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Cornerstone Fellowship
gets a new building in Atlanta

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Cornerstone Fellowship
gets a new building in Atlanta, TX

by Wesley White

ATLANTA, Texas -- Cornerstone Fellowship recently announced relocation of its Sabbath services from Linden, Texas, to Atlanta. The fellowship took possession of a vacant church building at 2814 W. Main St. on Dec. 15, 2008.

The fellowship began as an outreach ministry of Cornerstone Publications of Texarkana, Texas, founded by the late Jim Rector and his wife, Rita, several years ago.

Mrs. Rector, of Mineral Springs, Ark., reported that in 1989 she and her husband began holding Sabbath services every week, rotating among the residences of a few families in northeastern Texas.

Later, in 1998, they decided to meet in a more central location. They settled on Linden.

Several young families

Their growth determined that the group needed more room, not only for worship services but for children's activities. The congregation still has several young families with small children. On one Sabbath a few weeks ago 40 adults and 16 children were in attendance.

In 2008 the brethren decided to begin to pray about their situation while they searched for a new facility. They found several nice but too-expensive places.

Answered prayer

In late November a coworker approached local member Nancy Davis of Texarkana about a vacant facility that boasted a 1,900-square-foot building and two acres of land in Atlanta, south of Texarkana.

The owner offered it to Cornerstone for free if the members would pay the monthly utility bills.


"This was definitely answered prayer," said Nancy's husband, Richard. "We have several young couples with kids. Some of these couples were raised in the church and had been turned off to church in the past. Now they are actively involved in church. We are glad we can provide a new place for Sabbath services."

Conformity not forced

Before moving in, the brethren organized several work parties. Each family donated a folding table. Several members donated folding chairs and kitchen supplies.

"There is no forced doctrinal conformity," Mr. Davis told The Journal. "We are a family here. Each Sabbath is like a family meeting with a family atmosphere."

The group's format is not rigid. It might change on any given Sabbath, but a typical worship church service features a family potluck meal at noon, congregational singing, prayer requests, intercessory prayer, a discussion of current events and an interactive Bible study.

Group members say they believe everyone who has an Ephesians 4 talent should be encouraged to use it.

"We don't look at sharing these things as something we have to endure," Mr. Davis said. "Instead, every Sabbath we look forward to hearing these things from each other.

"Again, we are a family. Now, we're not saying we are perfect in our fellowship. These things we talk about are the ideal, the goal we have set as we continue to grow and overcome."

Mrs. Rector pointed out that the group's primary goal is to provide an atmosphere for open fellowship that encourages individual participation and growth. The church's leadership is not like the shepherds of Zechariah 11, who were concerned only about money.

"Further," she said, "we don't try to force our beliefs on anyone who attends with us."

Mr. Davis agreed. He noted that in his role as moderator within the group (it has no pastor and doesn't intend to have one) he encourages each person to avoid offense when he hears something that could cause division and strife.

Doctrinally based

"Yes," he said, "we are doctrinally based. We believe in Messiah Jesus, the Sabbath, the annual high days and keeping God's laws. But people have different beliefs on subjects that relate to the calendar, new moons and sacred names."

Mrs. Rector said Cornerstone Fellowship welcomes visitors, especially those with children.

Attendee Kathy McCommon of Longview, Texas, commented: "We don't believe in making the children sit on pallets for two or three hours and stare at our feet. As long as the kids are quiet and respectful, they are welcome to play and go outside with supervision."

Added Mrs. Davis: "We're praying we can stay here a long time and make improvements such as a chain-link fence."

As a rule, the group meets every Sabbath. However, visitors are advised to call ahead to make sure the time or location of services has not changed for a special weekend.

Mrs. Rector, administrator, receives phone calls at (870) 287-4573. Contact Mr. Davis at (903) 293-2224.


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