Jerusalem Cornerstone Foundation

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Our History

Jerusalem Cornerstone began in 1936 as Zion Apostolic Mission under the leadership of William L. Hull. From 1960-1 Hull transferred Zion Apostolic Mission to Le Roy M. Kopp and E. Paul Kopp. This ministry was then renamed Zion Christian Mission, then Cornerstone Ministries, and finally in 2002 became Jerusalem Cornerstone Foundation.

Le Roy M. Kopp and E. Paul Kopp acquired Zion Christian Mission during 1961-2 from William L. Hull. E. Paul’s son, Charles moved to Israel in the summer of 1966 to head up the ministry. He met Elizabeth Ozdinec in the fall of ’67 after Israel’s triumph in the 1967 Six Day War. Charles and Elizabeth wed in 1969.

The Jesus People Movement broke out in America in that same year. Randall Buth, today, Jerusalem Cornerstone’s director of biblical education, began following Jesus in 1969 and God’s plan for him involving Bible translation. He studied in Jerusalem in 1974-5 during the outbreak of God’s Spirit which initiated unity among many Christians in Israel. Narkis Street Baptist Congregation under the leadership of Bob Lindsey played a key part in the renewal in the Land.

In 1994 Charles Kopp becamse pastor of Narkis Street Congregation after Bob Lidsey’s retirement. His wife Elizabeth began fostering a relationship with the orphans of Bethleham at the SOS Village, and in 1996 Randell Buth moved to Isreal with his wife, after serving for twenty years as Wycliff Bible translators, in order to develop innovative programs for teaching biblical languages.

Near the turn of this millennium, Cornerstone Ministries was re-evaluating and sharpening its purposes and goals in the ever-changing Israeli landscape. Brian Kvasnica and Jon “Yoni” Gerrish were instigating plans for educational tours in Israel and programs for the disadvantaged. Eventually, these meetings led to larger gatherings within the local believing community. In 2002, Larry and Mary Ehrlich flew from the U.S. to join these discussions in Jerusalem and agreed to represent stateside this evolving ministry, formerly Cornerstone but now Jerusalem Cornerstone Foundation (JCF). Today the vision of Jerusalem Cornerstone is about promoting acts of charity and educational opportunities with an eye towards restoration and reconciliation.

The Holy Land has always been characterized by fences which separate and discriminate between different groups. Regrettably, this practice has carried over into modern Christian involvement in the Land. Israel is also notorious for being a bureaucratic wilderness for evangelicals seeking to bless and help the country. Since its establishment in 1936 as Zion Apostolic Mission and till now, Jerusalem Cornerstone, has tried to walk that political tightrope by loving all peoples, Jews and Arabs, and adhering to changing governmental protocols, all the while faithfully sharing the Gospel through biblical teaching and acts of loving-kindness.