Cornerstone church donation

Cornerstone Community Church pastor, Floyd Silva (center), presents a check to Baptist Convention of New Mexico Executive Director Steve Ballew (left), during the church’s Jan. 10 worship service. The church’s former pastor, Dan Lewis (right) also participated in the service.

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RIO RANCHO (BNM) - Soul Rio Church, Rio Rancho, is now Cornerstone Community Church following an extensive rebrand and relaunch, which culminated during the church’s Jan. 10 worship service.

According to Floyd Silva, the congregation’s pastor, Cornerstone’s rebrand was prompted by a desire to become a “transformational-type church,” focused on helping “marriages and families and communities discover what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” The entire process took over three years. It centered around “prayer, discussions, and conversations,” Silva said.

The Jan. 10 service featured several guests, including the church’s founding pastor Dan Lewis, and his wife, Tracy. The Lewis’ founded Cornerstone in 1997 as Harvest Fellowship Church. An Albuquerque City Council member between 2009-2017, Lewis retired from the pastorate in Oct. 2013 to focus on a career in local politics. He placed second in the 2017 Albuquerque mayoral race. Silva, who was the church’s youth pastor at the time, was promoted to senior pastor following Lewis’ departure.

During the service, Silva presented a check to the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, signifying a $10,000 donation to the Mission New Mexico State Missions Offering. BCNM Executive Director Steve Ballew attended the service and accepted the check on behalf of the organization. Silva told the Baptist New Mexican that the gift reflected the church’s desire to “give back to other churches that are starting out here in the state.” According to Silva, the donation was a “tithe” from funds raised by church members to purchase a building in the future.

Cornerstone Community Church seeks to live up to its new name by continuing its various community outreach programs. Among other endeavors, the church runs a backpack food program for Martin Luther King Middle School. Each week, the church provides between 30 and 40 backpacks of food for underserved students who lack food stability over the weekends.

The church also runs a ministry called “Wood Chuckers.” The ministry’s volunteers to cut down distressed trees for Rio Rancho residents and then donates the wood to lower-income families, for use as firewood.

Before planting what is now Cornerstone, Lewis served as a youth pastor at First Baptist Church, Albuquerque. At the time, First Baptist was still meeting in its original downtown location. First Baptist, Albuquerque; First Baptist Church, Rio Rancho; and three other BCNM churches helped Lewis launch the church plant.

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