Prayer and Pizza

Cornerstone Faith Center dishes up food and fellowship

Story and photos by SAM LUNGREN

Many churches serve their communities. Not as many serve them pizza.

This July, the Cornerstone Faith Center, a nondenominational Christian church in St. Ignatius, Mont., renovated and re-opened an old pizza parlor as part of its ministry.

“Our goal is that 100 percent of the profit goes back into the community,” said Adam Wood, manager of Cornerstone Pizza.

Since opening in July, the pizzeria has offered free weekly dinners at the St. Ignatius community center and daily lunch specials ($3 for two slices and a drink) for high school students.

The proceeds are being used to establish a college fund, to build a hangout area for kids and to construct a stage for open-mic nights, among other community-oriented projects.

“We are not preaching,” Wood said. “It’s a way to get to know people who wouldn’t normally be in church. This is neutral ground. The ones who know we are here to serve them come to talk with us and have us pray for them.”

The idea for a church-run pizza joint came from Cornerstone Pastor Lynn Lapka, who can regularly be seen behind the counter assembling pizzas.

“It was birthed out of time at church studying and reading and looking out the window, thinking about the community and how we can be more engaged in it,” Lapka said.

The ministry aims to provide an encouraging family environment, create some people jobs, and give back to the community.

“We want to be a part of what is going on, interact with the people,” Lapka said. “The church is not just contained in four walls.”