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Churches have long been places of community and connection. For those still searching for a church family, Steve Bensema believes the Cornerstone church plant coming to Marshalltown may be the answer.

“Not everyone comes from a great home or a great family, so in many ways God has given us the church family to help heal old wounds and for people to live life together and support one another,” he explained.

Bensema will serve as lead pastor in the Cornerstone church plant, which has a tentative launch time of fall 2020. The term “church plant” is used by many to refer to a church started in a new area that is associated with an established church.

Cornerstone Church began in 1994 as an outgrowth of the Salt Company, a college ministry at Iowa State University. With more than 500 students, Salt Company is the largest student organization at ISU.

Since then, Cornerstone has planted 13 churches, many in Iowa but some as far as Gainesville, Fla. and State College, Pa.

Church leaders decided to bring Cornerstone to Marshalltown after people in the area expressed interest. Seventy-five adults have committed to the church plant and another 65 are potentially interested. No location has been decided on, as Bensema believes they need to find a place that will allow them to grow.

According to him, Cornerstone is not just a place to hear a sermon and then go home.

“We don’t want to just meet together on Sundays to hear a few words from a guy on a stage,” Bensema said. “We want to pay attention to what is going on in our community, and we want to see how we can partner with the community to see Marshalltown thrive. We see the gospel as the primary mode through which we will see the town grow together.”

Bensema and his wife of 12 years, Brooke, have four children.

In 2017 he served at a church in Peosta as Teaching Pastor. While attending Cornerstone Church in Ames, Bensema felt led to be a part of bringing the church to a new town.

For those interested in learning more about Cornerstone, the church will host a few pre-launch events at the Orpheum Theater. One of these events is a Night of Worship on March 29.

Contact Anna Shearer at 641-753-6611 or ashearer@timesrepublican.com


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