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Our Staff
Rev. Niles R. Wilson

LaTosha Wilson
    First Lady

Rev. Dr. Barbara Fields
    Associate Minister/Mother's Board

Rev. Pearl Evette Goodman- Gibson
    Associate Minister

Rev. Grace Parham
    Associate Minister

Reverend Glenn Andrews
    Associate Minister

Min. Danette (Kelling) Purnell

Sis. Nicole Armour
    Executive Secretary for the Pastor

Sis. Patricia McKoy
    Church Clerk

Sis. Patricia Dawson
    Assistant Church Clerk

Deacon Tracy Childress
    Chairman of Deacons

Deacon Mike Noel
    Vice Chairman of Deacons

Deacon Claude Moorer

Deacon George Morris
    Property Management

Deacon Marcus Wilson
    Deacon / Church Sexton

Coalet J. Lowe

Deaconess Tracey Golson-Childress
    Church Secretary

Deaconess Arnell Frazier
    Chairlady of Deaconess Ministry

Deaconess Dale Morris

Deaconess Mary Short
    Director of Christian Education

Deaconess Galena Moorer
    Senior Saints Fellowship Ministry Leader

Deaconess Giselle Capers

Trustee Gloria Smith
    Chairlady of Trustees

Trustee Pearl Goodman
    Vice Chairlady of Trustee Ministry

Trustee Michelle Davis
    Director of Helps & Services Ministry

Trustee Mae Alice Breedan
    Church Trustee

Trustee Trecia Anderson

Trustee Rose Manigo
    Church Trustee

Bro. Alton Teras Thomas
    Minister of Music

Sis. Lavon Stucky
    Nurses & Wellness Ministry Leader

Sis. D'Juana Clark
    Liturgical Dance Ministry Leader

Nyya Burgwyn
    Liturgical Dance Ministry Leader

Brother Gary Davis
    Kitchen Ministry Leader

Sis. Tiana Andrews
    Media Ministry Leader

Sis. Diana Jackson
    Usher Ministry Leader

Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church
235-237 N. 18th Street [Mailing Address is P.O. Box 4212, East Orange NJ 07017] Map
East Orange, NJ 07017
Phone: 973-414-0422/973-414-0515 - Facsimile

All correspondence & invitations should be mailed to the Church's P.O. Box.   (P.O. Box 4212, East Orange NJ 07017).  All inquiries or invitations for Pastor Wilson, First Lady Wilson and/or the Church to fellowship should be made through Sis. Nicole Armour or Deaconess Tracey Childress.   Their contact information is available under the "CHURCH STAFF" tab at the top of the page or you may leave a message on the church's voicemail.  


Beliefs - Mission - Vision - Core Values


We the members of the Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church have accepted Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the saviour of the world.  We believe that he is the only begotten of the Father, born of a virgin, and that he was crucified for our sins, and that  he rose on the third day for our salvation.  We further believe that upon his return to the right hand of the Father, he provided the Holy Spirit to be our guide into all truth and holiness, and our comforter from the cares of daily Christian living.


The Mission of the Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church is to develop committed men and women to be followers of Jesus Christ.  Servants whose lives will be transformed by the renewing of their minds; and transformative through the Love of Jesus Christ that they demonstrate through their words and deeds as they live out the mandate of Jesus when he taught his followers to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the FATHER, and the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT, and to teach these new followers of Jesus to obey all the commandments given to the church.  (Matthew 28:19-20)


We are committed as Christians to exemplify Christ in our daily lives. We have dedicated ourselves to being Christ’s representatives to those that are unfamiliar with him, and to those that reject him. It is our duty to demonstrate his love and his mercy in our conversations, our lifestyles, our appearance, and in our dealings with God’s children.

We are empowered by the Holy Spirit, guided by the word of God, saved by his grace, forgiven by his mercy, and driven by our anointing to live in the world, but not be a part of it’s evil. Therefore we support the ministry of our church, and Christians worldwide. We study God’s word to better equip ourselves for the cause of ministry, and to show ourselves approved unto God. We faithfully attend and support fellowships with other believers and with great care assist them in the bearing of their burdens.

We represent a variety of experiences, family structures, and Socio-economic backgrounds, yet we are one in Christ. We are brothers and sisters in the Lord, heirs and joint heirs with Christ. Therefore it is the vision of our pastor under the direction of the Holy Spirit to focus our ministry on Equipping, Edifying and Empowering God's people. Thereby positioning ourselves to live better, and work harder as living epistles written by God, and read by men.


Every Person regardless of race, ethnicity, age, or background can be saved through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross which made full atonement for our sins.

Every Person is obligated to repent for their own sins, and freely accept the free gift of salvation through the open and public confession of their faith in Christ while also believing this truth in their heart. 

Every Person must mature in their relationship with the Savior through consistent study, faithful fellowship and consecrated service.  

Every Person must develop an active and fervent prayer life. 

Every Person must be eager to serve others, while also being kind hearted.

Every Person must strive to live out the teachings of our faith; understanding that sanctification is a progressive work, and therefore the prayers of the believers around them are necessary for their success in this endeavor.  

Every Person is equipped with gifts and talents designed for the sharing of the Gospel Message, and every person is responsible for being a good steward of those gifts.  



Church History

Church History

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 Grad 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.


These are the original 30 members of the Greater Cornerstone Mission:

Rev. J. W. Woods

Issac Allan

Dorthy McNair   

Harry Williams

Robert King

Hattie Wiliey

Althounia Starks

Andrew McCarthy

Georgia King

Fred Williamson

Laura Woods    

Roosevelt Johnson

Jannie Woods 

Lonnie Grubbs

Eunice Morant-Melvin 

James Patterson

Robert Dicerson

AcQuanetta Marshall

Theresa Britt

Charalette Marshall

Robert Dixon

Sylvia Marshall

Rosa Lee Richardson

Jean Shirley Jackson

Dorothy Britt

Lois Jackson

Jacqueline S. Woods

Yvonne Marshall

Lucius Freeman

Mattie Williams


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 or 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 of 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.  Often times, the deacons would have to arrive at church before sunrise or stay overnight to ensure heat for the Sunday morning service.  But 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 Newark 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 Robert 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 22, 1994, after forty-one years of pastoring, preaching, and teaching, the Lord saw fit to call Rev. John W. Woods from labor to reward.  His dedication to God and his obedience to the will of God led to many souls being saved, and 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.  Rev. Woods believed in helping others, and he adored the youth of the church.  The vision that God gave Rev. Woods 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 Rev John W. Woods by naming the street Rev John W. Woods Plaza. 

After the passing of Rev. Woods, the church had a lot of work to do.   Bro. Houston Nance and Sis. Pearl Goodman were elected as 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 Bro 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 7, 1996 Rev. Wilson began his duties as pastor of our church, and on February 11, 1996 he was officially installed as the pastor.  Rev. Wilson continued in 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, rest rooms, pastor’s study and finance 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 22 years of his leadership, the church has made over a half of a million dollars in renovations, additions and improvements, while maintaing 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 Deacons, Deaconess, 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 Sixty-Four years of history for Greater Cornerstone has been filled with struggle and strength.  Our struggles have made us strong, and now we can minister in the fullness of God’s strength.

  • Custom Text

    In 2010 Greater Cornerstone was blessed with the opportunity to purchase the property at 231 N. 18th Street.  At the time the property was an abandoned two family home with extensive damage to the entire structure.  After five years of numerous setbacks and revisions to the architecture and engineering drawings, renovations were finally approved and the work began in 2016.  

    The renovations were completed in 2017, and in July of 2017 we celebrated with our official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony after morning worship.  

    The Ark of Safety building has been purposed to serve as a "safe space" for both church needs and community outreach services.  It is our mission to transform lives within and without the church through "EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EMPOWERMENT".  

    Although the space is not large, it will provide large blessings through training classes, food distribution, and private meeting space for small group sessions.