Our History

Cornerstone Bible Fellowship actually began as a small country congregation that met in a church 9 miles north of Newton, Iowa. German immigrants built the original church building in 1892 and named it Zoar Reformed Church. The reason behind the name remains unclear, but the Bible describes Zoar as “the small place of safety and refuge” to which God allowed Lot to flee as He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The church doors closed in the late 1970’s and remained closed until Clifford Klein, a descendent of the original church founders, felt called to re-open the church in 1986. Klein gathered together a remnant of people in the neighborhood who had attended the church before and he began to hold Bible study and Sunday morning services.

A variety of men filled the pulpit. Pastor Lee Owens served briefly, followed by Pastor Snyder, who also was pasturing at the nearby Wittenberg Church. Not long after it re-opened, the church contacted Village missions, which provides pastors for rural area churches in order to ensure that the Gospel is being preached in these areas. Several men served at the church for short periods. In 1990, Pastor Jim Olson arrived at Zoar along with his wife Jolene and their two children. At this time, the small country church consisted of 5-10 families.

 The congregation of Zoar grew and was finally able to financially support a full time pastor by 2002; at which time the church became independent of Village Missions. With the growth of the church another pastor was needed. The first Sunday in May of 2003 Brian Keeton joined in the capacity of Assistant Pastor and Worship Leader. The church now had an attendance of between 180 -250 persons per Sunday. In order to accommodate the larger congregation, the church added a second and third Sunday morning service.  

In August of 2007 the congregation moved from its rural Iowa location to the city of Newton. With the assistance of a non-interest bearing loan from the Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Newton the Zoar congregation bought the CMA’s Educational Center from the CMA church. The church changed its name to Cornerstone Bible Fellowship (CBF). The two churches shared the building until September of 2011 when the building loan was paid in full.

In April of 2012 Pastor Olson was led to leave CBF.  In August 2012 God brought Pastor Steve Bundy and his wife Kristina and their five children to serve CBF as the new head Pastor. 

Though many changes have occurred over the years CBF is still “a place of safety and refuge” for those who need to meet or who have met Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Painted in the foyer, above the doors to the sanctuary, are the words of John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” This same verse was also painted at the front of the old church’s sanctuary. Cornerstone Bible Fellowship continues to be a “place of safety and refuge” that the Lord is using to minister to our community.