Many churches have started up and failed here in the Ozarks. Why should Cornerstone be different? No one can guarantee success unless they can see into the future - and I cannot. Yet there are godly principles, which if followed, will open a pathway to God’s blessing which is the most necessary ingredient to the establishing of a church. One of those ingredients is that those men who believe God wants them to establish a church be accountable to other godly men.
As we desired and prayed about a new church, it came into my heart to make myself more accountable in this way. I was already accountable to godly men, even fairly prominent men, such as Dr. Jay Grimstead of Coalition on Revival (www.Reformation.net), and Jerry Nordskog of Nordskog Publishing (www.NordskogPublishing.com), and I am a friend of Mark Rushdoony, President of Chalcedon (www.Chalcedon.edu). But all of them are on the West Coast, from which I originate. I began to feel that I should make myself more accountable to local men.
We had been attending Christ the King (CTK) in Springfield, MO nearly every month for four or five years. We had come to know the integrity of the ministry and of the men who oversee the ministry. A couple years ago, I invited Mike Gaskins (a leading man in our hoped for church), to go with me to talk with the elders of CTK and so made an appointment for a Sunday afternoon after church. We spoke to them about our desire to see a new church planted in the Ozarks. At that time, I asked the CTK elders to hold me accountable, to ask me hard questions any time. I submitted myself and my ministry to them. They agreed to hold me accountable and to give their blessing and spiritual and moral support to our effort to establish a new church. I am telling you this to let you know that we who seek to establish this church are not lone rangers; we are connected, with proper and godly connections. I believe this is important and it is an additional safety for the sheep that join themselves to a new church.
The Ministry of Christ the King (CTK)
Christ the King (www.ChristTheKingKirk.com) was started about ten years ago with just a few families meeting for Bible study and fellowship. Rob Davis, an accountant who had attended seminary earlier in life, was the key man and the one who led the studies. Rob sought a connection with the CREC (then The Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches; the name recently changed to The Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches). The CREC is the fellowship of churches to which our forming church will be also be connected. (See the CREC here: www.crechurches.org.) Beginning with Rob and his homeschooling family and a couple other homeschool families, Christ the King has grown to several hundred members.
These several hundred members are predominantly homeschool families. There is a tremendous environment of mutual encouragement and support in this church. Their pattern of worship is Reformed. A broad outline of a typical Sunday at CTK is like this: 1) Lord’s Day Worship with the Lord’s Table celebrated; 2) Potluck lunch and fellowship; 3) sometimes congregational song practice singing hymns in parts; 4) Sermon question and answer session; 5) Bible lesson given by the pastor, and question/answer session for Bible study; 6) Fellowship until one wishes to depart; there is no evening service. Christ the King is a “family integrated church” which means that they do not divide the family into age segregated classes; families participate in all aspects of the services; there is a nursery facility for mothers of nursing or small/noisy children.
A New Building for Christ the King
As a side note, CTK has been meeting in a Lutheran church’s gymnasium since its early years. Recently the Lutheran church decided they need that space for their own use. As CTK went about looking for new space, they approached a large church (about three miles from their present meeting location) about the possibility of renting the church facility that church was leaving (they had built a new larger facility on the edge of Springfield). To make a longer story very short, the church would not rent to CTK, but offered to sell them the three and a half million dollar facility for three hundred and fifty thousand dollars (10% of the appraised value). This is an amazing gift and grace of God! The large church trustees wished to pass the multi-million dollar facility to another Kingdom building ministry and so they made it financially accessible to CTK. Provided the transaction finalizes, CTK will be moving into that facility sometime in the near future. All this to say that it is wondrous what God will sometimes do for a people who are walking before Him.
We invite you to visit CTK on your own, or visit on a Sunday when we also will be there. They meet in the rear annex of Faith Lutheran Church at 1517 E. Valley Watermill Road, Springfield, Missouri 65803.
We cherish the hope of a new church for the Ozarks, a church where mutual support and growing in the things of God will take place in us and our children. If you desire to see God do something new, we invite you to visit our Men’s Study, or Family night meeting (see schedule below).
God’s grace to you,
Rev. Eugene Clingman, M.Min.