Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The Mennonite church, located at 3577 Church Road in Mountaintop, was founded in April of 1984.
Rev. Thomas Miller has been the pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship for the past 26 years, since joining with his wife, Chris, in 1987. The most important thing about the Cornerstone church, says the pastor, is “The church is about meeting people in the community and loving them.”
The worship service on Sunday, April 13 will be dedicated in celebration of the 30 years Cornerstone Christian Fellowship has been fulfilling this mission. Pastor Miller will be “making this a moment of celebration.”
At this special anniversary service, six parishioners will be honored with certificates, acknowledging them for their service to the church for over 20 years. “They’re not just parishioners but they’ve served as Treasurers and Elders, among other things,“ comments Pastor Miller. During the service, church members will have an opportunity to stand and openly share how the church has affected their lives. Each member of the congregation will receive a “memorial cup,” with a photo of the church depicted on it, that will be filled with “special goodies.” A special meal will follow the service.
Pastor Miller and his wife, Chris, are the church’s first “Pastor couple”.
Before coming to Mountaintop, Pastor Miller had served on staff at Elim Bible Institute for five years and had a prison ministry as well as copastoring a church in Geneseo, NY for four years.
Over the past 30 years of his tenure at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, the church has grown tremendously. “We’ve expanded several times!” exclaims Pastor Miller. The most recent expansion was completed several months ago. The original building that housed the church was at South Main Road and Yeager Road. When Pastor Miller arrived, he began an expansion project in order to keep up with the church’s rapid growth. After adding on a new addition, complete with a nursery, restrooms, and a foyer, in addition to Sunday school rooms and a service kitchen, the church outgrew their space. “God was good to us,” he proclaims.
As a consequence of that growth, in 1997 Cornerstone bought 17 acres of land on Church Road upon which it now rests. “We had the property, but no buildings!,” explains the pastor. Initially, the members of the church had to worship in one room, which was not large enough to accommodate the 80 or 90 members of the congregation. One small chapel was built followed by the Fellowship Hall and storage area that were built shortly thereafter. The chapel was expanded and a pavilion large enough to hold 160 people was completed. Six to eight months ago, a new chapel was added.
Pastor Miller remarks that every time the church expands, they lose members. “People don’t like the sawdust involved in moving,” he notes. The church presently has 70 members, but he is looking to expand the church. “Four expansions takes a lot out of a body of believers,” comments the pastor. He relates the church is in its “Body Building Phase,” investing its resources into finding more parishioners. “We’re dedicated to serving God,” he says. “We’re a loving family of God.”
According to Pastor Miller, the reason Cornerstone is called a Fellowship church is because of what the word itself means. “We didn’t just pick it because it sounded pretty,” he says. “We use ‘fellowship’ because it’s important to have that kind of relationship with God and Jesus Christ, then with each other.”
The Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church has numerous family related activities. An active youth group, the Lighthouse Youth Group, is for teens ages 13-19. The group meets Wednesday nights from 7-8:30 pm. There is also a children’s program for Kindergarten through Seventh grade, and Sunday school for the children. Every Fall, the Church hosts their annual Harvest Market for the community. “We have strong ties to our church family,” Pastor Miller asserts.
Pastor Miller is joined in his ministry by Assistant Pastor Stephanie Hussey. She and her husband, Van, have two children. Pastor Stephanie has spent the last five years teaching, since she has a degree in Elementary Education from Valley Forge Christian College. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible Studies from Elim Bible Institute.
For information, call Cornerstone at 570-678-7231,or e-mail contact cornerstonechristianfellowship.org.