Our History

History of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship in Winfield, Kansas

Several people coming out of the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Winfield, which folded, began a Bible Study in 1969, to see if a new evangelical Bible-centered church could be formed in Winfield. The Winfield Evangelical Free Church was formed from this Bible study and began conducting worship services on June 7, 1970. The first Sunday service consisted of 40 signed members, including seven children under the age of 16. Pastor William D. Ritchey served the church from 1970 to 1978; Interim Pastor Hal Mobley from 1978 to 1979; Pastor Don Hale from 1979-1982; Interim Pastor Randall Rice from 1982 to 1983; Pastor George Hines from 1983 to 1986; Pastor Steven Strom from 1987-1999; Interim Jack Smith from 1999 to 2000 and current Senior Pastor, Scott Schaefer who has been here since April 2000.

The Winfield congregation began with a Bible study in a private home. A group visited the Wichita First Evangelical Free Church and, in a meeting with its past, R. W. Houser, first learned about the programs of the Free Church. District Superintendent, Stanley Westlund, led the first group study in May 1969, but because of his failing health, Rev. Houser took responsibility for the group. For a year following June 1969, the Bible study group was led by Pastor Houser and met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Case, who were missionaries on furlough from Mexico at the time.

In May 1970, the group bought the present plot of ground on which the church building stands today, which at the time, was just east of Winfield, but is now part of the city. The organizational meeting was held June 2, 1970, in the Community Council room, and the charter membership was opened. Sunday services began June 7 in the Whittier School Auditorium and met there until November of that year. At that time the American Red Cross building on West Ninth was rented for three services a week. It was in this building in February 1973 that the decision was made to build.

On Sunday, March 18, 1973, the groundbreaking services were held on the building site located just east of the city on Highway 160. The first service was held in the new building on Christmas Sunday in 1973, but the building wasn't dedicated until April 28, 1974.

With the sponsoring of new ministries through the years, there has been a steady growth in attendance, making necessary two Sunday morning services and consideration of more space. This became a challenge and in March 1993, a groundbreaking ceremony started a 12,000-square-foot addition to the building. In October that same year, it was dedicated. This large, full-gymnasium, multi-purpose structure provides space for more ministries, such as our Awana and Student Ministries. In September of 2010 a very large wind storm hit our sanctuary, ripping off the roof of our sanctuary. We used this opportunity to remodel our sanctuary, add a separate foyer, move our offices to our main facility and remodel our children's classrooms downstairs. We used our Family Life Center for worship services for one year and moved back into our remodeled sanctuary in September, 2011, dedicating it to our Lord.

We praise God for how He has blessed our church family, and how He uses us to advance His eternal kingdom.