The Elder's Update about the Building
In June of 1993, 27 years ago, Cornerstone Bible Church was launched in this area. There have been a lot of changes that have taken place during Cornerstone’s almost 3-decade history. But one thing that has remained the same is the desire to reach this area with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We earnestly pray that that never changes. In our desire to honor the Lord and to continue to advance the gospel in this region we believe the timing has come to begin the construction of a church building that we would regularly gather in as a church family.
But let me remind you, the building is not about the building. The building is a toolbox to support the church in advancing the kingdom of God. But putting this facility in place on the 40-acre property that Cornerstone owns is something that we have been seeking the Lord about for a number of years. I know that a number of you have been here for a long time and can remember the Arise and Shine campaign that took place back in the early 2000s. Eight years ago, the Ministry Center was constructed and has provided a wonderful place for ministry and office space for church staff.
But there’s still been this longing for a place that our entire church family can gather in to worship Jesus Christ together. Well, two years ago, in the Fall of 2018, we gathered as a church family after a time of fasting and prayer to present pledges to what each family and individual could give towards the building.
You as a church pledged to give just shy of three hundred thousand dollars! It was a tremendous showing of your commitment to the Lord and the generosity of His working in this area. However, at the time our projected building costs were a little over one million dollars. The Elders decided that we needed to reduce the size and bring the cost of the building to a more obtainable number. But our desire never changed. We firmly believed (and still do) that the Lord has been leading us to press forward with the construction of this building.
That has become all the more obvious over the past several months as the Coronavirus struck our world and we were denied entrance to this facility. Now, that is not a statement to criticize the school. We are deeply thankful to the Cardinal School District for allowing us to meet in their building. But it is nevertheless a reminder that we are at the will of the school when we can meet and how long we can meet for.
We believe that a fully functioning building where our entire church family could gather whenever we consider it necessary would further enhance the opportunity to minister within this area for generations to come. It would be a place where we would regularly gather on Sunday mornings. A place where we would have the capability to do things that we cannot do within our current facilities like hold weddings, conduct funerals, put on larger conferences that the entire church family could participate in.
We are closer than we have ever been to breaking ground. You, as a church, have been giving faithfully to this project. I have been amazed at your generosity over the past several years. I have been amazed even more so while we’ve been separated from each other and meeting exclusively online during this pandemic. During that 9 week separation, many church leaders were expressing their concern about how giving would be affected while the church was not meeting in person. I praise God that that has not been an issue at Cornerstone Bible Church.
God has been so generous to you and as an act of worship, you, as a church, have faithfully responded by giving wholeheartedly to the ministry of this church. You have graciously given to the general fund as well as the building fund. In total, you have given $318,207.21 to the Building Fund. A portion of that has come from the money that you have pledged to give, but also that is money that has come in without a pledge. Now, we have spent some money already out of the Building Fund, and I will tell you more about that in a moment.
But, the new projected costs for a completed building should be within approximately $600,000 to $800,000. It is our intention to keep the cost as low as reasonably possible without affecting the quality of the building. We praise the Lord for His faithfulness in your life and your desire to open your hands (and your bank accounts) to give towards the completion of this project. But we still have a long way to go with raising the necessary monies to finish the project. Our intent is to start with the money we have on hand and keep moving forward as the money continues to be given.
Over the past several years you have walked by faith and the leadership of the church has been seeking to do that as well.
So, last Fall we hired an architect, spending $20,000 of the Building Fund to begin working on the drawings of the building; so currently, what we have in the Building Fund is somewhere closer to $300,000 to move forward with.
And within the past month, the Elders and the Building team received the finished construction drawings! They look fantastic! In the next couple of weeks, we’ll have some 3-D renderings so that you can get a really good glimpse of what the building will look like. Right now, the architect’s construction drawings are under review at the Geauga County Building Department. At the same time, the Mullet Company is receiving bids so that we can get clear-cut numbers of how much everything will cost.
But keep in mind, we are not looking to outsource every phase of this construction. We are hopeful, through the labor of people within the church, to keep the cost of each phase significantly lower than what a construction company would charge. So, you will have more and more opportunities to invest in the blessing of this building as it gets closer to becoming a reality.
I don’t know if I can fully express how excited I am about all this. It is amazing to hear of all the attempts to move forward on this project over the past couple of decades, but here we are on the brink of actually doing it. God has been so good to us! We are so close, that in the next several days we are planning on ordering the steel for the construction of this building! That’s amazing! We are hopeful to actually be in this building within the next year. Possibly, if money continues to come in to keep the construction progress moving, we could be in that church building within the next six months.
Isn’t that amazing? Praise be to God for working in the midst of our church! Apart from God, this entire project gets left on the drawing-room floor. But let me ask you a question: Are you all in? Are you fully committed to seeing this project through?
We pray that you are because there is still work to be done! There are still finances to be raised. But would you express your commitment to the Church Building Project by showing up to our Ground-Breaking Ceremony? You heard me right. That’s how close we are. We are having a Ground-Breaking Ceremony on Sunday afternoon July 26 right after the morning service. By being in attendance that day we ask that you would (1) pray for the Elders and the Building Team in making wise decisions and being united throughout this whole process, that you would (2) Continue to give generously to this project, and that you would (3) commit to helping in the projects where you are able.
Now, there is a possibility that there will actually be some ground broken prior to our ceremony. But we want to gather as a church family to recognize and celebrate the work of God that He has done and is doing in our midst. We pray that this building will be blessed by God and will be a place that the gospel is proclaimed, where sinners will be saved, where the saved will be sanctified, and where the church (the people of God) will glorify Jesus Christ, the King of kings for generations to come!
The Elders at Cornerstone.