History and Timeline of Events.

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CORNERSTONE MINISTRIES PROFILE

 

Office Location:        21A Connolley Avenue, Kingston, 4

                                        Jamaica, West Indies

Mailing Address:       P.O. Box  1760, Kingston 8

Telephone:                 (876) 922-5689/90

Fax:                            (876) 967-1970

E-Mail:                       cornerstoneministries@flowja.com

Website:                     cornerstonehelps.org

Douglas and Lorna Kessner      cornerstoneint@bellsouth.net

 

[DOWNLOAD PDF] for more information

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: INTRODUCTION

 

Founders

Doug and Lorna Kessner, missionaries (sent 1986) by Northwest Missionary and Alliance Church (an evangelical, non-denominational church) located in Farmington, Michigan, are the founders of Cornerstone Ministries in Jamaica.  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,” Matthew 28:19, challenged them to use their practical skills to share the gospel.

Doug has been a journeyman tradesman since 1962.  God has given him a burden to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and his practical skills with the tradesmen and apprentices in Jamaica.  Doug has a Masters in Ministry and a Doctorate in Theology.

Lorna has been a Registered Psychiatric Nurse since 1965.  Through counselling, teaching and other practical skills, she has been able to serve God and share the gospel.

They graduated from Christ to the World Bible Training Centre in Kingston, Jamaica after which they attended a Crossroads Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission in Salem, Oregon.  Doug and Lorna are both ordained ministers.

Cornerstone Ministry, Profile

Cornerstone Ministries is a missionary organization aimed at providing proactive and innovative interventions towards the reduction of crime, poverty and hopelessness in Jamaica. Founded in 1989, this non-profit, trans-denominational organization has worked to empower the imprisoned, less fortunate and the unskilled through inmate rehabilitation programmes in two of the island’s penal institutions and the empowerment of residents of select communities through our community development initiatives.

Cornerstone is widely known for its pioneering work in the island’s penal system, where since 1993 to 2003, it has implemented unparalleled strategies aimed at the building and equipping of training facilities and training of inmates and officers in various disciplines spanning construction, agriculture and computer technology.

Note! Cornerstone taught for 14 years in the Correctional Institutions in Jamaica.  Having seen God do great things with the inmate/students through investing the talents of many servants in His ministry, Cornerstones season and involvement with the Correctional Institutions came to an end in 2007.

Cornerstone involved in industry and community Development since 1989

We also have attracted those students from industry from day one with as many as 50 plus companies over the years sending their employees to our Christian Centered Vocational School.

Computers have been used to complement our training programmes in all curriculum  and have been used to train our students in partnership with HEART Trust/NTA, Jamaica. (The accreditation arm of the Ministry of Education in Jamaica.)

2011 – 2013:  Cornerstones vision regarding offering to its student’s high tech computer technology has been established.   With the completion of its new second story addition completed we now currently have two fully equipped 20-unit and 15-unit AC class rooms totalling (35) new and updated computers, hardware as well as software.  There is also an I.T. theoretical classroom seating 20 students.  These classrooms are designated to meet the computer needs of our students as well as those coming from industry/general public.

It is important to note that in each class offered there is a component of Christian Principles Class that must be taken.

  1. We also have (4) computers allocated toward our Internet Café, at the same time offering WI-FI to our students and the general public.
  2. Computer Repair Shop, to not only meet Cornerstones needs but we also offer our computer repair to the general public.
  3. Document Center to meet Cornerstones needs as well as the general public

 

Management Team

Cornerstone Ministries was incorporated under the company’s act of Jamaica in September 1989. We received N.G.O. [Non-Governmental Organization] status, and are recognized as an approved charitable organization.  A Board of Directors governs us.

The organization (historically in 2006) was acting under the leadership of a new restructured Management Team comprising Managing Administrative Director, Mrs. Phylis McGann,  and Managing Administrator of Special Projects, Mrs. Faith Rowe, and Managing  Information Technology…… Queuei Brown. This is, of course, entirely different today.

It is the intent of the Ministry for this Team to successfully accomplish the Ministry’s mission:

“To guide men and women in achieving their highest potential and purpose in life while imparting theoretical, practical and life skills training and other social interventions in communities and correctional institutions, while sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Key Motivators:

  • Bring dignity to the individual and Family
  • Facilitate the EMPOWERMENT of the individual in order that they may be productive for themselves, their families, their community and Country.
  • Make the home, community and country a better place.
  • Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Community Development Project

Spring Village in St. Catherine, consisting of 10,000 persons and two and one half acres donated by Jamaica Broilers to the community in 1999 was the start of Cornerstone’s community development involvement. Cornerstone raised the funds to build a community civic centre building as well as equip the centre to train in the skills of cooking, welding, electrical, information technology and hydroponics. The Centre also facilitates homework programmes for the students that attend the adjacent all age school.

Cornerstone also had the responsibility of managing the project from start to finish, which included training persons from the community so that the community civic centre would be self-sustaining in five years.

In 2006 and after seven years Cornerstone had the great satisfaction of handing over the total Spring Village community project to well trained persons from the community.

In September 2003 we started construction of our automotive training workshop in partnership with the Japanese government at Cornerstone’s main office.  With the initial grant we constructed the workshop and purchased most of the major training equipment, including various diagnostic testing components, as well as the complete working training model of a Japanese car.  We have since partnered with HEART Trust/NTA,  a Jamaican educational government  arm to provide training for inner city youths.

 

CORNERSTONE MINISTRIES HISTORICAL PROFILE UPDATED Jan/1/2014

Note!

In the following list of projects and successes it is important to highlight that throughout Cornerstones history there have been many supporters from individuals, churches, organizations as well as government embassies who have participated in funding the efforts of His ministry.

 

It is the policy of Embassies to only help funding with a one year start up grant.

This one time grant does not include funding Cornerstone Ministry for monthly rent, buildings for ministry, utilities, or salaries for Cornerstone staff.   

 

Cornerstone Ministry must raise the funds for all categories indicated from individuals and churches. Cornerstone must also raise the funds to continue all its projects after original grant from Embassies.

HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF EVENTS

(Past and Present Projects/Successes):

1989 – 1991 Cornerstone started teaching its first two year curriculum in Cabinet Making and Joinery, starting with 40 students at Deeds Industry. We taught “theory only,” one eight hour day per week, and the students received their practical experience in their work place the remaining four days per week. The courses offered were, Technical Drawing (3-hr.), Wood Theory (2-hr.), Math (2-hr), and Christian Principles (1-hr).Teaching theory one day per week gave the Founder Director of Cornerstone the opportunity the other six days per week to write a unique working manual/syllabus for developing country tradespersons that is 6,000 pages. This manual/syllabus took two years to write, and is still being used today by Cornerstone.
1989 – 2000 Trained 150 persons in construction skills most of whom moved into supervision or management in the private sector.
1993 – 1996 The success of Deeds, lead to Cornerstone offering its two year Cabinet Making and Joinery course to the wood manufacturing industry. Ultimately over the years 50 Companies participated in sending their employees to our school in theory only while receiving their practical experience in the work place.
1993 – 2007 Establishment of prisoner rehabilitation training at South Camp Adult Correctional Center (Gun Court) funded by the Government of Jamaica through H.E.A.R.T Trust/National Training Agency, United way of Jamaica and Food for the Poor.
1995 – 2000 Renovation and establishment of a 7 acre training industrial complex at Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre (Brickyard) in downtown Kingston with funding provided by the Netherlands, The British and the Canadian Governments.  We have trained over 200 inmates in the prisoner rehab programme as well as correctional officers.
1997/1998 Conflict Resolution training to Correctional Officers and inmates funded by private individuals and the Canadian Government respectively.Offered training in Money Management and personal development to correctional officers.Offered training in Information Technology to Correctional Officers.
1998 – 2006 Mobilization and training of resident of Spring Village, Old Harbour a 10,000 person community in a programme funded by Best Dressed Chicken, USAID, Work Force Development Consortium, Inter-America Development Bank, United Way of Jamaica and various international churches and groups.We have trained over 300 adults in Academic & Vocational Skills, 1,000 All Age School students and many others in personal, social and communal skills while strengthening the overall capacity of the community.
1999-2011 Offered Information Technology training, at our Head Offices, through initial funding provided by the British High Commission and People’s Action for Community Transformation (PACT), . We have trained over  (200) youths from the Allman Town Community and the Denham Town Community in computing and computerized literacy training. [ONGOING over 500 students]
2000 Commenced Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Entrepreneurial training courses to graduates of our 3-year programme funded by Work Force Development Consortium and Inter-American Development Bank.
2001 Commenced training of physically challenged individuals from Kingston and surrounding communities in collaboration with Disabilities Association of Jamaica in vocational skills funded by Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the IDB
Sept ‘2003 – Present Construction of Automotive Training and Repair workshop in partnership with the Embassy of Japan. Establishment of Automotive Training and Repair Apprenticeship Programme in collaboration with H.E.A.R.T Trust/NTA. Ninth batch of students are currently being trained.
2005 – 2008 Facilitate the National Heroes Park Redevelopment Project in collaboration with Environmental Foundation of Jamaica to foster and promote community development and capacity building activities in the communities of Allman Town and Fletcher’s Land.
Feb ’2007 – Present2012 – toPresent Offer Information Technology training where students pursue the H.E.A.R.T Trust/NTA Data Entry Level I Course.Cornerstone Ministry regarding computer technology currently has two fully equipped 20-unit and 15-unit AC class rooms totalling (35) new and updated computers, hardware as well as software.  There is also an I.T. theoretical classroom seating 20 students.  These classrooms are designated to meet the need of our students as well as those coming from industry/general public.It is important to note that in each class offered there is a component of Christian Principles Class that must be taken.1.  We also have (4) computers allocated toward our Internet Café, at the same time offering WI-FI to our students and the general public.2.  Computer Repair Shop, to not only meet Cornerstones needs but we also offer our computer repair to the general public.

3.  Document Center to meet Cornerstones needs as well as the general public