Morningstar International is busy ministry

Morningstar International is busy ministry

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comFebruary 21, 2014 

Larry Gierer/lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comJerry Scarborough is the founder of the nonprofit Morningstar International ministry in Phenix City. Over the years, the ministry has held rallies for children, couples' weekend retreats and monthly luncheons. They have raised almost $25,000 to help Chinese students attend university.

LARRY GIERER — Ledger-enquirer file photo

Jerry Scarborough, a certified public accountant, laughed and called himself the black sheep of the family. His two brothers and brother-in-law are all ministers.

"They are my heroes," he said of Wayne Scarborough of Auburn Heights Baptist in Phenix City; Steven Scarborough of Refuge Baptist in Tallassee, Ala.; and Charles Keown of Lakewood Baptist in Phenix City.

Still, Jerry Scarborough has done his fair share of ministering over the last 30 years.

The 68-year-old married father of four is the founder of the nonprofit Morningstar International, a ministry he operates out of his Phenix City office.

"I have a lot of people who help us," he said. "It's not about me."

He described his CPA practice as amazing and said he isn't planning on retiring anytime soon. He said he has some of the best clients in the world and many of them support Morningstar.

As for his ministry, Jerry Scarborough said that years ago he felt called to do this work.

"I still feel that way," he said.

He gives God all the praise, honor and glory for the success he has had.

Scarborough and his wife, Linda, teach a large Sunday school class at Central Baptist Church. He said Morningstar has served the Lord in different ways through the years.

It began in 1979 as The Lighthouse but the name was changed soon after to Kids Under Construction.

Scarborough was assisted by fellow church members who provided music at Kids Rallies that were held not only locally, but also in places such as Montgomery, Ala., and Clarksdale, Miss.

"Sometimes we would have as many as 2,500 children at our rallies," he said of the events that took place in the '80s. "About 100 churches would be represented. We would have entertainers, funny people such as a ventriloquist, to deliver a message. At each rally, we gave away T-shirts with a spiritual logo on the front," Scarborough said.

He remarked that several months ago a couple came to a Morningstar luncheon wearing their shirts.

"They had to be at least 20 years old," Scarborough said. "We probably ministered to 15,000 children at those rallies."

During that period, the ministry also sponsored Kid's Camps, which drew hundreds of participants.

The ministry then moved in a different direction.

Fifteen years ago, Morningstar began holding an annual couples retreat at the Blue Mountain Mist Inn near Pigeon Forge, Tenn. The retreats are taught by pastor Robert J. Morgan of Nashville, Tenn.

"He is terrific," Scarborough said. "The bed and breakfast is owned by a wonderful Christian couple. We think of that spot as holy ground."

Keown has led the praise at each retreat.

"We have about 30 couples attend and already have couple signing up for 2015," Scarborough said.

Scarborough emails morning messages to about 800 people that feature scripture.

"I don't know how many are opened," he said, smiling.

The ministry has a monthly Lunch With the Lord at Central Baptist Church featuring guest speakers that are catered by the Miles to Go restaurant.

He called the meals good fellowship with many churches and different denominations represented.

He has been to China twice and through the years, Morningstar, named after a school in China, has raised almost $25,000 to help Chinese students attend SIAS International University. He said the school was founded by a Chinese believer.

The ministry's focus is now on Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C., which he calls a biblically strong university. Morningstar wants to offer financial assistance to a worthy student from the area to attend a school where Scarborough said, "Jesus Christ is lifted up and honored instead of being torn down and scorned as He is in so many universities."

He said that he was recently approached by some Phenix City teachers who want to travel to Africa to do mission work and he hopes to partner with them.

The ministry also has begun an adoption ministry. So far, three families have been helped with adoption expenses.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Morningstar International can call 334-480-2080 or email jscpa@att.net.

Scarborough said he doesn't know how much longer he will have the ability to do what he does but he knows "God will be there for me."

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