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About Us

About Us

A Brief History of Cornerstone Baptist Church

Church Building
Church Building
The Thompson Chapel Church was organized as a Congregational Church by Rev. Mack in 1905. The church was located at that time on the corner of Wofford and Thompson Streets.

In 1909, Rev. Layman Morgan moved the church from the hall on Wofford and Thompson Street to a location on North Thompson Street. The church had only a few members at that time. Some of the deacons at that time were Deacon John Revish, Deacon John Austin, and Deacon Luke Morris. The following women assisted in the organization of the church, Mrs. Mary Revish Coverington, Mrs. Hattie Reeves Hill, Mrs. Mary K. Higgins, Mrs. Mattie Morgan, Mrs. Sarah Revish, and Mrs. Melissa Revish. Rev. Morgan served for one year from 1909-1910.

~In 1910-1911, Rev. Gainwell Young served as pastor for one year. ~In 1911, Rev. G. H. Nelson served for eight years. There were only twenty-five or thirty members in the church. On many Sundays the offering consisted of only twenty-five or thirty cents. The members worked an entire year trying to pay a debt of eighty dollars. Mr. Tom Revish was chairman of the Deacons Board, Mr. Luke Morris was Superintendent of the Sunday School.

~In 1912, Rev. Nelson rebuilt the church. The deacons were Deacon J. T. Revish, Deacon E. A. Cohen, Deacon R. B Harper, Deacon John Jones, and Deacon Will Dunlap. Mrs. Lula White was secretary of the church.

~From 1918- 1919 the late Rev. Whittenburg served as pastor for one year. His plans were to build a new church. However, he departed this life in February before his plans were accomplished.

~In 1919, the late Rev. C. P. Parker was elected as pastor of the church. Rev. Parker served for eleven years (1919-1930). During his pastorate a new church was erected on the present spot, it was completed in 1923. The Deacons and Trustees at that time were Deacon. J. A. Austin, Deacon Wallace Teemer, Deacon M.C. Cage, Deacon Alex Hood, Deacon L.D. Hill, trustees Rev. C. H. Lyles, J. H. Nelson, J. T. Revish, John Jones, W. M. Douglas, R. B. Harper and Dock Franklin Grant.

~In 1930, Rev. C. E. McLester was elected as pastor. He pastored for four years. The old church was renovated, brick veneered, steam heated, and new pews were installed. The name of the church was changed from Thompson Chapel to Thompson Street Baptist Church. A Junior Choir was organized with Mrs. Lizzie Smith in charge as supervisor. Some of the Deacons on the board at that time were Deacon T. C. Hill, Deacon Peter Farr, Deacon Moses Mills, Deacon Robert Fowler, Deacon Fred Ray and Deacon J. Anderson. Mr. Peter Hooker was Superintendent of the Sunday School. The teachers were Deacon Moses Mills, Mrs. Julia Boyce, Mrs. Angeline Good, Mrs. Mary K. Higgins, Mrs. Lula Hood, Mrs. Mattie Morgan, Mrs. Hattie Hill, and Mrs. Mary Covington. Mrs. Carrie B. Foster-Robinson was secretary of the Sunday School. Mrs. Mamie Foster was president of the Missionary Society.

Church Altar

Church Altar
~From 1934-1939, Rev. B. J. Legins served as Pastor. In 1939 the church was divided under his leadership. Over one-half of the membership left and organized what is known as the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Mrs. Eva Humphries and Miss Mary Lou Burgess were secretaries at the church.

~On November 2, 1939, Rev. M. L. Robinson was elected as pastor. He served from November 2, 1939 to November 3, 1948. During his ministry, the indebtedness of the church was paid in full. A parsonage was purchased on Wofford Street. The yard of the church was paved.

In October 1949, Rev. B. T. Sears was elected as Pastor of the church. He began serving December 1, 1949. Within a year under his ministry, the church was renovated on the inside including remodeling of the pulpit and choir loft. Twelve screened in Sunday school rooms were installed; modern kitchen, pastor's office and choir rooms were added. Also gas heat was installed in the basement of the church. During this time the church tripled its membership.

New organizations were added. The Missionary Society was organized into three circles, with a General Body as the head. Mrs. Maggie Sears served as President. Mrs. Lizzie Smith served as Vice-President. The Men's Fellowship was also organized. A graded choir system was established. The Children's Choir, organized by Mr. Royal Sims under the previous administration, the Junior Choir, the Youth Choir, the A'Capella Choir, The Senior Choir, Women's Gospel Chorus and the All Male Choir were added.

A Community Kindergarten sponsored by the church under the operation of Mrs. B.T. Sears and Mrs. Dollie Cheatham and others flourished. The Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations were also added.

Property was purchased in the rear of the church. Also a lot across the street was purchased for a parking lot and playground. The plans and blueprints were formulated for a modern church school at the cost of fifty to sixty thousand dollars.

Church Sanctuary

Church Sanctuary
After serving the northwest side of the city of Spartanburg for sixty-seven years, former Deacons Edgar Norris, Richard C. Gibbs, and Charlers M. Hagler were instrumental in finding the Morningside Baptist Church building on the corner of South Converse Street and Collins Avenue to be a good location; and together with former Deaconess Rena M. J. Hagler cited the scripture (Acts 40:10-12) in support of Cornerstone Baptist Church as the new church name.

The first worship service was held in this building, which is known as the Cornerstone Baptist Church, the first Sunday in October, 1976. Rev. Dr. B.T. Sears, Sr. delivered the message for the morning service (11:00 a.m.). Baptismal Service was a five o'clock (5:00 p.m.) in the evening. Evening worship service was held at six o'clock (6:00 p.m.) the Reverend Richard Sadler delivered the evening message. The Corinth and Zion Hill Baptist Church Choirs rendered the music.

Three weeks of special services of dedication were held, beginning Sunday night, October 3, 1976, and continued through Friday night, October 22, 1976. Various ministers and their church congregations participated in the services.

Mr. E. A. Norris was one of the motivating forces in helping the church family remain financially secure in our savings funds, in order that we might be able to move in this new location.

Under the leadership of Dr. Sears, the church grew tremendously and was purchased on South Converse Street across from the church for a playground, a new air conditioning system was purchased as well as two vans, and two choirs were formed- The Voices of Cornerstone and Young Adult Choirs. The contribution of Dr. Sears are far too numerous to mention, however, it can be said that to his credit countless numbers of people throughout the city of Spartanburg, the state of South Carolina and various organizations have been impacted by his life. July 1999 Dr. B.T. Sears departed this life after almost fifty years of service to the Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Dr. Charles J.J. Jackson, III

Dr. Charles J.J. Jackson, III

Under the Leadership of Dr. Jackson

After an eighteen month search for a pastor, and receiving over two hundred resumes, the Cornerstone Baptist Church called the Reverend Charles Jerome Junious Jackson, III on Sunday, October 15, 2000. Pastor Jackson, as he is affectionately called continues to build on the foundation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Under Pastor Jackson's leadership, the church has continued to grow in spirit and number. Pastor Jackson has led Cornerstone to develop several ministries; 20 new ministries since his start here at Cornerstone Baptist Church including an outreach ministry for television broadcast called "The Joy of the Lord" broadcast airing on two television networks each week. An Intercessory Prayer Ministry, Youth and Adult Dance Teams, Praise Step Team and has organized ministry leadership and guidance into "cluster groups" to enhance ministry connectivity and growth."

The church has become technologically enhanced with a website and social media ministry which allows for even greater outreach. Under Pastor Jackson's leadership several deacons, deaconesses and trustees have been added to the official ministries of the church.

The "Sanctuary Choir" of the church was formed to combine the Gospel Choir and Voices of Cornerstone, along with a newly formed Praise and Worship Team and Teen Praise Team. The church nursery ministry was revitalized; there is a children's and teen's church called Morning Joy, and an afterschool and summer program called Joy Academy.

The church has tripled in membership, 3 new buses purchased, television monitors and screens purchased along with new industrial grade commercial cameras, several properties acquired, including 62 acres on Southport Rd, and 3 properties near the church. Dr. Jackson, an author, community leader, a well-known preacher, speaker, educator, and professor, has licensed and ordained ministers and has over 90 adjutants in the Ministers in Training Program which Dr. Jackson founded in 2000.

The City of Spartanburg deemed October 2011 Charles Jackson Community Day due to his many accomplishments, and heart for God and the community. Dr. Jackson was consecrated as Bishop in April of 2011. This honor brings joy to the Cornerstone Baptist Church family, and community. Bishop Jackson's 5-10 year plan included several objectives such as the building of a gym for the youth and community.

On Sunday, January 23rd, 2011, the Cornerstone Baptist Church broke ground for its new 1,600+ capacity sanctuary. In March of 2012, the church dedicated it's new gymnasium and March 2013, the church dedicated it's new 1,600+ seat capacity sanctuary.