresa Swenson to serve as their Interim Pastor starting May 1, 2017.