In 1954, the late Rev. John W. Woods, who was an Assistant Pastor at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, under the pastorate of the late Rev. Rafus P. Means, decided under the direction of the Lord to work independently in his own vineyard as a minister for the Master’s cause. On the recommendation of the late Rev. Benjamin F. Johnson, who was pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark, Rev. Woods requested permission to use the King William Grand Lodge of Masons for the use of their hall located at 95 South Orange Avenue. This request was granted and on Sunday, March 7, 1954, the first worship service was held with 30 persons present. On Sunday, March 21, 1954, Mrs. Emma Dixon became the first enrolled member of this congregation, and a few weeks later the church adopted the name of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Mission.

By June 20, 1954 the membership grew to more than 30 people, and the church appealed to the Permanent council of North Jersey District Baptist Association for recognition as a regular Baptist Church. The council took official action on this appeal, and on June 23, 1954 Rev.John Wesley Woods was installed as the first pastor of the Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church.

In 1958, the young church needed a new location, and in September of that year the church moved from 95 South Orange Avenue to 584 High Street (Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Blvd.). After only three years, the church needed to move again, and in October of 1961 the church moved to 294 Orange Street. This location did not last very long, and added to the struggle for our young church. On May 24, 1962, the church purchased a building at 428 Central Avenue. Worship services began at that location on June 3, 1962.

After 14 years, redevelopment coupled with the Church’s growth required a new location. In December 1976, the church relocated to 115-119 West Market Street, which was formally occupied by the Bethany Baptist Church. It was at this location that we experienced some of our greatest challenges. Due to the age and condition of the church building, Pastor Woods and the members found themselves struggling to maintain heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. Oftentimes, the deacons would have to arrive at the church before sunrise or stay overnight to ensure heat for the Sunday morning service. In spite of all of this, the ministries of the church never ceased to meet the needs of the congregation. In order to survive these struggling times, the members joined together in a variety of fundraisers including selling dinners, fashion shows, and sponsoring bus rides to various places. Those were difficult times for Greater Cornerstone, but by the grace and strength of God, the church made it.

When the city of Newak announced plans to redevelop the Market Street area with condominiums built by K. Hovanian, our church, which was a landmark on Market Street, stood in the way of the development of the upcoming Society Hill, and so it was time to move again. Various members who attended an affair at our present location, which was then owned by the American Legion, and was used as a Hall, gained knowledge that the building was for sale. This information was brought to the attention of Rev. Woods. After many Pledges and sacrifices were made, we were able to reach our financial goal, and place a down payment on our current building. Due to their dedication and love for the church, Deacon Claude Moorer and Deacon Rober Whitaker co-signed with Rev. Woods enabling us to be granted a mortgage to purchase this present building 235-237 North 18th Street. Services were held at the former Bethany Baptist Church on West Market Street until March of 1989 when the church purchased the present building at 235-237 North 18th Street. On Sunday, March 5, 1989 services began at our present location.

On November twenty second , 1994 after forty one years of pastoring,  preaching,  and teaching, the Lord saw fit to call reverend John W. Woods from labor to reward. His dedication to God and his obedience to the will of God led to many lives being transformed for Christ. Dr. Woods was a visionary who taught the Greater Cornerstone family to trust in God's word. Through his leadership, many auxiliaries were formed that still perform vital ministries today. Reverend Woods believed in helping others, and he adored the youth of the church. The vision that God gave Rev. Wood still lives on today, and the members of Greater Cornerstone will never forget the legacy of their first pastor and organizer. After the passing of Rev. Woods, the city of East Orange dedicated North 18th Street to Reverend John W. Woods by naming the street Reverend John W.  Woods Plaza.

After the passing of Reverend Woods, the church had a lot of work to do. Brother Houston Nance and Sister Pearl Goodman were elected Co-Chairpersons of the church's administrative and pulpit committees. The church was forced to secure a new mortgage, but City National Bank did not want to renew the mortgage because we were without a pastor. Trustee Houston Nance stepped in and placed his assets as collateral for the church. Praise God that Brother Nance was willing and financially able to make this sacrifice.

God kept the membership of the church together, and in December of 1995, the church held a meeting to select a new pastor, and the Rev. Niles R. Wilson, who was serving as an associate minister at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church in Newark was selected to be the second pastor of the Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church.

On January 7th 1996 Rev. Wilson began his duties as pastor of our church, and on February 11th, 1996, he was officially installed as the pastor. Rev. Wilson continued God's vision for the church and immediately informed the membership of his vision and plan of action. By October of 1996 the church's sanctuary was completely renovated, and a new roof and boiler had been installed.

In 1997 renovations to the outside of the building began and in each succeeding year significant improvements were made to enhance the physical structure of the building, and to improve the ministries of the church .

Under the direction of pastor Wilson, all auxiliaries were changed to ministries, a second parking lot was purchased, the sanctuary, dining room, restrooms, pastor's study and financial office were all renovated. The church burned its mortgage in December of 1999 and purchased a 15 passenger van in cash. The sound system was replaced , new musical instruments were purchased, the media ministry was started , and the music ministry was completely overhauled and expanded .

After 28 years of his leadership, the church has made over a half of a million dollars in renovations, additions and improvements, while maintaining the integrity of the ministry.

All in all, Pastor Wilson has led our church to a new level of spiritual growth and development, and with the teamwork of the joint boards of Deacon's, Deaconesses, and Trustees, the church has grown spiritually and physically .

We are grateful to God for his favor upon Greater Cornerstone. We have a blessed assurance that God is going to continue to bless our church family as we serve him, and follow the example of our Pastor and First Lady.

The 70 years of history for Greater Cornerstone has been fulfilled with struggle and strength. Struggles have made us strong, and now we can minister in the fullness of God's strength.