Because Sergio De La Mora and his leaders understand the dynamics of both the “hood and the high rise,” and they are developing a church culture that is empowering what they call the “Samaritan Generation,” Cornerstone Church in San Diego is becoming one of the nation’s best-known churches in reaching second-generation Hispanics.
Pastor Sergio, who founded Cornerstone in 1998 with his wife Georgina, along with seven other people, says, “We have doctors and ex-drug addicts in our church. We have ex-cons and lawyers in our church. Both groups have sought success that did not bring them true significance. I started the church because I had followed a similar path: I was a successful, second-generation Hispanic, but my success didn’t equate to a corresponding sense of significance.”
Sergio explains that many of the people being reached at Cornerstone are part of the Samaritan Generation—a reference to the man in Scripture who was an ethnic mix of Jew and Gentile, but who stopped to minister to a person in distress instead of passing by on the other side of the road.
“Being both American and Hispanic—I’m the Samaritan, just like many of the people in our church are the Samaritan,” says Sergio, who has written The Heart Revolution outlining principles that have shaped the megachurch. “We know what it’s like to be overlooked, rejected and left half-dead. And because of that reality, we are never going to forget where we came from. We’re going to get off our spiritual “high horse,” and use our resources to empower people.”