By Tammy Sharp, Regional Correspondent
SHREVEPORT – Members of Cornerstone Community Church do not see color at all, said Pastor John Anderson. “We see family.”
Indeed, the two-year-old church, whose Sunday worship attendance has reached as high as 80, represents a rainbow of races, with membership comprising approximately 60 percent Blacks, 30 percent Whites, and 10 percent Hispanics – a unique mix, especially considering recent racial tensions that have plagued many communities.
“Because Christ is the one who breaks down the middle wall, what’s going on in our nation is not affecting our unity at all,” said Anderson. “We realize this is a sin issue, not a white/black issue.”
Anderson, who is white, has been pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Bossier City for two years, as of November.
But he began planting seeds as early as Oct. 31, 2011, when, as part of his job with the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, he first set up a tent downtown to minister to gang members, prostitutes and the homeless, baptizing them in the Red River as people came to know the Lord.
After three years, he was laid off from the rescue mission, but not from the call to minister. Although he lost all his equipment, including the tent and sound equipment, he continued preaching under a nearby bridge and began looking for a facility for the seedling congregation that was forming.
Then, Lane Moore, director of missions for the Northwest Louisiana Baptist Association, hired Anderson as the association’s compassion ministry strategist. Appropriately enough, Anderson was tasked with building bridges between Baptist churches and the cultures in their neighborhoods.
Moore also pointed Anderson to another body of about eight believers who had been using the association’s incubator building, the Meadowview Mission Center, as its meeting place.
This group and Anderson’s agreed to merge, becoming Cornerstone Community Church.
“We knew in our heart that we wanted to take the same DNA we were as a ministry into a church,” said Anderson. Thus, Cornerstone continues to do outreach on the streets of Bossier City, praying for people and loving on people, Anderson added. Aside from traditional outreach, such as block parties, fall festivals and food pantry ministry, Cornerstone members also pay for people’s laundry at the local Laundromat and give free dinners.
“The Holy Spirit draws people here,” said Anderson. “Because the love of God is in our church, race doesn’t matter. It’s not a white church or a black church; it’s a church of the Living God.”