Cornerstone readying for move to Liberty Lake
By Valerie Putnam
A building that used to sell cars will soon be a house of God.
This summer, the Cornerstone Pentecostal Church is moving from its Spokane Valley location to the former Spokane Kia dealership, 21326 E. Mission Ave. in Liberty Lake.
"We saw over eight years ago that we were going to need another facility," Cornerstone Pastor Rick Mayo said. "We simply outgrew our facility."
Mayo is no stranger to moving the location of the church. Since he planted the church 19 years ago, it has moved three times already. The new Liberty Lake location will be the church's fourth.
Before coming to Spokane, Mayo and his wife, Ellen, were evangelizing around the country. In 1994, they felt led to sell their truck and trailer and start a church here - a community neither one had ever been to.
More than 30 people attended the first service at its first location, a 700-square-foot commercial office suite on the corner of David and First in Spokane Valley.
"My wife and I were blown away," Mayo said about the attendance. "We opened up the doors, and 30 people showed up."
The first facility was so small that the couple baptized new converts using a horse trough in the garage of their duplex apartment.
Eight months later, as the congregation outgrew its small office space, they converted a 3,000-square-foot commercial space on the 14000 block of East Sprague Avenue into a church. Cornerstone worshiped at that location for approximately seven and a half years.
In 2001, the church's current building at 12817 E Broadway was purchased. Within four years, they realized the approximately 2,500-square-foot facility wasn't going to accommodate church growth.
Planning for its future needs, the church purchased five acres of property along Interstate 90 at Barker Road with the intention of building a new facility.
"The blueprints were done and everything was ready to go," Mayo said. "We took a closer look at the blueprints and recognized it wasn't going to accommodate the growth that we felt was coming."
The church shelved the new construction plans. It began searching for a larger existing facility a little more than two years ago.
Last October, Mayo's realtor sent him an email about a building in Liberty Lake. The email included the owner's name.
"I felt God told me to send the owner a personal email and introduce myself," Mayo said. "I've never done anything like that before."
The owner, who was living in Wenatchee, contacted Mayo's agent the next day requesting to meet him. On the third day, the two of them met at Mayo's home.
"After sitting in my living room for about an hour, he stands up and says 'Pastor, I think I can work with you,'" Mayo said.
The meeting led to a late-November purchase of the former Kia of Spokane showroom and dealership. The purchase price was $1.9 million, according to county records.
"It was a very good deal for both of us," Mayo said. "Once everything lined up, it happened very quickly. No resistance, no limitations. Everything was a green light."
The church received the building permit in March and began to immediately transform the former showroom into a 9,000-square-foot sanctuary.
Mayo hopes to complete the renovation by late June.
"We're in a real good position," Mayo said. "We're not being pushed out of our other building. I want to make sure everything is right before we make the switch."
Mayo plans to be actively involved in the Liberty Lake community. The church already plans to build a float for the annual Fourth of July celebration along with hosting a church picnic at Pavillion Park on July 28.
"We plan to reach out any way we can," said Mayo, who plans to invite the mayor and entire community to a building dedication before the end of the year. "Our dream is to provide Liberty Lake and the surrounding area with a strong church."