Our History

The Ames Baptist Church was organized on February 6, 1794, by a council called from several churches of the Free Communion Baptists of Eastern New York at the request of certain brethren of Warrensbuck (now South Amsterdam). The first meeting house was built one mile east of the village on what is now Old Sharon Road. The graveyard still marks this location.

In December 1832, a new meeting house was built in the center of the village of Ames. In 1882, extensive remodeling was done. A Sunday School room, a horseshoe-shaped balcony, new pews, and stained glass windows were added. In 1909, more improvements were made. In 1924, an addition was built. It contained a kitchen and a place for the pipe organ, which was given by Mr. Charles Button in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Phelps Button.

In 1928, a coal-burning furnace was installed to heat the auditorium, and a new entrance was constructed. This building was in continuous use from 1832-1973, when the congregation outgrew it.

In 1972, the church purchased seven acres of land one-half mile north of Ames on Route 10. The following members were appointed to a building committee: Richard Button, Chairman; Mrs. Bonnie Van Schaick; Mrs. Rosalee Rolle; Robert Moyer; and Jacob Schuurman. In May 1972 a groundbreaking ceremony took place.

Under the leadership of Pastor Robert Rusbuldt, a new red brick building was erected by Roy May, a contractor and member of Ames Baptist Church. The people had a mind to work. Members gave many hours of volunteer service, doing much of the interior painting, etc.

This present structure, the third building to belong to Ames Baptist Church, encompasses about three times as much floor space as the 1832 building. It was constructed at a cost of approximately $160,000. This was financed by abundant gifts, a bank loan, and bonds. The new church was dedicated on July 22, 1973, with 500 in attendance.

The highlight of our Thanksgiving Eve service on November 23, 1983, was the burning of the mortgage on the new building. This culminated a “Debt Free in 1983” campaign instituted by Pastor Hole, with $44,000 paid during the last four-and-a-half years.

On September 24, 1987, Reverend Tom W. Shelton, Sr. was voted on to become the new Pastor of Ames Baptist Church. On December 13, 1987, he was officially installed as our new Pastor.

As time went by, the congregation was growing in number. The issue was raised regarding the need for an Associate Pastor. On November 30, 1988, a special meeting was held to consider the position of Youth Worker. The church members agreed that this should be considered. After several months and much discussion on this matter, a special meeting was called on August 13, 1989, to vote on calling a part-time Associate Pastor. This was approved, and Pastor Mark Sheldon was appointed. The months ahead once again showed growth in the number of people attending Ames Baptist Church and the need for a full-time Associate Pastor. On June 6, 1990, Pastor Mark Sheldon was called to this position. He was ordained by Cornerstone during his tenure and served until August 1993.

On May 9, 1990, a special meeting was held to consider a merger between Ames Baptist Church of Ames and First Baptist Church of Fort Plain. Ames Baptist Church voted to merge with First Baptist Church. On May 20, 1990, the two churches held their first church service as one church. The first business meeting as one church was held on May 23, 1990.

On August 15, 1990, a special meeting was called in regard to changing the name of Ames Baptist Church. Eight names were originally submitted and then reduced to four names. Of those four, the name Cornerstone Baptist Church was chosen.

In April 1994, Michael Briggs was installed as Associate Pastor in the youth and music area of our ministry. He was ordained by Cornerstone during his tenure and served until July, 1999.

A new ministry for the Senior Saints age group was introduced in 1992. Richard Button was installed as an associate to that position and served until March 2001.

In February 2001, Pastor Tom Shelton resigned to shepherd a small flock desiring to start a new Baptist Church in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee.

In March 2001, Dr. Alan Potter was installed as our 34th pastor. He served until October 21, 2012, when he left the ministry to join the administration of Shepards Theological Seminary in Cary, North Carolina.

In March 2014, Pastor Todd Lozier became our 35th pastor.