About Cornerstone Mennonite Fellowship
In the fall of 1997, a group of families interested in doctrinal stability, evangelism and focused worship, began discussing the possibility of starting a church in the Ephrata area. Meetings were first held on Sunday evenings in Ephrata Mennonite School gym. Our first Sunday morning service was on March 1, 1998, at the Lincoln Fire Hall. The congregation chose the name Cornerstone Mennonite Fellowship on March 15, 1998.
Several months later, Ephrata Mennonite Church built a larger church after outgrowing their facilities. As we contemplated buying the Oak Street property, we clearly saw God’s hand of direction. With the help of an anonymous donor, we were able to purchase the sturdy brick building. Our first service was held there on October 18, 1998. In October of 2002, the adjoining property on Fulton Street was purchased. It has a large house made into several apartments, (partially used by Love INC ministry) and a garage that provides storage space.
Clair Martin was affirmed by the congregation as pastor on July 8, 1998. Charter Day was held on August 23, 1998, with 68 signing members and 24 families represented. As our congregation grew, additional leadership was needed. Nelson Gehman was called as pastor on May 23, 1999; Jay Laughman as deacon on December 12, 1999; Dave Martin as deacon on April 6, 2003; Jim Musser as deacon on December 7, 2008, and Crit Lapp as pastor on February 28, 2010. Our current membership is 206, with approximately 75 families represented.
In the early years, our church was not part of a conference. During this time, Nelson Bowman served our congregation as overseer giving guidance to our congregation and the ministry team. In August 2005, Cornerstone became a member of the Biblical Mennonite Alliance. This group of conservative Anabaptist Mennonite churches, from many states, strive to promote obedience to Jesus Christ and all His teachings. It also provides a network of support for our leaders. Ernie Mummau served as our BMA regional overseer for 3 years, then in August 2008 Jay Laughman began serving in this position.
Our desire is that our congregation would be a blessing to those around us and that we will be faithful followers of the Lord.