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|10/12/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
|Cornerstone hoping to give area families a church to call home|
By Kate Howes
Cornerstone Baptist Church in Eldridge is growing - so much so that it is expanding to include a second location in DeWitt.
The first official service will be held Sunday, Oct. 20, inside the media center at Central Community High School. Sunday school and adult Bible school will take place at 8:45 a.m., followed by the worship service at 10 a.m.
Mark Zevenbergen, who was the associate pastor in Eldridge and will be the campus pastor in DeWitt, says there are several factors that led to the development of a second site in DeWitt.
"First, we have 21 families that attend Cornerstone from areas like DeWitt, Grand Mound, Calamus, Clinton, Delmar and Charlotte," Zevenbergen explains. "We wanted to provide a church in their area to invite people they know who don't have a church to call home. Second, it has been on our hearts to start a new church either with our denomination or by ourselves. Third, our senior pastor attended a denominational conference in Los Angeles in January and through that conference, there was strong agreement from the leadership of our denomination and strong prayer we should start a church in DeWitt."
Zevenbergen also notes, spiritual demographics show there are a lot of people in DeWitt and the surrounding communities who don't have a church to call home. Cornerstone Baptist Church wants to give these people an opportunity to be part of a loving family; something, he says, the church is great at doing.
Plans to start a second church and provide another ministry in DeWitt have been in the works for over a year.
Choosing its location wasn't a difficult decision.
"DeWitt is a wonderful community," Zevenbergen relates. "Many or our families reside in DeWitt. It's centrally-located and it's growing."
In January, Zevenbergen will have been the associate pastor in Eldridge for 16 years. Cornerstone was his first church following his graduation from seminary. He says while he was very happy in Eldridge, God worked in his heart to take this step of obedience and he felt he was led to take on the campus pastor role in DeWitt.
Striving to be strong in spirit,
scripture and service
Zevenbergen says Cornerstone is a church that desires to be strong in spirit, scripture and service.
"Cornerstone emphasizes knowing Jesus Christ personally, growing in our understanding of God's word, allowing God's spirit to empower us in our daily lives and put into practice our beliefs by serving in our community and world," he explains. "We love to serve. Twice a year we have a short worship service and go to into the community on those Sundays and do various projects for the schools and other organizations. But it's not just on Sundays that you'll see us serving. It's part of our DNA."
Zevenbergen says he understands people today are busy - many working as many as six days a week with Sunday being their only day off.
That is why Cornerstone strives to make the most of each service and make it well worth the parishioners' time.
"That is why Cornerstone's worship is exciting, the Sunday school, the adult Bible fellowships and messages are relevant, encouraging and empowering," Zevenbergen relates. "Our people come to Cornerstone regularly because there is an added value to their lives. Church fulfills them because they grow in Christ and are being used by Christ. As a result, they are happier employees, spouses, parents, grandparents, neighbors and citizens."
Zevenbergen and his wife, Andrea, and their three children, Jackson, a high school freshman; Mac, a fifth-grader; and Lynden, a third-grader, have been enjoying getting to know DeWitt and all it has to offer. He says they are impressed with the friendliness of the clergy, the chamber of commerce, police department and school administration.
"We love the DeWitt community," he shares. "People are friendly. There are a lot of fun activities, restaurants and places to be. My three kids were taught to swim at the DeWitt pool. I just love driving or walking down Sixth Avenue and hearing the music playing. It's so positive."
Zevenbergen says he believes there are excellent churches in the DeWitt area and encourages anyone who doesn't attend a church to go to one.
For anyone who is interested and is without a church home, he invites them to come and check out Cornerstone and to connect to God through Jesus Christ.
"I have personally found loving relationships with the Cornerstone people," Zevenbergen relates. "I have found opportunities to connect with God, grow in my relationship with Jesus and celebrate through worthwhile worship. But my family is just one of many families and singles who have found a place at Cornerstone.