The Corner Stone Missionary Baptist Church is one of the oldest African American Baptist Churches within Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The rich and impressive history began in 1887 when 29 members of Olive Branch Missionary Baptist Church, also African American, began worshipping without a pastor in the Odd Fellows Hall on Cale Street. In 1889, Rev. Zion Hall Berry was called to serve as their first pastor and he organized them into a church that, later, became Corner Stone Missionary Baptist Church.
In 1891, a wooden structure was erected on the current site under the leadership of Rev. Berry who served as pastor for 14 years.
During the next nineteen years, 1903 to 1922, five other ministers were called to serve Corner Stone. They were the Reverends Henry Maloy, William H. Taylor, Zachariah White, Charles H.D. Griffin, and Plummer P. Eaton.
In 1922, Rev. J. R. R. McRay began his 58 years as pastor at Corner Stone. In 1943, he led the first major renovation of the church that accommodated the burgeoning membership. This renovation of the wooden facility was transformed into a brick structure.
Rev. John E. Trotman, the eighth pastor, served from 1981 to 2005. Under his leadership the addition of the Educational Building was completed in 1989. This building serves not nly as a Christian Education facility for Corner Stone members but also for the community. The sanctuary in which worship services are held was renovated and completed in 2002.
Our present pastor, Dr. Walter L. Smith, Jr., has served as its leader since February 2006. Under his guidance, the church is in the midst of a transformation that seeks to provide ministries and worship experiences that are inspirational,informative and relevant for living with opportunities for every member to utilize his or her spiritual gift(s) through involvement and vision sharing. This is being done through Christian Religious Education and a team ministry approach.
Corner Stone is excited about its future as it seeks to minister to the needs of its congregation and community. Pastor Smith envisions great things continuing to happen in this body of Zion. As in the past, Corner Stone will ever be the shining beacon of the the spirit of the Lord for present and future generations.