Pastor Curtis Barber
 
TO THE STAR
            One hundred years ago, God birthed in the heart, mind and soul of Elisha Smith and the Staten family the ministry known as Shining Star Baptist Church.  On that glorious day, eight souls begin an epic journey of faith.  Little did they know that their spiritual journey would span a century and impact tens of thousands of souls around the world.  They left behind a legacy of faith, devotion and commitment.  They braved the challenges that each decade brought.  They persevered through depression, wars, Jim Crow, discrimination, poverty and segregation.  Resolving to trust their God they stood upon the promises of Christ their King. Their engine was faith, powered by determination and the Holy Spirit.  Built on the foundation of God's truth they forged ahead overcoming every obstacle they faced, fighting fearlessly, they knew whom they had believed.  As they were faithful to their calling and to their God, God proved faithful to them.  God grew them and enlarged not only their territory but their sphere of influence and effectiveness.  They were fruitful and they multiplied. The Lord added to the church such as should be saved.  They were not deterred by their poverty, what they had they gave.  They were more than a community of born again believers, they were a family held together by the grace and favor of God.  They were faithful individuals walking by faith and not by sight.  Their steps being ordered by the Lord, the light of the Star shone brighter and brighter with time.  The Star became a beacon of hope along the Eastern Avenue corridor, compelling men to come out of darkness into the marvelous light of Christ.  Over the years God gave them great men of faith, great servant leaders to lead the way (Elisa Smith, William Jordan, James G. Redd and James M. Johnson).  Supported by a multi-gifted group of individuals the ministry flourished.  Today the Star still stands as a light shining brightly in the sky.  She still beckons to the masses, spreading hope and planting seeds of life eternal.  Her heart still beating with compassion for humanity.  As we celebrate 100 years as a ministry let us not forget our humble beginnings, nor the purpose for our being.  Look how far we have come.  We have come this far by faith.  One plants, another waters but God gives the increase (1 Cor 3:6).  The Word of God says "to whom much is given  of him shall much be required" (Luke 12:48).   The torch has been passed on to us.  Let us honor the legacy left to us.  Let us replicate the labor, faith and commitment of those who have gone before us upon whose labor we even now enjoy the fruits thereof.  Do we dare not persevere as they persevered?  Do we dare exhibit less faith than they exhibited?  Do we dare be less committed than they were?  Do we dare be less prayerful than they were?  No my brothers and sisters we dare not.  We are the Star.  Created to serve and created to shine.  We have a charge to keep and a God to glorify.  Too numerous to name, there is a great cloud of witnesses peering down from above whose faith and works beckons to us to continue on the journey.  They charge us even as they were charged: 
        1.  " Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove,
                      rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
                  2.  "Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make                         full proof of the ministry."
                  3.  "Study to show thyself approved unto God, workman that need not be
                       ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
                  4.  "Be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
                       For as much as you know, your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
                  5.  "Keep the faith. Fight a good fight, finish your course."
 
In so doing my Shining Star family we will carry out the legacy left to us and will be assured
 
of  leaving a legacy to those who come behind us.  We can be assured that the brightness of
 
the Star will continue to shine forth as the beacon she was birthed to be and that she will
 
continue to offer an eternal hope to the masses.  May her light forever flicker in the heavens. 
                                                             
                                                               Shine Star  Shine.
 
To God be the glory for the great things He has done.  Happy Anniversary Family.
                                                            Respectfully submitted,
                                                             Pastor Curtis T. Barber

Shining Star Baptist Church | 11832 Eastern Avenue Baltimore, MD  21220 | 410.335.7772