In the summer of 1972, Cornerstone International, Inc. (CI) was incorporated as a mission board. The founding director officially organized the sending agency, then called The Cornerstone, Incorporated. Shortly after this, he and his family became the first missionaries to Italy. The ministry continued and missionaries were sent to other nations in Europe, including Germany and France.
In 1988, the founding director resigned and the board began a search for a new full-time director. In January 1991, the board approached Duane Jones to be interim director. Eventually, it became apparent to all that Duane was indeed the man that God called to fill this position and, in July 1995, he was commissioned as the full-time Executive Director for Cornerstone.
As he began his tenure, Duane believed that CI would branch out from Europe to other nations, especially Latin America. As God directed, this has indeed been the case, and now CI has over 40 missionaries on 5 continents. We have mission workers serving in the USA, Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Norway, Ethiopia, Uganda, and many more.
In 2001, after moving the office to several locations, the Lord enabled Cornerstone International to purchase nearly eleven acres with a house that serves as the missions base office. This has been a blessing as we have room for board meetings, dinners, and other events, as well as five individual offices and a bedroom suite that is open to CI friends and missionaries who need a place to stay.
In 2003, the Lord began leading us to establish a house of prayer on our missions base so that the ministry of CI, at home and abroad, would be fueled by worship and intercession. The board approved this direction and in July 2004, after a six-month trial period, the board commissioned Jo McKenzie as an Intercessory Missionary and the Director of the CI-House of Prayer (CI-HOP).
In September of 2015, after more than ten years of operating at the missions base, the director was led to move the house of prayer and open as Sanctuary in downtown Wilmore. CI remains in close affiliation with Sanctuary and has also continued various weekly corporate prayer and worship meetings on site at the CI missions base, continuing to fuel CI’s missions mandate with prayer and worship.
In July 2016, Duane Jones resigned as president but the Lord quickly provided a replacement. At this same time, Craig and Kara Garrison (CI missionaries to SE Asia since 2004) and their family were transitioning to the States and seeking the Lord as to His plan for the next season. It seemed good to CI, to Craig, and to the Holy Spirit that Craig lead the next season of CI. In January 2017, he officially became CI’s president.
In 2023, after faithfully serving CI for over six years as president, Craig felt the Lord’s calling to shift his focus from the presidency to serving unengaged unreached people groups (UUPGs) more intentionally. With this new promotion, the Lord stirred the hearts of the CI board to pursue Hal Hamilton, CI’s Director of Mobilization, to move into the presidency. Hal graciously accepted the new calling, and has been serving as the CI president since September 2023.