HARKER HEIGHTS — About 200 people from near and far turned out Saturday for the open house and ribbon cutting at Cornerstone Baptist Church, 484 Farm-to-Market Road 3219, in Harker Heights.

After opening remarks, church member Sheryl Austin led the congregation in the song “I Just Want to Praise You.”

Among the special guests introduced during the ceremony was Carolyn Thompson, 23, of Arlington who was the first child born to a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Her mother, Kelley, joined Cornerstone in 1996 “which was the year I was born,” Thompson said.

The seven charter members of the church were also recognized and took part in the ribbon cutting.

The Rev. Ed Wagner has been pastor of the 317-member church for 24 years. Wagner told the Herald that the new facility will seat 750.

“We got the building that we wanted and began working with an architect over 10 years ago,” Wagner said. “The first price quoted was $12 million and that was way beyond our means. We were able to scale it down without compromising the spirit of what we wanted.”

The building that sits to the south of the new sanctuary was the original meeting place. After some renovation work, it will become the family life center.

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