Pastor Tony BYRD

Lead Pastor

After enjoying several terrific years in local church youth ministry, in May of 2000, Tony and Heather Byrd stepped into God’s ultimate calling on their lives, launching MorningStar Church in Tampa, FL.  Since then, God has blessed MorningStar in extraordinary ways, growing this ministry from a small handful of people (there was a grand total of 6 in that first Bible study!) to a thriving, joyful church family whose impact is felt throughout our city, and even around the world.


To prepare for his calling, Tony attended Lee University in Cleveland, TN, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Education (1991).  Then 3 years later he completed a Master of Divinity at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary.  Beyond that, Tony and Heather are the ridiculously proud parents of Caroline Banegas (and husband Arvin), Ellis, Gillian, and Jin.  In addition, they both enjoy music, sports, working out, traveling, reading, and spending quality time with that incredible family we just mentioned.


Oh, and they do love the people of MorningStar Church, as well as the great city of Tampa.  And they’d be delighted to meet you sometime.  Come see us!

Pastor Peter Bonanno

Associate pastor

Peter has a passion to raise up and release leaders to serve in their gifts and calling as well as helping teams of leaders collaborate to fulfill the great commission.  He believes that the local church is called to live missionally and join God in reaching the world.  In this current season, as associate pastor, he is excited to serve the MorningStar church family and help to move us into a new future fulfilling our unique kingdom contribution in the Tampa area.


Both Peter and Lisa have hearts to encourage, equip and empower others.  For several years, Peter served as a District Supervisor with the Foursquare church for overseeing close to 200 churches within 15 states.  He and Lisa Bonanno pastored for over 25 years, planting and establishing Grace Capital Church in New Hampshire with over 1400 members and three campuses.


He has his undergraduate degree from Oral Roberts University and a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from Life Pacific University.  Peter enjoys traveling to new places, reading, riding his Vespa in the warm weather.  He and his wife Lisa also have a knack for renovating and designing homes and have three Airbnb’s that they love to use hosting people from around the world.  They have three grown children: Caleb (31), Jorden (29), and Gabby (26) as well as a mini-Bernadoodle pup named Benny.



Stephanie is a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and storyteller who finds no greater joy than to witness hope renewed and dignity restored in the human spirit.  Married to her best friend Scott, they share 5 adult children, a Shepherd named Midnight, and 3 cats (all rescued by their daughters.)  After two decades building teams as an executive in the marketplace, Stephanie heard and accepted God’s invitation to work for Him.

Having spent over 12 years leading mission teams in countries like Haiti, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Swaziland (often with her husband Scott), she discovered her passion is to help servant leaders recognize the recurring reality of God’s amazing grace and see how the gateway of vulnerability and humility can provide an opportunity for freedom, healing, and courage to accept the help of God’s transforming power by the Holy Spirit.

She has her undergraduate degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Liberty University and master’s degree in Ministerial Leadership from Southeastern University.  A native Floridian and avid reader, Stephanie loves anything involving the beach, running, swimming, and quiet time in her hammock. She and Scott are excited to join the MorningStar Church family and truly believe that God our Father has some amazing Kingdom Business planned.