Baptist Church has magnificent and impressive facilities.
Our sanctuary is famous for its' warm rich and elegant
structural design. Kindly visit the virtual tour
before leaving the Cornerstone web site, and view the
newly renovated facilities. Our congregation has
grown from a few people in 1917 to in excess of 1500
is more than the impressive facilities. The church
is its' people - from our precious infants to our cherished
seniors filled with the love of God and for each other.
An impressive Pastor leads us, along with very capable
assistants and associates, a devoted staff and outstanding
Boards of Trustees, Deacons and Deaconess
has some sixty-five Boards, clubs and organizations
that offer every member a mini-home where they can expand
their talents and indulge their special interests
church has a large and active Sunday school program,
including a month long Vacation Bible School
during the summer, which is free to the public.
Music Ministry supports five choirs for every age and
musical ability - and so much more....visit our online
calendar for scheduled services, musical events and
programs. Our church home is a place in which
the motto "Welcome and Worship Are Warm" has
real meaning. The congregation respects its seniors,
nurtures its young, values every member and welcomes
all who enter. Our corner at Dr. Sandy F. Ray
Blvd and Madison Street is a place of love, worship
and caring. We invite you to read on, visit our
history, do the virtual tour, and check out the Cornerstone
clubs and auxiliaries here on our Web Site. We
invite you to come for a visit to share the love.
the year 1917, in the borough of Brooklyn, New York,
as bombs and bullets were being hurled across the continent
of Europe, our Heavenly Father was planting seeds of
courage in the hearts and minds of some Christian soldiers
that were determined to live for Christ.
by the Holy Spirit, a small group went from home to
home and held their first meeting at 933 DeKalb Avenue,
Brooklyn, New York, in the home of Mrs. M. Freeman.
This group continued to worship together and on September
10,1917, the Cornerstone Baptist Church was organized
and dedicated to the Service of God. The
Reverend William H. Rodman was the founder and first
Pastor. On May 3, 1920, a meeting was held to organize
this body into a permanent church.
six Baptist Churches which formed the Recognition Council,
officially recognized Cornerstone Baptist Church on
June 9, 1920, by holding a public service. The financial
offering for this service was five dollars.
Reverend Rodman was called from labor to reward in February,
1921. Later that same year Reverend A. R. Artis was
called to pastor Cornerstone. He served until May, 1922.
The Reverend J. J. Jenkins became pastor later in 1922
and served until 1925. He was followed by the Reverend
J. R. Williams, who passed away on June 16,1929. The
Reverend Thomas Willis Fentress was then called to pastor.
Under his pastorate the church moved to 688 DeKalb Avenue,
and in 1932 Cornerstone moved to its first church edifice
at Gates Avenue and Irving Place. The word spread of
a place where "Welcome and Worship Are Warm"
and grew to be one of Brooklyn's largest congregations.
the twelve years of Reverend Fentress' ministry, many
strong soldiers began to emerge. . . Deacon Cyril A.
Davis, Deacon Allen Jordan who served as both deacon
and trustee, Deacons William Holley, Conrade Scott,
Mrs. Carrie E. Moore, Mrs. Mary N. Barnett and others.
1941, the Reverend Fentress was called to rest from
his labor. We thank God for his life and service.
April 1, 1944, the Reverend Dr. Sandy Frederick Ray
who had pastored three churches and was pastor of the
Shiloh Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, was called
to Cornerstone. The Cornerstone congregation had grown
so large the church edifice at Gates Avenue and Irving
Place could no longer accommodate us.
December 28, 1944, a contract was signed for the Lewis
Avenue Congregational Church Parish which would accommodate
our parishioners. The purchase price was $29,000.00
and renovation cost was $28,000.00. On June 10, 1945,
the march from the old church to the new took place
under "SHOWER OF BLESSINGS."
Dr. Milton K. Curry, Sr. preached the first sermon in
the new edifice.
the thirty-five year ministry of Dr. Ray new buildings
were purchased and erected to house our church office
and the pastor's study. The church parsonage at 1281
President Street was purchased in 1956. The Cornerstone
Educational Center, 289 Lewis Avenue (now Dr. Sandy
F. Ray Boulevard) was completed, dedicated and opened
to the public May 29, 1966. The Reverend Dr. Sandy Frederick
Ray fell asleep on April 11, 1979.
the period from May, 1979 to November, 1981, the Reverend
Henry G. Scott, Assistant to Dr. Ray, served with distinction
November 14, 1981, the Cornerstone Baptist Church Family
held an election and unanimously elected the Reverend
Dr. Harry Starks Wright, a Pastor, Dean and College
President, to the Pastorate of Cornerstone Baptist Church.
He is our seventh pastor.
March, 1982, Dr. Wright officially began his ministry
at Cornerstone. God has given him the message of love,
not only to speak it, but to live it. Following a Pre-Installation
Luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria on July 24, 1982, Dr.
Wright was installed as Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist
Church by the Reverend Dr. Gardner C. Taylor, Senior
Pastor, Concord Baptist Church of Christ, on Sunday,
July 25, 1982.
no doubt in our minds, Dr. Wright was sent by God to
take hold of the spiritual baton passed on to him to
continue this Gospel Journey
As we journey through this 21st century, we look back
in admiration and appreciation to the Cornerstone pioneers
who paved the way for us to better serve the present
age and to be "A Witness
August 3, 2003, our beloved Pastor Harry S. Wright retired.
His successor, The Revered Lawrence Aker took
the reins and presently serves as Pastor of Cornerstone
Lawrence E. Aker, III, a native of Dallas, Texas, is
the son of the Reverend Clyde and Dorothy Aker.
cum laude from Howard University with a B.A. in Communications
and holds a Master in Theology from Dallas Theological
Seminary, a Master of Sacred Theology from Yale University
and is presently a Doctor of Philosophy candidate at
Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.
He has served
as Youth Minister at the Christian Tabernacle Baptist
Church in Hamden, Connecticut, and has had the honor
of preaching at churches at Yale University; Mount Holyoke
College, South Hadley, MA.; Zimbabwe, Africa; and the
National Baptist Student Union Conference in Atlanta,
Georgia. Reverend Aker has also been blessed with
the opportunity to study biblical archaeology at The
Holy Land Institute in Jerusalem.
Aker has served as Minister of Discipleship and
Evangelism at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Brooklyn,
in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and college sweetheart,
Cynthia. They have one son, Lawrence, IV, and
one daughter, Karina Vivian.