Schroeder looks to help Cornerstone Church grow

Sunday, December 2, 2012
Travis Schroeder is the new pastor of Cornerstone Church in Cape Girardeau. (Laura Simon)

Travis Schroeder committed his life to God at age of eight. His parents didn't go to church, but he attended with a friend's family. At age 20, he recommitted his life to Christ, and later began a journey that has led him to now serve as a bi-vocational pastor for Cornerstone Church in Cape Girardeau.

The church's Sunday service schedule includes Sunday school at 9:45 a.m., worship at 10:30 a.m., and evening service at 6 p.m. A Wednesday prayer service is also held at the church beginning at 7 p.m.

In this week's Ministry Focus, Schroeder talks about his road to a life in ministry and how he hopes to see Cornerstone grow.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: I am 36 years old, have a beautiful wife named Andrea and five great kids: Destiny, Shelly, Morgan, Ethan and Alyson. We are all from Springfield, Mo., and this is our first adventure away from home. I am bi-vocational, meaning that I work full time as the store manager of Praxair Distribution Inc. in Cape and I am also the pastor at Cornerstone Church. I am an avid deer hunter, but my main love is ministry. I'm the kind of guy that gets along with almost everyone, young and experienced. I am a music lover as well, not thinking that only one style of music is the only way to go. I served as youth pastor of Faith Assembly of God in Springfield for the past five and a half years. This is my first senior pastorate.

Q: How long have you been a member of your faith?

A: I was saved when I was about 8 years old at High Street Baptist Church. My parents didn't go to church, so I went with my best friend's family most of my younger life. When I was 16, I attended an Assemblies of God church and discovered the awesome power of the Holy Spirit and became a Pentecostal. When I was 20, I fell away from the Lord and ran deep into sin. God got a hold of me over Thanksgiving weekend in the middle of a football stadium in Dallas, Texas at an event called "The Call" and I rededicated my life to Christ and have been serving him every since.

Q: Who or what inspired you to become a pastor?

A: God called me to pastor when I was 20 years old, but because of my mistakes shortly there after I never thought I could do it. My pastor and mentor, the Rev. Jerry E. Snavely, took me under his wing and showed me what it was to be a real man of God. He is the one that gave me the opportunity to preach for the first time, and I later became his youth pastor until he retired. Also, I had a very rough childhood and made a lot of bad mistakes. I believe that God has used this to allow me to minister to people that have struggled with big life hardships. I have a special heart for teenagers and the struggles they go through.

Q: What's the greatest blessing you've experienced in the ministry?

A: There are so many blessings it's hard to pick one. I had a young man in the youth group named Jared. When I first started as just his Sunday school teacher he hated me. Faith went through four youth pastors in three years, so no one wanted to trust me. About six years later as I watched him graduate, as not just a student but as a friend, it was awesome. In the beginning he had hated me, but over those years he became one of my finest students. He helped start an awesome worship team in the youth group and was a great student leader. He is now in collage and last I checked he is in four different worship bands and serving the Lord with all his heart. Getting to see my students that I have worked with for so long serving God like that is one of the best blessings I could ask for.

Q: What's the greatest challenge you've experienced in the ministry?

A: Growth. I have had a hard time getting people to fill the seats. People that come usually stay if they don't have a church. It's just getting them in the church that is difficult.

Q: What upcoming events or sermon series do you have scheduled at Cornerstone Church?

A: We are currently doing a study on the minor prophets. We have Bible reading and prayer service Wednesday nights, and we always have a fun fellowship dinner the last Sunday of the month.

Q: What's your favorite Bible verse and why?

A: Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Whatever God has in store for me, I can hold on to this verse and know that I will always come out on top no matter how hard the circumstances may be.

Q: What makes your church unique?

A: Our church was built for well over 200 people, but over the years, it has shrunk down to about 25. This is unique because it's like having a firm foundation, a "Cornerstone" if you will, to build anew. As the church begins to fill back up with people we will be basically starting a new church. With this there is wonderful opportunity for brand new ministries. We currently do not have a youth pastor, so it would be great for an awesome person or team to start a great youth group with the facilities already in place. And that is only one area. We also need a worship leader and more Sunday school teachers.

Q: What ongoing ministries does your church have that people might be interested in?

A: Since we are basically starting fresh we need people to come in and grow with us on the journey of starting new ministries. We currently have a great kids church and wonderful Sunday school class set up, but we have room for so much more.

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