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Mission: Outpost


Outpost [noun]:
A small military camp that is an extension of the main base. Its purpose is to establish strategic position in order to protect, secure and advance the greater overall mission of a sovereign body.
Our prayer and desire is to be an “outpost” for Christ’s Kingdom in Northwest Detroit. Pushing back darkness and advancing the mission of the Gospel.

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
~ 2 Cor. 10:3-5

Our Prayer...
Our prayer and desire is to acquire a particular property to be an “outpost” for Christ’s Kingdom in Northwest Detroit; not just another church building. While we are devoted to securing a permanent meeting place for our growing church family, our motivation is much deeper. In addition to being a gathering place for corporate worship, in order to protect, secure and advance the Kingdom, this building will be used to:

1) Train and deploy disciples.

2) Bless and serve our community in tangible ways through new ministry initiatives.

3) Seek out and train church planters.

4) Push back the dense darkness with the Light of the Gospel.

Outlining the Mission

Over the next 3 years our goal is to raise $375,000 to put towards new and augmented ministry efforts as well as purchasing a building to be a permanent home for our church in Northwest Detroit.

3 Main Objectives:
        1) Purchase a Permanent Meeting and Worship Space
        2) Expand Community Development Initiatives
        3) Hire a Director of Operations

Read more about Cornerstone Church - Detroit, our journey, and the goals of Mission: Outpost below.

Evident Calling

The stories of my wife, Elita, and I both begin in the city of Detroit. Born in 1981, my experience was the all too common reality of countless people growing up here. Raised by a hard working single mother, in America’s most violent and crime-riddled major city, I always knew Detroit was distinct from other places. I was constantly in trouble at school, and unfortunately started running the streets early. In contrast, Elita was a “good girl” with excellent grades and even attended a small Christian school in the city. She came from a successful, close-knit family. Although we both were raised in the same Detroit neighborhood, surrounded by extended relatives, when Elita was to begin high school her parents moved their family to Southfield, a suburb just outside of Detroit. By God’s sovereign and amazing grace, The Lord drew us both to Himself, and then to one another.

We married two years after meeting, and began building our life and ministry together in the city of Detroit. By God’s Grace, we have served in our city by evangelizing, making disciples, serving in prison ministry, mentoring at-risk youth, and serving those in financial need since 2002. In His divine kindness, The Lord blessed us with five amazing children: Elisabeth (14), Philip (12), Sarah (10), Tabitha (7), and Abigail (3).  

Evident Grace

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." ~ 1 Peter 4:10

Since launching publicly on October 16, 2016, the clear and evident grace of God on Cornerstone Church-Detroit has often been overwhelming. Time and time again, through providence and provision, The Lord has confirmed His presence with us.

By God’s grace it seems just as my wife and I were merely dreaming in our living room of one day planting a church, God swiftly transformed our hearts’ burden into a diverse, Christ centered, discipleship focused, church-planting family. One whose impact is rippling through our city and beyond!

In less than two and half years, we have baptized nine Believers. We have welcomed over 35 adults into church membership at Cornerstone, and many have taken major steps in their faith journey.

With the aim of serving and discipling people of all ages and life stages, we have developed flourishing discipleship groups for men, women and youth; hosted and led by gracious church members. A MOM (Mothers on Mission) ministry (formerly MOPS), Wreckless (our middle school/teen ministry), Men of Iron (our men's ministry), Uplift (our women's ministry focused on the gospel and mental health), and an in-house theology course called Foundations.

In addition to serving and developing our church family, we have planted deep roots in Northwest Detroit. Since our beginning, we have partnered with local schools, The City of Detroit, and orchestrated many service projects.

In 2016, for example, before our public launch, we commercially cleared, boarded up and secured 13 abandoned homes in our community with the assistance of several partnering churches through the Project
Nehemiah initiative.

What has been most amazing is The Lord allowing our ministry’s reach to extend beyond Northwest Detroit. Despite still being in our infancy as a church, we have already seen our vision to plant other churches come to fruition.

In 2018, our first Church Planting Resident, Drew Ansley, and his family were sent out to plant Refuge Church in Southwest Detroit.

Last year, I was selected to lead the new Acts 29 initiative, Church in Hard Places, for The Midwest Network. In this role, we have hosted three conferences specific to urban church planting and ministry, and I have begun coaching eleven other church planters across the Midwest.

I have also recently been blessed with the opportunity to serve as a regular contributing writer for The Gospel Coalition.

Cornerstone Church - Detroit Member Testimonies

"I love that Cornerstone has committed & already put in practice the service to our local community. The members here have welcomed me & are truly intentional with building relationships & sharing our lives. Genuine authentic friendships form & the Gospel is consistently preached & lived out by the leadership."

~ Shataura Clayborne

“We love Cornerstone Church - Detroit because we know that when we invite our neighbors to attend church they’ll not only hear The Gospel clearly and be challenged to consider accepting Christ, but they’ll see The Gospel lived out among the church body.”

~ The Bakers
(Jake, Katie, Claire, Lois, Joshua & Caleb)

“Cornerstone has become a really beautiful picture of what it looks like when the church strives to be more like Jesus. It's is a group of people who, on many standards, should not be okay being in a room together, much less worshipping together. But, this is a family who constantly strives to love each other and our community well, who shares the messiest parts of ourselves with each other and aims to point back to the Gospel every single time. Cornerstone has always had room for the things that I am passionate about, while constantly challenging me to grow in areas that I never would have explored otherwise.”

~ Angie Bolton

"I love attending Cornerstone Church because I feel loved and respected and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I have been blessed at my church because I found Jesus, got saved and now I'm living everyday to be the best Christian I can be. Cornerstone Church is incredibly fruitful. Being in a family that abounds in new believers is not only exciting, it's stimulating. Lastly, Cornerstone Church is diverse. The body of Christ in heaven is made up of every ethnic group. The church on earth ought to be like that too." 

~ Daniel Maniece

"We love Cornerstone Church because it feels like family. We cherish the openness of those who attend, with sharing their faith and struggles therein. It makes the community feel like God's. We love that the church leadership is committed to teaching The Gospel and discipling each of us, the commitment that the church has made to the neighborhood, and that there are donuts every Sunday!”

~ The Streeters
(Stephen & Tanisha)
1) Second-Floor Meeting Space

Meeting on the second floor excludes people with disabilities.

2) Children's Facilities 

The designated rooms for nursery and children’s ministry are extremely limited, (as we have approximately 60 young children), and not ideal for a large number of smaller children.

3) Shared Building and Overlapping Worship Times

We share the building with two other churches whose worship time is the same as ours. This results in parking issues, confusion for people finding our specific location within the building, and distractions during our service as praise and worship takes place just below us by the other tenants.

4) The Pains of Renting Space

Even more significant and unfortunate is the  deteriorating quality of our rental situation. Issues which include violations of our leased space that have resulted in missing church equipment and property; new incidents continue to occur without rectification. There are also issues of safety (e.g. vehicle break-ins and damage in the parking lot), unserviced repairs in our space, heating issues during the cold winters, and little to no building maintenance.


Without hyperbole, there is essentially no more space for us to grow into, and a major lack of autonomy and security in the use of our current church meeting space.

3 Main Objectives


1) Permanent Meeting and Worship Space

 Purchase a building to be a permanent meeting and worship space for Cornerstone Church - Detroit to gather and do ministry.

We have already identified and begun pursuing purchase terms on a promising property (including several adjoining lots) not far from our current meeting place.

2) Expanded Community Development Projects

Seeking the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of those living in Northwest Detroit. Establishing a Center for counseling services, Food pantry & Community Closet, Transitional housing, Low-cost office space for lease, Lawn care company, Urban farming initiatives, Low-income daycare & Montessori and After school programming.

3) Hire a Director of Operations

Hiring a Director of Operations to oversee Cornerstone Community Development and operational activities for Cornerstone Church - Detroit.

Objective #1: A Property with Promise

We've begun pursuing purchase terms on a property with tremendous promise to be the location of our Outpost; a permanent home for us.


Make a contribution to Mission: Outpost

Give now to be a part of pushing back darkness and securing a foothold for the Kingdom in Northwest Detroit.