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 – March 26, 2017

Ever wrestled with the role of church authority in the life of the individual Christian? If so, you’re not alone. A pastor friend in the area e-mailed me a few weeks ago to get my thoughts on church government. Specifically, he was asking about the hotly debated “keys of the kingdom” passages like Matthew 18:18 where Jesus says of the church, “…whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (see also Matthew 16:19 and John 20:23).

His trouble was that each of these passages speaks to church government and authority in a way that stands in direct confrontation with modern sensibilities. Does God really mean that the church has been given the authority to open and close the kingdom? Commenting on this, Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn says, “Church governors have power from Christ to ‘respectively, retain and remit sins.’ The elders of the church guide the body of Christ in determining whether someone is to be treated as a brother, as an erring brother, or as what Jesus called a Gentile or tax collector” (Confessing the Faith, p. 403).

Though disturbing for some, Van Dixhoorn’s comments are consistent with what our Reformed church fathers understood to be the authority entrusted to elders through membership, discipline, and excommunication. That is to say, church officers, though not perfect by a long shot, are charged by God to open and close the gate to the Kingdom of God. As the Westminster Confession of Faith asserts, “…[elders] shut the kingdom against the unrepentant both by the Word and censures, and open it to repentant sinners by the ministry of the gospel and by releasing from censures, as occasion requires.” This is essentially what Cyprian of Carthage intended, which John Calvin later reiterated, by the saying, “You cannot have God as your Father unless you have the church as your mother” (see Institutes 4.1.1).

At first blush, this may seem like an overreach of church authority, but it’s hard to get past if you’re giving Scripture’s teaching an honest shake, especially when it comes to the subject of church discipline (shriek!). In all seriousness, does the mention of church discipline send shivers up your spine? If it does, do you have the same response at the mention of disciplining a child? My guess is you don’t. That’s because discipline is part and parcel of a healthy family life and the expectation of loving parents. Keep that analogy in mind as we turn our attention to “the family of God” (Ephesians 2:19-20). We have a loving Father who has made us His children (John 1:12), and His faithful parentage of us includes His discipline (Hebrews 12:10) through the church (1 Peter 5:1-5, Matthew 18:15-20).

I once heard a pastor decry the loss of the biblical practice of church discipline in our day saying, My guess is that most of us wouldn’t think much of a parent who only told their children how wonderful they were but never lifted a hand to correct and discipline them when they did wrong. I suggest we not think too much of churches that act the same way.

Church discipline is the natural outflow of the church’s ministry to “…speak the truth in love” that God’s people might “…grow up in every way into him who is the head, in to Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Just as Scripture is designed for both instruction and correction (2 Timothy 3:16), the discipline of the church is both positive and negative but in every way remedial and redemptive—that we might “come to our senses” (Luke 15:17) and run to our Father for forgiveness and recommit our way to following our Elder Brother and Savior, Jesus Christ.

If your head is reeling, stay with me. More on this subject next week.

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