Cornerstone Church was born on Pentecost Day, May 31, 1998, but our roots go back almost 150 years before that. The German speaking forerunners of Faith United Methodist Church banded together as Erste Evangelische Kirche in 1855. They had previously met for a few years in Hoosier Grove, in the homes of some of the original founders. By 1893 they had built the stone and brick building in downtown Elgin that became Faith Church.
A few miles to the West, English speaking farmers incorporated as Plato Center United Methodist Church in 1859. For 105 years they met adjacent to the township cemetery before they moved their white wooden building to its current location across Muirhead Road. The building was added on to so that a basement and a small office and classroom space was provided.
After many years of study and several different committees were formed, 13 area United Methodist Churches joined together to decide if we could be better stewards of God's gifts and if we could do a better job for Christ by working together. Out of the original thirteen churches, four continued to talk seriously about joining forces. By Christmas 1997, votes were taken and members of Faith and Plato UMC's voted to join together and form a new church, in a new location with a new name. Members of both congregations came up with over 100 suggestions for a name, voted again and came up with the name of Cornerstone, which was inspired by scripture.
All of the pre-merger meetings were call "courting" and the official joining ceremony was likened to a marriage, complete with wedding cakes. There were 331 founding members on May 31, 1998. A worship service was held under a huge circus-like tent on the current 13.8-acre site of the building. This site was selected after viewing dozens of potential locations. The committee felt that God was leading us to our current location and through the generous sale price offered them by Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Nelson, the property was obtained.
The groundbreaking service for the original building was held on October 1, 2000 and the building was commissioned on March 3, 2002.
In August of 2007 a groundbreaking was held for a new addition to the building. That addition is what is currently the education wing of our building. In 2008, the original education rooms were converted into office space.