Stepping out into the unknown with nothing more than a dream and faith in God is exhilarating…and risky. Just ask the committed community of believers who met for their first Sunday at Hill Classical Middle School on November 11, 2001, officially beginning a journey fueled by the belief that Long Beach needed a new church with fresh vision and authentic community.
Each Sunday for over six years a dedicated team of volunteers transformed a middle school into a thriving church campus. Founding pastor, Jerry Rueb, fondly called it “church out of the box.” Those early days marked by powerful Bible messages, rich community, lively worship and a commitment to impact the world set Cornerstone’s D.N.A.
Cornerstone didn’t have to look far for opportunities to make a positive difference in the world. Hill Middle School with its 1300 students was on the verge of closure by the Long Beach Unified School District. Campus violence and low test scores threatened the future of this magnet school. Into the challenge stepped the compassionate and generous people of Cornerstone. The unusual partnership between church and public school acted like a rudder turning Hill toward a brighter future. With no expectation except the good of the students, Cornerstone Church and Hill's faculty and staff joined hands. After five years of partnership, Hill Middle School was awarded the coveted National Blue Ribbon School. Hill’s principal stated that Cornerstone’s involvement made a huge difference. A quote from St Francis of Assisi applies here: "Preach the gospel at all times -- If necessary, use words." Words alone cannot explain this miraculous turnaround.
No one is a finished project…everyone is under construction at Cornerstone. People from a diversity of backgrounds discover God personally and fulfill His highest purpose for their lives in this place. Spiritual transformation comes through life-connected Bible preaching and teaching, creative/inclusive worship, in-depth studies and a host of opportunities for significant and supportive relationships for all ages. Cornerstone’s worthy goal is to develop enthusiastic followers of Jesus Christ who live out their faith in honest relationships, anchored to the truth of the Bible.
God designed every life to leave a mark. Jesus called His followers to be the servants of all. Cornerstone places high value on personal involvement in local and world-wide projects: neighborhood schools in Long Beach; urban youth workers in America’s cities; the Long Beach Rescue Mission; New Hope grief recovery; a Christian presence at local college campuses; housing for orphans of AIDS in Malawi; a new start for refugee children fleeing genocide in Darfur; church construction in Mexico and Honduras; development of Christian leaders in Asia and the Middle East; hospital construction in Dominican Republic; Bible translation and distribution throughout the world; food to the hungry and relief to oppressed of the world.
As Cornerstone Church continues to move forward, it will…
· Run with a sense of urgency but without panic
· Dream with creativity without being trendy
· Develop its diversity without needless conformity
· Offer its compassion without expectation
· Teach the truth of the Bible without apology
· Live with enthusiasm for Jesus Christ without reservation
The vision that motivated Cornerstone Church at its beginning continues to gather momentum. Nearing a decade later we are sitting on the verge of the greatest days of Cornerstone’s history. Through the prayerful and generous provision of the committed people of Cornerstone, God supplied a building at 1000 N Studebaker Rd in Long Beach. Located in the same neighborhood where it began, Cornerstone Church is positioned to face the challenges of the 21st century.
A new chapter is being written and you are invited to join us for the most exciting part of Cornerstone’s history to date. If our brief history is any indication, fasten your seat belt.
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