Cornerstone Church, as we know it today, is a thriving church of 750 adults and children, meeting together on Sundays at Castle Boulevard, and around the city in midweek smaller groups. Yet the story of God’s hand of blessing upon our church stretches back for many decades!
Peter & Valerie Lewis, who retired from leadership ministry at Cornerstone in 2015, first came to the church in 1969. It was a small Baptist church meeting in Hyson Green, with around 40 members. Peter brought a fresh emphasis on the importance of the Bible in the life and teaching of the church, and as a result, the church steadily grew. Throughout the 1970s the church grew as a number of students and young professionals joined. Peter also began to develop a wider ministry through his writing of books and columns in leading evangelical publications.
As the church grew, it became clear that the old Victorian building in which they met was becoming an increasing liability, and so in 1983 the church moved to Raleigh Street in Radford, to a nearly-new social club building. At this point, the church was renamed ‘The Cornerstone Evangelical Church.’
Throughout the 1980s the church continued to grow, especially as more and more students and then families became part of the church. A number of people we also prepared for serving the Lord in ministry in churches in the UK and overseas. Peter continued to write books and speak at regional and national conferences.
By the 1990s, Cornerstone had outgrown its premises again, and found a secondary school near Wollaton Park to house its Sunday services. Over the next 20 years the church continued to be blessed by contemporary and biblical worship, teaching and community life. Numerous International Workers were commissioned and sent to serve God in different countries of the world, whilst people from many nations came to Nottingham and Cornerstone to work, study or find refuge. To sustain and develop these many ministries, growing numbers of leaders and staff were appointed.
In 2008, we experienced the Lord’s leading to prepare to leave the school premises, and find a location for our own facilities. The church gathered together for prayer, fasting, and seeking the Lord. The call to sacrificial giving rang throughout the church, and the Lord prompted our hearts to fresh levels of service and giving, raising £2.7 million to buy the site on Castle Boulevard, which then housed the MFI showroom and warehouse. Further giving has raised a total of £4.5 million, and we have a mortgage of £1.6 million.
We moved into our new premises in September 2012, tremendously thankful for all the Lord’s generosity and blessings upon us so far.
Our memories of Cornerstone are now decades old but still as precious as ever.