Cornerstone Church reaches out to Wyoming
Richland congregation catches Acts 1:8 vision
By Brian Koonce
August 23, 2005
COKEVILLE, Wyo. – Mark down Cornerstone Baptist Church, Richland, for one trip to Samaria.
At a time when many congregations are working to become “Acts 1:8 Churches,” they’re right in the thick of things. The Acts 1:8 Challenge is an opportunity for Southern Baptist churches across the nation to commit to a comprehensive missions strategy in their community (Jerusalem), region or state (Judea), country (Samaria) and the world (ends of the earth).
The church recently sent twelve members to River of Life Baptist Church in Cokeville, Wyo.
Two former members of Cornerstone, Terry and Erin Patton, were called to missions to plant the church as a joint partnership between the North American Mission Board, Cornerstone and a Wyoming church in 2000. Located in a heavily Mormon area, River of Life Baptist Church is the only evangelical church in the area. Still, the church is slowly growing.
“Bro. Terry and Erin are deeply respected and loved by many in the community,” said Chuck Baker, pastor of Cornerstone. “They have loved on the people there and truly served the people in the community.”
“Truly served” is right. While another group organized a Vacation Bible School, the group from Cornerstone scraped, painted and cleaned an unchurched widow’s house.
“Terry said he had this lady’s house on his heart for a couple of years,” Baker said. “She did not have the means to paint the house. Our ladies shared and prayed with her on several occasions.”
Baker said the “Mormon-controlled” area received them well.
“The community was shocked and bewildered as to why we would travel all that distance and do such a thing,” he said. “We were welcomed for the most part.”
One of the goals of the Acts 1:8 Challenge is to encourage people to form a mission-oriented mindset.
“I will never have to ask anyone who went on this trip to pray for this church, community, or Bro. Terry and Erin,” Baker said. “Now that they have been there, their hearts are there.”