PALM SPRINGS, CA (April 27, 2011) – After renting space for five years at a local high school, Cornerstone Covenant Church held the first worship service in their new building on Easter Sunday.
“It was a great step into our next season of ministry,” said Pastor Chris Hushaw. “We hope to “bring lives to Christ and Christ to everyday life. We look forward to expanding our church family as well as our community outreach with this strong foundation to work from.”
Cornerstone is the first Covenant congregation to be located in the 7,208 square miles that comprise Riverside County. The move into a new building will enable the congregation to become a “regional outreach center,” Hushaw said.
The congregation, which currently serves 250 friends and members, has grown from an initial group of just 35. The move to a permanent location will enable Cornerstone to add to their existing programs.
Initial plans include a food pantry and clothing closet for the community, weekday afterschool programs for youth and children, Bible studies and youth groups. The church has operated its thrift store, Bargains, at an offsite location.
The store has helped the church raise enough money to send 1,200 children to the Covenant’s Alpine Camp and Conference Center over the past five years. “We’ve also given away over $250,000 in clothes in Coachella Valley, Mexico, the South Pacific, and as far as Africa,” Hushaw said.
A series of special events are being held, including a concert and a special outreach visit for local migrant working families. Expanding outreach to the Hispanic community will be a major ministry for the church.
“The Coachella Valley’s largest industry is agriculture, and there is a great need in our part of the valley where 90 percent of the community is Spanish-speaking,” Hushaw said. Most of them live below the poverty line.
This Sunday’s services will feature representatives from several of the organizations with which Cornerstone works. They will share personal stories, describing the impact the church is having in the community.
Hushaw said the church would not have been able to extend its ministry without the assistance of others. “I am so proud of our church and so grateful to them and the other members of the Covenant Church community at large, as well as the Coachella Valley residents whose generosity and support helped make this possible,” Hushaw said.
National Covenant Properties provided a loan to the church.