While serving in his sixth year as an evangelist, the Lord began to deal with the heart of Apostle Young about establishing and pioneering a new work of God. This vision that was being conceived in the heart of Apostle Young would be a new thing, different from any other ministry in his local area. His vision was to have a non-denominational, multi-cultural congregation. This church would be a place where saints and sinners alike from all nations and walks of life would be welcome to come and experience the presence of the Lord.
Apostle Young had a God-given desire for this church not only to be a place to come and experience God’s presence, but also to be a place where Christians were empowered and sent out to go into all the world and fulfill the “Great Commission.” In the midst of persecution and accusation from people who did not understand this new work, Apostle Young began to mix his faith with action as he moved toward fulfilling his vision.
Apostle Young located a small metal building on a back street in Sparks, Georgia. This building had served as a Christian school in years past. The building and location did not seem like much, but he felt the Lord speak that this location was to be the home for the church. Apostle Young sought the Lord yet again and was led to call this new work Cornerstone Christian Church. After borrowing some rusted multi-colored metal chairs and tuning an old piano that once belonged to the school, he set the date for the first church service; Sunday, March 10, 1991.
With no promotion and only the assurance that his wife and three children would be there, Apostle Young removed a flower from a potting basket to use as an offering plate and started on his way to church. The first Sunday’s attendance totaled 28 people, and the Holy Spirit moved in a mighty way, saving a 60 year-old man that day. Everyone present knew that the Lord had begun a mighty work. This was the birth of a new thing; it was the beginning of a ministry that would not only affect South Georgia, but also the world.
In a matter of just a few months the church grew to over 140 people. Apostle Young began to remodel the interior of the old school as funds started to come in, and the Lord continued to bless. In those early years Apostle Young instituted and pioneered many new things as the Lord expanded his vision. Some of these new concepts included a drama team, contemporary worship music, and a Saturday morning children’s program called Kidz Church that was the premier children’s ministry in our area for several years.
As years passed the church continued to take new ground as Apostle Young took a firm stance on critical issues like racism and church government. As he began to confront many of these issues he often faced opposition from sects of religious people, but this did not slow down the vision. With the favor of the Lord, the church pressed on and overcame as every opposition from the enemy was cast down.
In the mid 90’s Apostle Young began utilizing new means to communicate the gospel to the masses. Marketing tools such as billboards and television commercials had never been utilized by other churches in the local area. These tools, along with the divine blessing of the Lord, led the church to further growth. As the church continued to thrive, Apostle Young was led of the Lord to begin construction on a family life center that would encompass more than 10,000 square feet, with later plans to build a sanctuary. This life center would include a regulation wood floor basketball court, game room, snack room, childcare room, commercial kitchen, volleyball court, and stage with state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment for services and concerts.
Construction of the Family Life Center was underway, and due to membership growth it became evident that the new facility would need to be used not only for recreation, but also for worship services. In the summer of 1997 construction was completed and Cornerstone began to meet for services in the new facility. The new facility was a blessing, but due to growing church attendance, more adaptations had to be made to the facility. The four-hundred-seat sanctuary that was to be the next construction project was deemed too small. Apostle Young decided to continue to utilize the multi-purpose family life center for worship services.
Due to growing ministry responsibility, Apostle Young resigned his position as Chief of Tift County EMS in December of 1997. It was a bitter sweet decision but was necessary for him to be able to go to the next level in ministry. Apostle Young served the Emergency Medical Industry for 19 years and served as Chief for 12 years. During this time he pioneered many advancements in this department for the residents of Tift County and was awarded numerous accolades by City, County and State Government officials, including former Governor and Senator for the state of Georgia, Zell Miller.
In 1998 Apostle Young was led by the Holy Spirit to seek spiritual covering for himself and his growing ministry. Later that year Cornerstone came under the leadership of Apostle L.A. Joiner of Christian Alliance of Ministries (CAM). CAM is a family of ministers and churches with like mind and vision; it was a network where Cornerstone would be able to join with other churches in fellowship. The covering of CAM and Apostle L.A. Joiner would also provide Cornerstone and Apostle Young with spiritual covering, leadership, and fatherhood. CAM is part of the Church Foundational Network (CFN) that was birthed out of Liberty Church and Bible College by Apostle Ken Sumrall from Pensacola Florida. Apostle Sumrall is one of the fathers of the charismatic movement and gives oversight to over 700 ministers worldwide.
As the ministry continued to grow Apostle Young began to highlight the importance of missions. Various groups from Cornerstone began to take short-term trips overseas to such countries as Mexico, China, and Bulgaria. Cornerstone also increased giving to various missions organizations worldwide through both prayer and financial support. Cornerstone has literally sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to bless and further mission works worldwide.
The Lord began to stir the heart of Apostle Young in 2000 in regards to the greatest mission endeavor that Cornerstone had ever ventured to pursue. The Lord said to begin a Christian school. With this word from the Lord, Apostle Young stepped out in faith and began to move toward fulfilling the vision. By the miraculous power of the Lord, Cornerstone acquired a bed and breakfast facility and converted it into Cornerstone Christian Academy (CCA). The 12,000 square foot facility located on ten acres of land directly off Interstate 75 in Sparks would serve as the perfect place to begin the school.
After some minor remodeling in the summer of 2001, Cornerstone Christian Academy began that fall for students in pre-k through 12th grade. The school was accredited and began with a certified and experienced staff of teachers and para-professionals. The curriculum would encompass the Bible in every subject, and grades six through twelve would learn using a state-of-the-art interactive curriculum.
As attendance increased over the years, so did the opportunities afforded the students at CCA. The school developed, and many advancements were made, that made CCA an exceptional educational institution. In 2007, after six years of nourishing and seeing the vision into fruition Apostle Young sowed the school along with well over $1,000,000 of assets into the community. CCA now stands for Community Christian Academy and is a community based Christian school.
In 2001, Cornerstone launched Cornerstone Connection, a weekly television program featuring the ministry of Apostle Dell Young. The program began on a local cable station reaching 180,000 homes. Today the program has expanded to more cable stations and reaches over half a million homes weekly. Cornerstone Connection has also expanded to 95.3 The Hook, a high-powered Christian radio station in South Georgia and Streamingfaith.com. Now Cornerstone Connection can be viewed worldwide over the internet from Streamingfaith.com or Cornerstone’s website.
As Cornerstone became a prominent ministry in South Georgia, other ministers who desired spiritual covering began to pursue Apostle Young. After seeking the Lord and submitting the vision to his pastor, Apostle L.A. Joiner, Apostle Young founded Cornerstone Fellowship of Ministries (CFM). In January of 2005, Pastor Dell Young was ordained as an Apostle, by Apostle L.A. Joiner and the presbytery, the Church Foundational Network and Christian Alliance of Ministries.
Much like CAM, CFM is a relationship-based fellowship that was established to help equip, support, and strengthen churches and ministries that have a common destiny in preparing the church for the days ahead. Today CFM is comprised of a thriving group of ministers and churches that have recognized the blessing of spiritual fatherhood within Apostle Dell Young.
CFM also hosts what is quickly becoming South Georgia’s premier Christian conference, the CFM Family Conference. Held every fall at Cornerstone Christian Church, the CFM Family Conference is open to the public and hosts some of the world’s most anointed and prominent ministries. CFM hosts many other events throughout the year. One of our most anticipated events is a yearly advance in the winter that is held annually in various locations.
In 2005 Cornerstone acquired 150 acres of land located adjacent to the current ministry campus. This real estate acquisition was prophecy fulfilled as Apostle Young’s prayers were answered. After many years of trying to purchase the land it was finally ours! This expansion gives Cornerstone the needed space to fulfill the massive vision that God placed in Apostle Young years ago. Future plans include several church-owned businesses and a new 50,000+ square foot ministry center that will include a 1,500+ seat sanctuary, a state-of-the-art media production wing, café, bookstore, and administrative offices.
A New Era of Ministry
In 2008 Apostle Young felt that something new was on the horizon for his ministry. He was not sure exactly what this new thing was, what it would look like or where and when it would happen. He continued to seek the Lord and stay open to the leading of the Holy Spirit on into early 2009. In the early summer of 2009 things began to become clearer as God began to do this new thing in the life of Apostle Young.
Apostle Young gave spiritual oversight and covering to Southland Church of Valdosta, Georgia, and had been ministering in their pulpit frequently as the church was temporarily without a senior pastor. During this interim the Holy Spirit began to deal with Apostle Young and the Elders of Southland concerning Apostle Young becoming the senior pastor of Southland Church. He sought the Lord and felt that this was indeed the will of God and was the new thing that the Lord had been positioning him for.
July 12, 2009, was Apostle Young’s first Sunday as the senior pastor of Southland Church. Apostle Young remains senior pastor of Cornerstone Church as well, ministering at both Southland and Cornerstone Church weekly. This new expansion will further the reach of the Kingdom of God via the ministry of Apostle Dell Young. Cornerstone and Southland are advancing to a new and higher level of ministry as more ministers are stepping up into a larger and stronger leadership team to help lead both congregations into this new era of ministry.
Southland Church was founded in the summer of 1997 as approximately twenty families from New Covenant Church, answered the call to birth a new work in Valdosta, soon to be known as Southland Church. Apostle L.A. Joiner, founding pastor of New Covenant returned to Valdosta to pastor New Covenant Church and he and the New Covenant Elders and congregation blessed and supported the new work of Southland Church.
In 1997, God graciously moved on the hearts of Des and Lee Toal to give the congregation the current 37,000 square foot facility. In time, God provided the finances to renovate the facility, adding sanctuary, classrooms, offices, fully-equipped kitchen, dining room and fully-equipped science lab to accommodate not only the needs of the congregation, but Southland Christian School as well.
Part of the vision of Southland is to meet real needs in the community. Toward that goal, the church opened the Clothes Closet and through the funds raised there was able to establish the Food Pantry in 1999 and begin feeding the hungry in the Valdosta area. Soon afterward the Prison Ministry was birthed. The church also answered the call to educate the youth with a foundation in kingdom principals. Southland Christian School was established and has since had three senior graduating classes. All of these ministries meet needs in the community each week.
Southland Church was established with an emphasis toward racial reconciliation; and they see a partial fulfillment of that goal with many cultures and races worshipping together and working shoulder to shoulder in leadership to do the work of the ministry in the Valdosta area.
As Southland Church looks toward this new era in their history, with Apostle Dell and Jill Young leading them, they can be sure that the heart of God will be fulfilled for this region through these leaders as they fulfill the Kingdom purposes of God.
On August 29, 2009 Apostle Young celebrated his 50th birthday. He was honored with a night of celebration by his family, staff, congregations, colleagues and fathers with over 200 people in attendance and appearances from notable ministers worldwide. His many life’s accomplishments were noted as all in attendance rejoiced that “the best is yet to come!” Apostle Young was honored by the mayor of his hometown with a resolution from the City of Adel declaring that August 29th is now and forevermore will be “Apostle Dell Young Day” in the City of Adel for his years of service, and notoriety that he has brought to the community.
Apostle Young, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, has developed a powerhouse ministry in South Georgia that has something for people in every walk of life. This ministry has a bright future and continues to grow and expand as the massive vision God has placed inside him comes to fruition. The road has not always been easy but God put his trust in a man by the name of Dell Young, because Dell Young put his trust in Him. Our Lord found a willing vessel in the life of the man we know as Apostle Dell Young. Countless lives have been forever changed because of the obedience and life of Apostle Young and his faithful wife and co-laborer Jill, but the best is yet to come!
Along with being an ordained Apostle in the Body of Christ, Apostle Young holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from Beacon University and currently resides in Adel with his wife of 29 years, Jill and their 3 children. The oldest Justin Young is married and serves as Executive Pastor with Apostle Young. Their middle child Kristin is an early childhood educator and their youngest son Austin serves on the Cornerstone Church staff.