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Our Story

On September 13, 1931, Reverend Smith Cary and a small number of members organized Rising Star Church. Under his leadership, they acquired a building called “The Greasy Spoon”, located at 711 Irma Street.


In 1949, a growing congregation moved to a second site at 1333 Evans Avenue. Under the leadership of Pastor Cary, the membership grew to approximately 3,000. On January 6, 1969, the Lord called Reverend Smith Cary home.


On April 23, 1969, Reverend T.H. Davis accepted the challenge of pastoring the Rising Star Church. In July 1972, the membership purchased the facilities located at 4216 Avenue M at Miller Street. On October 15, they conducted the final services at 1333 Evans Avenue and held the first services in this present location on October 22, 1972.


On June 24, 1990, the membership granted Reverend T.H. Davis’s request to retire because of illness. On the same day, the Assistant to the Pastor, Reverend Ralph W. Emerson, Jr., was accepted as pastor of the Church. From July to November 1990, more than 30 members joined the Church and approximately 15 were baptized.


Under Pastor Emerson's leadership, Rising Star added a family life center, with weight room and aerobics area, game room, gym, jogging track, performance stage, family lounge, and chapel. Groundbreaking for this expansion project was June 8, 2003. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new additions was May 15, 2005.


In July 2023, Pastor Ralph W. Emerson retired from leading Rising Star after 33 years of service. He passed the baton to his son, Ralph S. Emerson on August 20, 2023.


Today, the work and legacy of Rising Star continues under Pastor Ralph’s leadership.  

Meet the Team

Learn more about the team at Rising Star

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