PASTOR DOUGLAS BLACK

I spent the first twenty years of my life not knowing anything about church or the Lord.

My Dad was a successful business man in the moving and storage industry. Thankfully, I had a stay at home mom who raised my sister and I. We lived in nice homes and had expensive hobbies like water skiing, downhill skiing, scuba diving and dirt bike riding. As part of my Dad's "climb to success", we were constantly on the move. Growing up, I lived in northern and southern California, Arizona, England and Minnesota. I graduated from high school in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Soon afterward I attended college at the University of Wisconsin. I spent the first two years partying. Unsurprisingly, my grades suffered. I enjoyed playing Chess, which is how I met Dan - the man who ultimately led me to the Lord.

Dan was a born again Christian, and a fellow Industrial Engineering student. Dan agreed to let me sip Jack Daniels during our chess games, as long as he could show me Bible afterward. By God's grace, I came to realize that partying was getting me nowhere fast and that Dan had something that I really needed. I received the Lord as my Savior, March 28, 1981 and was baptized by Dan's pastor two weeks later. Immediately, I threw out my rock albums, stopped drinking, and lost a hundred pounds. In the spring of 1985, I graduated with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a second major in Computer Science. I promised the Lord that if He found me a job and a church, I would serve Him. God landed me an interview for a software development position in San Diego, California. While I was in the city, I ran into a group of street preachers. I had never seen street preachers before. I promised the Lord that if He gave me the job I would attend their church, Lighthouse Baptist Church.

At Lighthouse Baptist Church, the Lord taught me to street preach and win souls. Someone handed me Dr. Ruckman's Manuscript Evidence which taught me that the King James Bible was the Word of God. I read everything I could get my hands on by Dr. Ruckman and Clarence Larkin. While driving a bus for the military ministry, I picked up my future wife, Karen, at Balboa Naval Hospital. She was a corpsman in the Navy. Karen had been raised as a Catholic in northern California and by God's grace was saved as a teenager. She later graduated from Shasta Bible College before joining the Navy. We were married March of 1987. In June of the same year, she was stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. I was able to continue my secular career as software developer in the Washington/Baltimore area. My wife finished her service obligation and said goodbye to the Navy. We had three children (Sherah 1989, Kayla 1991, and John 1993). Karen home-schooled all of them with joy. Meanwhile, we served the Lord in small independent baptist churches in the area. I held just about every position a person could hold in a church, including Adult Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, Teen Minister, Treasurer, and Soul Winning Director.

In November of 2005, the Lord called me to pastor. With the support of a couple families, I started Cornerstone Independent Baptist Church (CIBC) in Laurel, Maryland. As a pastor, I believe that a church should have three primary purposes:

  1. Evangelizing the sinner.
  2. Edifying the saint.
  3. Glorifying the Savior.

My passion for our church is helping families serve the Lord together. Each of my children has a personal, growing relationship with Jesus Christ. My eldest daughter, Sherah, married Robert Trump, missionary to Germany in October 2012. Prior to that, she graduated in the spring of 2011 from Washington Bible College having studied Psychology/Christian counseling. My other two children, Kayla and John, still actively participate in various church ministries, (such as soul-winning and musical specials). Both play musical instruments in service (Kayla - mandolin and piano, John - banjo and guitar). Kayla graduated from Stevenson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems. John graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore County with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. They are all striving to follow God's calling for their lives. I enjoy serving with my family, and encourage others to do the same.