Organization

Cornerstone is an elder led, mid-sized, conservative, evangelical church organized around key ministries supporting our Mission. Most of our ministries are led by ordinary people not paid professionals. We intentionally keep our staff small to allow for maximum serving opportunities in the church and to allow us to invest more in ministries outside the church.

A Bit of History   

In October 2003, Barry & Vicki Arnold invited about 15 couples -- friends who had previously said if Barry ever started another church they wanted to know about it -- to a meeting at Arnold’s home to discuss the possibility of starting a new church. More than 90 people showed up, some parking blocks away. That first meeting led to four more Saturday evenings at Jim and Mary Beth Irvine’s.  We wanted to be a church but we had no meeting place, no leadership structure, not even a name, no supplies, no sound system and no money. 

A decision we made the second Saturday evening continues to be a guiding philosophy for Cornerstone today.  The group decided to receive an offering for two weeks and then give it away.  All of it. The first week’s offering was just under $5,000 – a lot of money for this little bunch.  We were astounded, though, when, after the second offering, we learned the total: $16,242.  The next week we prayed over two checks, one made out to Shepherd’s Door, a Portland Women’s Shelter, the other to a new orphanage Rick & Jan Norquist were establishing near Mazatlan, Mexico. 

Our plan to locate in the Damascus area had to be changed because we simply couldn't find a school or meeting place in that area that we could rent.  Powell Valley Grade School, in Gresham, agreed to rent us their facilities and so we started Sunday, Nov 30, 2003.

Cornerstone will never be a huge church.  As our culture becomes more and more impersonal, we think churches must become more personal.  Mid-sized churches, large enough to have synergy and momentum but small enough so people can know each other, are, perhaps, the best way to impact our communities for Christ. Instead of growing larger and larger we prefer to start other churches.  

Resurrection Sunday 2007 our first church plant, Gresham Bible Church, was born. We also invested significantly in another local church plant, Eden Bible Church, which ultimately failed. We are always looking and praying for the next church planter because we haven’t lost the excitement of starting fresh. Our prayer is we never will!