Welcome to Cornerstone Presbyterian

Thank you for visiting our website, and we hope that you will join us Sunday mornings for one of our worship services.

Please look through the website to find out what we believe, what God is calling us to as a church, and practical information about visiting. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions. We’d love to hear from you, and we hope to see you on Sunday.

Office: (615) 618-4707

Location: 136 Third Avenue, South
                    Franklin, TN 36064

What is the schedule for Sunday morning?

We have two corporate worship services on Sunday morning at 8:00 and 10:45 am. The sermon and the music are identical at both services.  We welcome children of all ages in the worship services. If you so desire, nursery (click here) is available for children under the age of 3.

Sunday school classes for all ages meet from 9:45-10:35 am.

Children’s Classes (click here)

Bucer Group (Youth) (click here)

Adult Sunday School Classes (click here)


What should I expect on a Sunday morning?

Don’t be surprised if someone greets you or says hello. The worship service bulletin can be found at either the front or side entrances and contains all of the Scripture readings and the music we sing. Although the worship service is historically rooted, it is presented in a manner accessible to where God has placed us in this time and in this culture. You can expect clear, penetrating, exposition of God’s Word in the sermon, and we celebrate communion every week. By the way, we do not pass an offering plate during the service, but if you’d like to give financially to the ministry of the church, there are boxes available at each entrance.

Adult Sunday School Classes

As part of the ongoing discipling and equipping of the saints for worship and service, we have a regular schedule of classes for adults during the Sunday School hour.

On Vocation in the Chapel

Koinonia with Larry Thompson (Kuyper 303)

God is a creator and He has gifted His people with the desire to create. Enjoying those things that are beautiful, well-crafted, and artfully formed helps us to understand more of God’s nature and character. In addition, working with the materials that God has made, we can rejoice in the ordering of those resources through the arts—color, movement, sound, time, language.

We place a high priority on the excellent but accessible music that we sing on Sunday mornings keeping beauty and aesthetics as part of our consideration. But we also enjoy exploring other realms of the arts through monthly literature discussions, regular film nights, trips to concerts, encouraging the visual arts, and hosting musical groups or ensembles.

Christianity has a long history of fostering the arts, and we want to more fully understand, embrace, and participate and continue this rich legacy.


Despite its medium size, Franklin has a small town feel.  The downtown community of historic sites, businesses, and restaurants enables the building of relationships and the promise of always running into someone you know. This is the context in which God has placed our church—not only as a quaint and homey environment but as a place to serve.

As a Bible-believing church in the heart of the town, we want to make the Word of God visible in every aspect of life. Living out this ministry intersects the downtown community through arts events, ESL classes, and hosting various ministries as well as the natural outgrowth of the church members living out their callings in downtown—whether in meetings at Merridees, fellowshipping at a coffee house or working in office space off of the square.

We desire to be Christ’s light in downtown Franklin as well as good neighbors. Being on mission begins in the immediate context in which God has placed us and then spreads out from there.

When Christ Community Church moved from downtown Franklin to its new facility on Hillsboro Road in the fall of 2001, the church retained the Historic Downtown Chapel with the desire that it could continue to be used for ministry purposes as well as for church planting. This hope was realized in December 2006, when Pastor George Grant along with elders and deacons from Christ Community planted Parish Presbyterian Church using the Chapel as its home.

Over the next four years, Parish grew to the point of needing three morning worship services to accommodate the congregation. One of Parish Presbyterian’s founding principles was the desire to continue to plant daughter churches. In the fall of 2010, Parish purchased property and a permanent home on Clovercroft Road in east Franklin. With that as a catalyst, Pastor Nate Shurden and elders and deacons from Parish remained in downtown Franklin to plant a daughter church, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church.

Cornerstone Presbyterian began meeting on January 16, 2011 as a church plant and received full status as a church in our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, in November 2011. We are grateful that God has blessed our fellowship with members of all ages—from children to large numbers of young families to grandparents.

The Historic Downtown Chapel was originally built by First Baptist Church in 1849. Although the building was damaged in the Civil War, it was rebuilt, then rebuilt again in 1890 after a fire. The First Baptist congregation moved about two miles away in 1988 and sold a collection of buildings, including the chapel, to Christ Community Church. In March of 2012, Cornerstone bought the Chapel from Christ Community as a permanent home.

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A Parish Church of the Presbyterian Church in America

Pastoral Notes – April 2, 2017

There is no doubt that our building has seen a lot of history, and it a joy to be part of two hundred years of continual worship on the corner of Church and Third.  On April 4, 1800, three lots were purchased in downtown Franklin to serve as a location for a Baptist church and a school. The official date of the founding of First Baptist is 1830 on the first Sunday of February. The church underwent various trials in the late 1830s but grew to 440 members by 1851. A travelling evangelist used the church building for preaching and all but four members of the church followed him. Two of the remaining four members moved a few months later leaving Deacon John C. Wells and his daughter to faithfully meet in the deserted building to sing and pray. The church began to grow, but the facility was seized by Federal troops for use as a hospital during the Civil War. The damage to the building only worsened when it burned in the early 1890s leaving only blackened walls. The church was rebuilt (with what are considered to be some of the finest stained glass windows in Middle Tennessee) and continued to grow until First Baptist relocated and sold the building to Christ Community Church in the mid 1980s. CCC relocated in 2001 to their new facility on Hillsboro Road and left the Chapel in downtown Franklin for various ministry purposes—including the planting of daughter churches. Cornerstone, a granddaughter church of CCC, purchased the building in 2012.

When we purchased the facility, we inherited many things as part of the building. One of those fixtures was the simple cedar cross that was hanging in the front of the church. Pastor Mike Smith of Christ Community Church made that as a temporary placeholder many years ago. You may not have realized it, but the central section of the front of the church was originally a baptistery with steps leading up and down. This was part of the adaptation of the building decades ago that included creating a wall in front of the old baptismal area and placing screens on either side where the steps were located.

The temporary cross has never matched the interior of the church in shape or color or materials. In fact, when we talked with Pastor Smith a few years back about the cross, he was surprised that we still had it hanging in the Chapel. For these reasons, we asked our own Jerry Palmer to provide some ideas to make more permanent fixtures that fit in with the Chapel. He provided sketches of new screens for the front, cross designs, and some other architectural details that will blend in more intentionally with the overall historic design of the Chapel. He’s working on several of these projects, but he started with the cross. The cross you see is the design that we chose from the many options he presented.

This is what Jerry had to say about his design:

I wanted to blend together historic, traditional, and contemporary elements. It was important that the cross fit the interior of the church, but I wanted to use both smooth and rough elements to convey the “old rugged cross.” To the world, the cross is foolishness, but to me and to others who trust only in the saving grace of Jesus, it is beautiful. The Celtic part of the cross hanging before you signifies the beauty of Christ our Savior and how we rejoice in Him, the rugged oak cross speaks of His agony on that cruel tree. I hope it will be a blessing to all who look upon it.

We are so thankful for Jerry and Kimberly Palmer and their gifts and talents. And we are grateful that this is yet another step in preserving and extending the history of the Chapel.

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