Relationships Hope Opportunities

Our Mission

Because of the transforming love of Jesus Christ, The CornerStone Initiative exists to encourage relationships, awaken hope, and promote opportunities so that individuals and community flourish.

Our Vision

The CornerStone Initiative exists to see individuals and community holistically restored, empowered and flourishing.

What we do

Instead of direct services, we seek to faciliate relationships that encourage and empower people to seek God’s best for their lives.

Where we serve

The CornerStone Iniative focuses on the Westside Community within Huntsville’s 35805 zip code. (Between Holmes Ave. and Governor’s Dr. to the North and South between 14th Street and Memorial Parkway to the East and West.)

Our Story

The story of CSI began in 2010 when a group of faith leaders from Westside Community Church (Previously 100X Church) realized God’s call to become more involved in under-resourced communities. Rather than start yet another non-profit to provide food and clothes in the community, the founders discerned that the best way to engage in the plight of the poor was through collaboration with existing organizations. After much prayer, a specific focus area within the 35805 zip-code was mapped out, community conversations began, and non-profit status was granted in May, 2013. It was around that same time that those closely connected with CSI became involved with the national organization known as CCDA (Christian Community Development Association). This deeper growing understanding of how to serve under-resourced communities in a way that honored God, honored the people of the Community, and made a lasting and sustainable difference for the Kingdom, became the basis on which CSI now builds its mission and its methods.

The CornerStone Initiative Staff

Debbi Akers

Debbi Akers

Executive Director

Debbi Akers is the Executive Director of The CornerStone Iniative and serves on its Board of Directors.

Debbi comes  to CornerStone after 19 years of investing in the lives of her children as a stay at home mom.  With the oldest two of their three children now in college, Debbi and her husband Tony felt it was time for her dust off her Social Work degree from The University of Kentucky and respond in a deeper way to her lifelong call of serving within the under-resourced and often forgotten communities of Huntsville.  She brings to CornerStone years of experience of serving with Compassion International as well as other global and local mission efforts. Most of all she brings a love for the people of Westside and a desire to see them flourish. She seeks the Kingdom of God in the neighborhoods of 35805 and is excited about bringing others along on her journey.

Debbi holds the following degree: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), University of Kentucky

Email: [email protected]   256.694.5393

Melonie Gurley

Melonie Gurley

Director of Support Services

Melonie Gurley is the Director of Support Services at The CornerStone Iniatitive.

Melonie  is a native of Huntsville, Alabama.  Her professional experience spans 15 years in the public and private sectors, non-profit organizations, and higher education.  Melonie envisions a world where work matters.  She comes to CornerStone with a passion for equipping and empowering unemployed, underemployed, and under-resourced populations to succeed in the workplace and in life. Melonie resides in Huntsville with her 12-year old son, Noah.

Melonie holds the following degrees:

Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Human Resource Management,  Athens State University and a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Development and Strategic Human Resources,  Johns Hopkins University

Email: [email protected]    256.694.5393

Board of Directors

Timothy Howard, MD.

Timothy Howard, MD.

Chairman of the Board

Family Practice Physician in Huntsville, Alabama

“We were created to serve and to be a vehicle to redeem culture. With the gospel leading the way, Cornerstone Initiative comes alongside an under resourced area to partner to fulfill the cultural mandate.  I love being a part of that journey!” –Tim Howard
Helen Housch

Helen Housch

Board Treasurer

Director, Software Engineering Divison at Cepeda Systems & Software Analysis, Inc.

“To serve the under served and to be a small part of God’s kingdom here on earth.”   – Helen Housch

Crissy Long

Crissy Long

Board Member and Neighborhood Liaison

Route Supervisor for Secure Destruction, Huntsville, Al

“God has given me a strong desire to give and I’m always looking for ways to give back. Cornerstone Initiative gave me a way to serve the Community and build relationships with Gods people. I’m blessed to be a part of a work that God is in.” – Crissy Long

Alana Parker

Alana Parker

Board Member/ JFL Business Network

Owner and CEO of Rocket City Drywall a business in the Westside Community.

“CornerStone is faithfully committed to my core values- compassionate social and economic development of the community. I serve on it’s board as a voice for the business community, and as a servant to the mission of the organization.”  – Alana Parker

Valerie Davis

Valerie Davis

Board Member

Systems Engineer/Network Integrator at Integration Innovation, Inc.

“I serve at Cornerstone to share God’s love with the neighborhood community and to be in relationship with people as a friend, helper & partner. ” – Valerie Davis

Donna Lehman

Donna Lehman

Board Secretary and Spiritual Guide

Community Volunteer

“God has given me a love for the neighbors of 35805. It is an absolute joy to be in relationship with precious people of the neighborhood, who have taught me so much! Together we pray, seek God, and explore the plan that God has for our lives, to bring us out of our own spiritual, emotional and sometimes material poverty.” – Donna Lehman

Joy Martin

Joy Martin

Board Member and Neighborhood Liaison

Resident and homeowner in the Westside Community

“I love God and I love people.  God has drawn me specifically to live among those who are under-resourced and marginalized.  The heartbeat of CornerStone Initiative allows me to join with others with a similar passion and experience the beauty of all of our lives flourishing as we walk  together. “- Joy Martin

Glenn Turner

Glenn Turner

Board Member/ Director of JFL Business Network

Sr. Systems Engineer at Hill Technical Solutions Inc. ” I have a strong desire to help people achieve more of what they desire for their life. My goal with Cornerstone is to connect individuals in the community we serve to businesses that need their skills.”

Glenn Turner

Fred Whitlow II

Fred Whitlow II

Board Member

Youth and Family Services Coord. Huntsville Housing  Authority.

Founder and Director No More Dirty, Inc.

 

“To intentionally tranform lives through my example and actions in communities; serve the least of these in our society in love, dignity and with respect.  That’s Kingdom Business. “- Fred Whitlow II

We invite you to join us in the journey with the Westside Community