Cornerstone United Methodist Church was the new name selected by the church members when we moved into our current facility in April 2001. This location is the sixth place of worship for the congregation since its inception.
The name and building are new, but Cornerstone is the direct descendent of the oldest Protestant congregation in St. Charles county. It became an organized church in 1807, after the Methodist circuit riders started coming to the area. However, regular Methodist prayer and bible study meetings were being held in the home of Col. Jacob Zumwalt as early as 1798. Our church today springs from this humble beginning. Ft. Zumwalt Church
The first three church sites were located south of Interstate 70, beginning with the home of Jacob Zumwalt, now the site of Fort Zumwalt Park. Rev. Jesse Walker conducted the first services there. For Communion they served wine made with polk berry juice sweetened with maple sugar and crusts of cornbread made by Mrs. Zumwalt and Mrs. Col. David Bailey for the juice and bread of communion. A log cabin church was erected in 1809 near the Zumwalt's cabin and was called the Zumwalt Church.
Mt. Zion Church
A stone building on five acres of ground was built on Mt. Zion hill in 1853. Mt. Zion Church was a growing church, but it was hit by a tornado in 1882. After that, a new building was erected at Church and Wood Streets in O'Fallon.
In the early days of the church, men set on one side of the aisle and women on the other. They felt that an organ was the instrument of the devil, so an organ was not used in worship until the reconstruction period after the Civil War. The first organ was brought into the church building on a Saturday night at midnight! In 1952, after 70 years of worship in that building, the church was sold to the Christian church and a school building on Pitman Street was purchased from the local school district. The Pitman School house was used for service until a new sanctuary was built on the property in 1958. Due to a generous gift by the William's family, the church became known as Williams Memorial United Methodist Church. This name was retained until the move to our current location. Over the years, our church has been blessed with many gifted pastors, including one who was a descendent of Daniel Boone! But none perhaps more colorful than the Rev. Joe Pritchett, who served the church during the Civil War. It was said that he always carried a gun, which he laid across the pulpit when he preached! Some reminders of our church's long history remain with us even today. The bell in front of our church was installed in the steeple of Mt. Zion Church in 1885. It remained in that church building after its sale to the Christian church. However, it was returned to our congregation in 1958 after the steeple of the old church was blown off the building by a tornado. Cornerstone UMC Sanctuary
The fireplace in our narthex is a replica of the fireplace that was in the home of Jacob Zumwalt, our first meeting place. The original fireplace is still standing in Ft. Zumwalt Park here in O'Fallon. Just south of Mexico Road and Hwy. K, at the Mount Zion Church site, you will find Mt. Zion Cemetery, which still belongs to Cornerstone Church.As you can see, we have a great and wonderful history of seeing the Lord work in this community. This is because of the work and prayers of many people over more than 200 years. At Cornerstone, our belief is that our best years are yet to come. Our hope is that you will join us and become an active part of our continuing history!