Cornerstone United Methodist Church of Caledonia

The “Old Rugged Cross” with a new slant

April 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Just in time for Holy Week for one West Michigan church by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL In 2009 the church family of Cornerstone United Methodist Church of Caledonia moved into their beautiful new church home at the intersection of 84th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue. From humble beginnings in 1990, in the basement of Pastor Brad Kalajainen and wife Colleen’s home, Cornerstone has grown to a church family of some 1,100 members with weekly Saturday evening and Sunday morning services now approaching 2,000 attendees. The new church facility was created as an engaging and welcoming facility that would become a destination for the community. Toward that end they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Designed and constructed in a contemporary/industrial style, the Cornerstone facility was meant to be nontraditional and flexible, demonstrating stewardship through the wise use of resources and respect for the environment. Set back from the busy intersection, the building lacked the look of a traditional church, prompting the church’s administrative council to look for a visible symbol to identify the building’s purpose to the countless hundreds of daily passersby. A decision was made to erect a large, prominent cross in the center of the circular driveway in the front of the church. Not just any cross, mind you, but a cross to be designed to mirror the image of Cornerstone’s logo—that being a slightly tilted cross “meant to convey the church’s personal style of being more casual and less rigid,” said church member Jay Brooks, the logo’s designer. Enter Rockford metal sculptor Steve Anderson of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture, who was brought to the church’s attention by Rockford resident and Cornerstone member Tracy Bowers, Cornerstone’s director of outreach and coordinator for the cross project. Squire readers will recognize Anderson as the creator of, among other notable sculptures, “Water Dance”—the depiction of three leaping fish that grace the face of Rockford’s Rogue River Dam. Locally, other prominent Anderson’s sculptures are the “Tom Brown Fire Hawk” located at the front entrance of the Cedar Springs High School football stadium and “The Rockford Fighting Ram” at the front entrance of North Rockford Middle School. Quickly recognizing Anderson’s genius, the church commissioned the sculptor to design and create a gleaming and textured-surface, stainless steel cross. Church leaders embraced […]