July 31, 2008

Members Build New Home for Church

By Allison Flynn, The Shelby Star, N.C.

Jul. 31--For two and a half years, the walls have gone up, drywall sanded and finally, a steeple added.

Cornerstone Baptist Church has a new home.

Currently located in the former Bob's Seafood building near the caution light in Mooresboro, Pastor Bo Wagner and members of Cornerstone Baptist have been working to construct a new building on the hill above the old church.

The new location is where the Country Coliseum was located, which was destroyed by fire in 1985.

"Some of our members were in the fire department and actually fought that fire," Wagner said.

Some of those same members helped to build the new church.

"I cannot think of one single person who didn't help, whether it was 5 hours or 10,000 hours," said Dana Wagner, secretary of the church and wife of the pastor.

Wagner and members decided to undertake the building of the church after getting quotes from contractors.

"For a turn-key building it would cost over a million dollars to build," Wagner said. "We built it for between $340,000 and $350,000.

"We wanted to be as careful as we could with the money the lord gave us. This gave us a personal stake in it and brought everyone closer," he said.

Not only was time to build the building donated, but many of the specialized tasks were too. Wagner's friend tiled the bathrooms; both the Wagners hung and sanded drywall.

One of the bigger expenses the church had planned for was the steeple. Amazingly, another church advertised a steeple for sale --when Wagner called, it was the exact model of steeple he'd been looking for.

"God just gave it to us," he said.

July 27 was the last Sunday services would be held in the old church, which will be used as a fellowship hall until a new one is constructed.

It was a poignant service for many.

"It was profound," said Chip Nuhrah, who has been a member since 1997. "My mind wandered back to that first service and was flooded with good and sad times at the church we'd experienced together."

Although sad, the move to the new church has been happily anticipated.

"Our teen Sunday school class has street signs that were donated by DOT that I hung up... I told them the reason was because it is Grand Central station and I had to direct traffic," Nuhrah said.

There are three entrances and exits into the classroom, so people are constantly going in and out.

"There are no more rooms," Mrs. Wagner said. "Bo's office is being used for Sunday school. Every room has a Sunday school class in it --even the kitchen."

Crowded classes won't be a problem any more. There are several Sunday school classes for teens and adults and two nurseries for children. In the vestibule there is room for seating an additional 150 people.

"We've really been blessed," Nuhrah said.

Cornerstone Baptist by the numbers

11,000 -square foot building

More than 6 miles --electrical wire used to power the church (that took six months to pull)

27 --number of members the first year

17 --number of original members who still belong to the church

143 --number of active members currently

Church motto

The following quote by William Carey in 1792, is one Pastor Bo Wagner said has been influential to the church since its beginning in 1997.

"Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God."

Want to go?

Services in the new Cornerstone Baptist Church begin at 11 a.m. Sunday school is at 9:45 a.m. For more information, visit the church's Web site, www.cbc-web.org.


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