Morning Star Freewill Baptist Church Seeks to Expand Services

Morning Star Freewill Baptist Church was organized in the early 1900’s in Jacksonville’s Eastside neighborhood on Buckman Street, north of East 21st Street. The original building was destroyed by fire, and was relocated to its present site at 1528 East 20th Street. For years, this church has served the local community’s spiritual, educational, health, and social needs. As such, the business and financial needs of the church grew.

In the early 1960’s, the church opened a checking account with the predecessor of Wells Fargo Bank.  With that banking relationship, the church was able to conduct typical business transactions. This year, it was necessary for the church to open a new business checking account. Although they already had an account, new federal regulations require anyone opening a bank account to provide a Social Security Number or a Federal Employer’s ID Number (EID). Upon seeking to open a new checking account at Wells Fargo Bank, the church found that they couldn’t proceed without complying with the new federal requirements. Therefore, the church was referred to the Jacksonville Urban League Entrepreneurship Center (JULEC) for assistance.

Upon meeting with church representatives at the JULEC, it was further learned that the Church’s Charter was misplaced. This necessitated an additional step in the church having to be incorporated. Morning Star Freewill Baptist Church found themselves in the right place. The JULEC Director, Thomas B. Waters, listened to the church’s needs and understood what needed to ensue. He understood that a church needs to incorporate because in the state of Florida, the old church charter is the equivalent to state corporate status. Additionally, corporate status is necessary to apply for an EID.

Churches can be economic engines as they often provide employment opportunities, promote community and economic development projects, and offer ministries that address social, educational, health, and quality of life causes. This is precisely what Morning Star does in its’ Eastside neighborhood.  From the services the church received from the JULEC, it now has its’ new charter, incorporation status, EID, and a new business checking account with Wells Fargo Bank.

These services will now put Morning Star Freewill Baptist Church well on its way to helping to build a better Eastside neighborhood.