Our Pastor

Reverend Anthony Maurice Atkins Jr. is the oldest of 4 born to Niles Reed and Angela Allen. Reverend Atkins received the Bachelor of Business Administration Degree (BAA) in Human Resource Management with a minor in Accounting from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, the Master of Divinity Degree (M.Div.) from Baylor University, George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. In May of 2023 Reverend Atkins earned the Doctor of Ministry Degree (D. Min.) from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio as a Pointer, Brown, Goodman Fellow focusing on “Engaging and Growing Congregations through Creative Pastoral Preaching and Leadership Models.” His dissertation topic is entitled “Let the Church Roll On; A Model for Congregational Stability in the Absence of Pastoral Presence.”

Reverend Atkins, acknowledge his call into the preaching ministry in 2003 and on August 8, 2004, he preached his first sermon and was later licensed as a gospel preacher at the Bethel Temple Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. In 2018 Reverend Atkins was ordained into Christian ministry by the Mount Canaan Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana.

In 2018 Reverend Atkins was called to serve as the Senior Pastor of Hebron Baptist Church in Longview, Texas. Over the last 4 years God has used Pastor Atkins to strengthen, stabilize, and structure the church to the glory and honor of God. Through Pastor Atkins leadership Hebron Baptist Church created Hebron Cares. This ministry is designed to partner with local organizations to provide aid and assistance those who are displaced due to natural disasters. Through this ministry families are fed throughout the year in the Longview area, aid and assistance were given to Jackson, Mississippi during their water crisis, and in Louisiana during hurricane season.

After 4 faithful years of service at Hebron Baptist Church, God reassigned Dr. Atkins to Nashville, Tenessesse on October 21, 2023, to assume the pastorate of the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church. Although, the journey at Morning Star Church is just beginning, it is evident that “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23

Reverend Atkins is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and member of the of the NAACP and the Ministerial Alliance of Nashville. Reverend Atkins is married to the love of his life the former Mrs. Tianna Renee Atkins, where for 1 year and three months they have shared wedded bliss.

Pastor Atkins is committed to being a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, loving husband and acompassionate pastor.


Pastor Emeritus Gregory Powell is characterized as a visionary leader. He has served the Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church with a constant leadership for 41 years. He is pursuing a God-given vision for an inner city ministry that is fueled by a passion to serve the Chestnut Hills Community formally the Cameron-Trimble Bottom Community.

Community Outreach
Over the past years, he has led the church in the purchasing of properties to accommodate the needs of the ministry, with a focus on expanding services in the community. The following highlights are some of the results:

  • Construction of a New Worship Center.
  • Converted the old sanctuary into a Training and Recreation Center.
  • Established Star Ministries, Inc., a non-profit ministry designed to provide food to the under-privileged.
  • Constructed two houses and developed other properties to assist with providing affordable housing.
  • Provided housing for C-team Chapel ministries.
  • Opened Martha’s House-a mentoring site for youth between ages 12-18 years and small group activities.

Pastor Powell is actively involved in and supports several civic and service organizations in the community and the city of Nashville: Barefoot Republic Camp & Retreat Center, Green Hill Health Center, Nashville Rescue Mission, Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, American Baptist College Alumni (1982), Foreign Mission.

Family Life
He has been married to wife, Debra since 1984 and they have two children, Grekail and Desmond.

Wellness
Pastor Powell is an advocate for good health and physical fitness. He is a long distance runner. His passion for running motivated him to successfully complete several marathons (26.2 miles), one was the Boston Marathon. He often compares his ministry to a marathon race and not a 100-yard dash.

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