Cornerstone Chapel is a community of believers in Jesus Christ that exists to glorify God through the teaching and application of God’s Word and through personal and corporate worship, with an emphasis on equipping believers for service within the church to strengthen the body of Christ, and for service outside the church to minister the gospel of Christ.
In May, 1994, we became affiliated with Calvary Chapel Association of Churches. Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, CA was founded by Pastor Chuck Smith in 1965 with 25 members.
Our affiliation with Calvary Chapel provides us with accountability and fellowship with a credible ministry while still allowing us to maintain our independent, non-denominational status. Each church is governed by its own leadership and selects its own pastors, elders and deacons. The ordination of ministers is also performed by the board of members of individual churches. Therefore, every church is entirely independent.
Calvary Chapel is not a denomination. We are not opposed to denominations as such, only their over-emphasis of doctrinal differences that have led to division in the Body of Christ. We believe that the only true basis of Christian fellowship is His (agape) love, which is greater than any differences we possess.
When you visit Cornerstone Chapel, our desire is that you see the love of Jesus Christ reflected through the systematic teaching of the Bible and through heart-felt worship of our Lord and Savior.
Pastor Gary Hamrick joined full-time ministry in 1987 as a high school youth pastor, and in 1991, Cornerstone Chapel’s 18 charter members asked him to become the church’s first pastor. Today, Cornerstone is home to several thousand weekly worshipers whom Pastor Gary desires to equip through the teaching of God’s Word, relating Biblical truth to everyday life in practical, relevant, and often humorous ways.
Pastor Gary received Christ as his personal Lord and Savior when he was in high school and soon wrestled with a call to ministry. He initially denied that calling and instead pursued a communications degree at American University with aspirations in broadcast journalism. However, he surrendered to God’s calling, transferred schools, completed a Bachelor of Biblical Studies, and received his ordination from Pastor Chuck Smith and the Calvary Chapel Association.
Pastor Gary married his wife Terri in 1987 and they have three grown children (who also serve in ministry) and seven grandchildren. Terri volunteers with our Women’s Ministry and served for many years as its director. Today she continues her ministry work in a supporting role, while also relishing her role as a grandmother and source of support to Pastor Gary and their children.
Pastoring in the shadow of the Nation’s Capital allows Pastor Gary opportunities to meet and pray with government officials such as Cabinet Secretaries, Supreme Court Justices, members of Congress, and the Governor of Virginia. He is on the Board of Directors for the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. and serves as the Chief Chaplain for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (the largest Sheriff’s Office in Virginia with more than 800 deputies and staff). The “Cornerstone Connection” plays on over 70 radio stations each weekday, and Cornerstone’s online campus reaches thousands of people across the country and around the globe.
Pastor Gary is an avid news “junkie” and enjoys fishing, camping, playing sports, woodworking, and especially spending time with his family.
New to Cornerstone or checking your child into Children’s Ministry for the first time? Fill out your family’s information in advance to make the check-in process for service much easier.
Our Children’s Ministry Handbook contains everything you need to prepare for your first visit!
At Cornerstone Chapel, we do not perform “baptism” on infants or very young children; we simply bring them and their parents before God and His people for prayer, and to make a vow to raise them according to His will.
We believe there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory; that this triune God created all, upholds all and governs all;
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love; that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men; that He hears and answers prayer; and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ;
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings; His substitutionary atoning death; bodily resurrection; ascension into heaven; perpetual intercession for His people; and personal, visible return to earth. We believe that He is one and the same as God. He was fully human and fully God;
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower in ministry all who believe in Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe that Jesus Christ baptizes the seeking believer with the Holy Spirit and power for service, either at the time of or subsequent to regeneration, which is a separate work from the indwelling Spirit for salvation. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the exercise of all biblical gifts of the Spirit as reflected through the fruit of that same Spirit;
We believe that all the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, and that they are the infallible rule of faith and practice;
We believe all people are by nature separated from God and responsible for their own sin, but that salvation, redemption, and forgiveness are freely offered to all by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When a person repents of sin and accepts Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior, trusting Him to save, that person is immediately born again and sealed by the Holy Spirit, all of his/her sins are forgiven, and that person becomes a child of God, assured of spending eternity with the Lord;
We believe in the universal Church, in the living spiritual body, of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members;
We await the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church, and we believe in the literal Second Coming of Christ with His saints to rule the earth, which will be personal and visible. This motivates us to holy living, heartfelt worship, committed service, diligent study of God’s word, regular fellowship, and participation in baptism and Communion;
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: 1) baptism, and 2) the Lord’s Supper. We practice baptism by immersion and regularly celebrate Communion according to the Scriptural guidelines found in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34;
We believe in the laying on of hands for the sending out of pastors and missionaries, and in conjunction with the anointing of oil by the elders for the healing of the sick;
We believe that marriage is exclusively the union between one man and one woman in a lifetime commitment to each other (Genesis 2:23-24; Matthew 19:4-6). Marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church and provides for procreation, intimate companionship, and we believe is the only basis for any form of sexual expression. We believe that any intimate sexual activity outside of marriage is sin (1 Thess. 4:3; Ephesians 5:3).