Sabbath, November 5, 2022, marked a long-awaited celebration by the members of the Rockingham Cornerstone Church in Rockingham, S.C. Organizing as a company on March 30, 2009, the small group has gone from worshipping in the living room of member’s homes to renting a facility to acquiring a church building. Diligently paying the mortgage off long before the note was due demonstrates the mission of their church: to reach the Rockingham community far and wide. One church member shared that if the church doors were to close tomorrow, that she wanted the community to notice their absence.
This church had a unique beginning as the first English-speaking church planted by the Rockingham Spanish Church. After worshipping for several years in a rented facility, the church received a $50,000 donation toward purchasing a building. Around that same time they were made aware of an historic 1890s home that had been converted into a funeral home which was in foreclosure in the heart of downtown Rockingham. They were able to purchase their new property for $100,000.
Former and current church members gathered for the mortgage-burning celebration. To say that this was a high Sabbath would be an understatement. Incorporated into the service was a 25-member church choir which performed several songs of celebration and praise. Rick Russell, Carolina Conference vice president for finance, presented the morning message. He admonished the members to be one like the godhead are one, his message taken from Jesus’ prayer to His Father about the 12 disciples.
After many murmurings of “Amen, Amen,” Russell was joined by Chad Grundy, Carolina Conference undertreasurer; Bryan Arvelo, Cornerstone’s pastor; several elders; and key board members for the ceremonial burning of the mortgage. Surprisingly, the mortgage burned up faster than expected, and set off the smoke detector to the right of the platform. This just added to the joyous atmosphere and the many praises being sent heavenward.
This church has numerous plans for the future and are open to God leading them to continue to grow and spread His message to their surrounding neighbors.
Carolina | January 2023