Cornerstone Baptist Church PO Box 8697 Champaign  IL 61826 217- 356-0891


Cornerstone Baptist Church is a congregation of about 130 members, and has recently moved from their location in Garden Hills. It was centrally located on Bloomington Road in Champaign, and has since moved to a building on Oak Street in Research Park. Access to and knowledge of technology helps them in their effort to grow their ministry, and will continue to help the congregation prepare for effective ministry at a new location.


History, 1957 to Present

In 1957, led by Dr. A. C. Queen, Temple Baptist Church in Champaign saw the need for a church in northwest Champaign. In October, services were begun in the Community Room of the Garden Hills Elementary School with 37 people present. In June 1960 a groundbreaking service was held for a building to house the Garden Hills Baptist Chapel. In August 1960 services were held in the unfinished building with Rev. Beecham Robinson serving as part-time pastor. Rev. A. F. Tuck was called in September of 1960 as the first full-time pastor. The mission grew under his leadership and God’s blessing and guidance. It became financially self-supporting within 18 months. On May 6, 1962, the mission was constituted as the Garden Hills Baptist Church with 106 charter members.Within a year, GHBC had outgrown the building, and more space was needed. In the summer of 1963, planning began on a two-story educational building with an auditorium seating 200. The first service in the new facility was held on March 1, 1964.

The church called Rev. Normal L. Langston as pastor in August 1979, and he served until August 1983. Rev. Kenneth O. Willoughby was called in August 1984, and served as pastor unti May 1987. In September 1988 Rev. M. Harold Roberts became our pastor. Under his leadership, the church selected a building committee. Construction of a new worship center begain in October 1989. Many volunteers from the church and the East Central Illinois Baptist Association, plus teams from Oklahoma and Mississippi, turned plans into reality. On Easter Sunday, 1990, a sunrise service was held on the concrete slab of the new Worship Center. The first service in the completed Worship Center was held on December 16, 1990. On May 26, 1991, the church dedicated a new building, including office and music space. The beautiful stained glass window above the baptistry was designed and donated by Dr. and Mrs. Ronald M. Shelton in memory of his parents, Russell and Mildred Shelton, who were charter members and served many years at Garden Hills Baptist Church. In May, 1996, Pastor Roberts retired from the full-time pastorate. Rev Stephen W. Diehl became Senior Pastor on June 8, 1997.Though paid staff members in the music ministry had been part of the church staff for years, Rev. Steven D. Hronec was  first full-time Associate Pastor, from September 15, 2004 until  May 27, 2007.

In 2010, the church sold its property on 1601 W. Bloomington Rd. and relocated to an interim site at 1800 S. Oak St. in Champaign. In the Spring of 2011 they changed their name to Cornerstone Baptist Church of Champaign County.

In the Fall of 2013 the Cornerstone Baptist Church purchased 17 acres of land in southeast Savoy, IL. Master planning for a future building is currently underway.

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