Pastor Gerald Martin and wife Sophia, were pastoring a church in Broadway, Va when God used them and the congregation to reach families in their community. As the church grew, it became apparent that not everyone was equally excited about the new growth. As tensions increased, denominational leaders approached Pastor Gerald with an alternative solution. They asked if he would be willing to plant a new church in the community. Many of the new families joined him in this faith adventure and the result was the official launching of Cornerstone Church of Broadway (Broadway, VA) on April 6, 1986.
Jesus said, “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins” (Mark 2:22). What denominational leaders had the wisdom to recognize is that the “new wine” the Lord was pouring out needed a “new wineskin.” We are thankful for their foresight and for Pastor Gerald’s obedience to develop a new wineskin for what God was doing.
The congregation grew quickly and thus the leaders began looking for opportunities to plant new churches. Church planting efforts targeted cities and towns in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia but then expanded to other states as Missouri, South Carolina and Florida. During this period of growth Pastor Gerald transitioned from being the Sr. Pastor of Cornerstone of Broadway to serving as the apostolic leader for the growing network of churches. In 2001 these congregations left their denominational system and formed Cornerstone Church and Ministries International (CCMI).
CCMI continued expanding, especially internationally. Partnerships with indigenous pastors developed in Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, Sri Lanka, Montenegro, Chile and Trinidad. These international ministries were supported through Faith Promise missions giving and through relational connections for oversight, equipping and accountability.
In 2011 Pastor Gerald retired from leading CCMI after 25 faithful and fruitful years of ministry with Cornerstone. In June 2011 CCMI was multiplied into nine networks. The seven international church movements were each recognized as their own network and the church in America was divided into two separate networks. Pastor Kenton Slabaugh was appointed as the overseer of Restoration Network International and Pastor Greg Mayo was appointed as the overseer of HeartLink Network of Cornerstone Churches. All nine networks now make up the Association of Cornerstone Networks International.
HeartLink is proud to be part of the spiritual heritage given to us through Pastor Gerald and Sophia Martin. They took steps of faith in 1986 not knowing where that would lead them. Though it hasn’t always been an easy road, they have modeled love, acceptance and forgiveness. They have invested their lives in discipling men and women who are now serving in God’s kingdom as leaders, missionaries, church planters, pastors, worship leaders, etc. It is the hope of HeartLink Network to build upon the rich heritage we have been given so God receives all the glory and His kingdom is extended throughout the world.
Cornerstone Christian School
With unique programs for preschool through 8th grade, our ACSI accredited school seeks to help form students who live Biblically, learn effectively, and minister with passion. As home, church, and school work together we foster a relevant, biblical worldview and impact our community, nation, and world for Christ.
Association of Cornerstone Networks International (ACNI)
From our humble beginnings in Broadway, VA God has birthed a network of churches through church planting and the adoption of existing churches in the USA and around the world. Our sister churches overseas include ministries in Chile, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Montenegro, Nigeria, and Trinidad. Additionally, through our combined faith-promise offerings, our network supports a number of missionary efforts around the world.