In the early Spring of 1984, the Lord began preparing Pastor Paul Price to change his ministry to church-planting. He began to make plans to move to St. Petersburg, Florida to found a church. In late September 1984, God changed his plans while he was traveling to his parents' home. He came through Indiana, Pennsylvania, and the Lord spoke to his heart that Indiana was the place where he was to plant a church - - - not Florida!
Immediately the Prices started making all the necessary plans to move to Indiana and start this new church. There was no one waiting to be part of this new church and soon he would even be tested by his denomination.
Cornerstone Worship Center's first service was held on Sunday, November 4, 1984 at the Indiana County YMCA at the corner of Ben Franklin Road and business Route 422. Attendance at the first service was just nine people, but from this humble beginning was the start of something great for the Indiana area.
The next few years were very trying times. Over the first seven years, the church's meeting place changed seven times. In the Spring of 1985, Cornerstone moved from the YMCA to the former Church of the Nazarene building at the corner of Wiley & Greeley Streets in Homer City. There was a small growth spurt and attendance grew to 15 people. However, there was a segment of people who rose up to gain full control of the church, and Pastor Price was forced to draw the battle line within the church walls to protect the flock both now and in the future (Acts 20:28). The church experienced its first 'split' and was reduced in size to 8-10 people. Nevertheless, he had made it clear to all watching that Cornerstone would not cater to power-hungry people without a servant's heart toward God! That concept is maintained to this day, no matter what the cost!
In September 1986, Pastor was praying and the Lord directed him to move back to Indiana and the church moved its location to the former Greenery Restaurant, which was where the Exxon gas station is situated in the Southtowne Plaza along Route 286. Pastor Price was stripped of his denominational identity - not by choice - but by the will of God. He lay down his pride and status within the denomination to begin a work dedicated to the glory of God. During those first formative years, he endured countless pitying looks, snickers, ridicule, and nay-sayers, but stood firm in his calling knowing God could and would use this local body of believers to touch the Indiana area with the gospel of Jesus Christ!
In March 1988, the Greenery Restaurant closed, forcing Cornerstone to find a new meeting place to hold its services. The Best Western University Inn would become the temporary location. Within a few months, the congregation doubled and Cornerstone began to see the first fruits of the seed which had been sown.
The Greenery Restaurant reopened and the management asked Pastor Price if Cornerstone would be willing to come back and meet there again. On Sunday, January 8, 1989, Cornerstone moved once again to the restaurant. However, with the growth of the church, God was starting to open up supernatural doors. Since the start , the Lord had laid a vision on Pastor Price's heart to find a building site where a permanent home could be built for Cornerstone. Through a series of supernatural events on Wednesday, August 23, 1989, Cornerstone Worship Center purchased a five-acre tract of land adjacent to the proposed 422 bypass on the west side of Indiana for $50,000.. At the time of the purchase, the bypass was not a reality. Yet, soon it would be built, Wal-Mart would move adjacent to the property, and it would become one of the most valuable prime pieces of real estate in Indiana.
In December 1989, Cornerstone moved its location for the fifth time to the former Free Methodist Church building at 418 Church Street in Indiana. In April 1990, the building was sold, forcing Cornerstone to find a new place to hold its services. The location would be on Old Route 119 North at Route 110. This was the former Honda motorcycle shop. With the labor of the congregation, it was turned into a meeting place and served as the church home for the next six years.
On Sunday, May 22, 1994, Cornerstone succeeded in paying off a 20-year loan on the property in just over five years. In the fall of 1994, a three-year stewardship campaign was launched. The end result was faith promises of over $175,000 toward the future construction of a permanent church building.
Peoples Bank endorsed Cornerstone's vision in May 1995 by granting a $450,000 construction loan. On Sunday, June 18, 1995, ground-breaking was held to start the construction process. Within 10 months, the church body was able to move into the ground level floor as a result of relentless hard laboring of just a few people and the help of the Holy Spirit.
From then until now, the congregation has witnessed one miracle after another to bring this church to present-day status. He has brought blessings through new people and a renewed strength and vision in the founders. Our cornerstone located on the building's edge says it all... for equipping the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ!