Apr 23

Tenth Anniversary of Cornerstone Baptist Church

CBC 10th Anniversary

CBC 10th Anniversary

On Sunday April 19, 2015 we celebrated our tenth anniversary as a church.

History of Cornerstone Baptist Church

In July 2002, American missionaries Matt and Marla Hanna moved their family to the DzwoYing District of Kaohsiung with the goal of planting a new Baptist Church. With God’s help and leading, and with assistance from Emily Luo and other members of Freedom Baptist Church (Feng Shan), they began holding weekly children’s Bible clubs in neighborhood parks and in the first floor of their home. Their rented house at BoAi 4th Road #150 was a five story storefront building right in the heart of Kaohsiung’s most-rapidly developing district.

After making friendships in the community and distributing thousands of invitations and gospel tracts, they held the very first worship service of Cornerstone Chapel on September 9, 2002. Nine people attended that first service. Worship services were conducted every Sunday morning on the first floor, while the pastor and his family lived upstairs during the week. On Sunday evenings, Pastor Hanna held an English worship service followed by an English conversation and Bible class to give the gospel and develop new contacts. Grace Yen was one of the first people to attend our English worship service. Children’s Bible club was held every Friday afternoon.

By July 2003, the first floor storefront could no longer contain the growing number of people attending our Sunday worship services. In order to accommodate more seating, the auditorium was moved upstairs to the building’s second floor. First floor was converted to a church nursery and office space for the pastor.

Through the clear preaching of the word of God, the people grew in their understanding of the Bible’s teaching about the local church. On April 17, 2005 the congregation held an organizational meeting to establish itself as an independent Baptist Church. Twenty-two individuals voted to receive the Church Constitution and Doctrinal Statement. Then, each person signed his or her name to the Church Covenant as a founding member of the church. Finally, the church voted to receive Pastor Hanna as their first pastor and voted for the first deacons and other church officers.

During this period of time, DzwoYing District was growing up around the church. The Number 10 Freeway was completed in 2005. New apartment buildings began springing up everywhere throughout the neighborhood. Then, in 2007 the new Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) and Kaoshiung subway system (KMRT) also began operation in a new station just a few blocks from the church. Because of the church’s high profile location, visitors frequently appeared in our worship services and other meetings. The church continued to experience God’s blessings as individuals trusted Christ, received baptism, and joined the church.

In 2007 the church reached a weekly average attendance of 70 people. By this time, the church was using three floors of our building and the pastor’s family had moved to an apartment nearby. We began praying for God to provide a larger meeting location for our church congregation. God answered our prayers in an amazing way. At just the right time, the building directly adjacent became available for rent. It was a corner property with five floors and a large basement. Furthermore, it was more than double the size of our previous building and could seat over 100 people in the second floor auditorium. The whole church mobilized to help clean and prepare the building for use, and on March 29, 2009 we held the first worship service in our present location at BoAi 4th Road #152.

Since the church’s inception, its ministries have slowly expanded in every area. These ministries include children’s and adult Sunday School, Children’s Church, weekly youth fellowship meetings, mid-week prayer meetings, ladies’ bi-weekly Bible Study, and choir. Special evangelistic outreach ministries are conducted at Christmas and on other occasions. Summer and winter youth camp and children’s VBS are also annual events on our church calendar. The church now supports seven foreign and domestic missionaries and gospel organizations that extend our ministry around the world.

As Cornerstone Baptist Church has grown, God has given us many godly pastors, missionaries, and co-workers to help minister to the spiritual needs of our congregation. In 2006, Singaporean missionary Dolly Wong began attending Cornerstone. She provided training and leadership to many different ministries, including children’s ministries, ladies’ Bible study and choir, until her return to Singapore in 2015. From 2006 to 2008 Tad and Hannah Wychopen came to work with our youth group, which grew tremendously under their leadership. At the same time, missionaries Pat and Mary Delaney also came and spent two years working with our congregation. Others who have contributed to our church ministry include Yoh Shirato, David and Shirley Marsteller, Sam Hung, Keith and Jeanette Cullers, Hsu YiShin, Mark Lehman, and Grace and Henry Tsuei. God has truly blessed us with godly leaders and co-workers.

As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, Cornerstone Baptist Church stands at a crossroads. It is becoming plain that we cannot remain in our present location much longer. We are praying that God will provide a suitable building in the DzwoYing area for us to rent or purchase, so that our ministry to one another and to the lost might continue to increase. As God has blessed and led us in the past, we believe and expect him to lead us in the next steps of our journey. May God help us to be faithful in fulfilling his purposes for us as a church: to glorify God, to build up Christ’s body, the church, and to testify to the world of God’s salvation in Christ!

 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

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