CORNELIUS MINISTRIES is organized to proclaim the true Gospel to people in Europe and beyond, to plant and building up churches, to edify believers through biblical teaching and discipleship, and to provide training and pastoral care for Christian leaders through classes, conferences and publications that promote sound preaching and teaching. The following paragraphs will provide a brief history of Cornelius Ministries, the need for its ministry work, an overview of the organization’s current programs, and the future plans currently being developed by its Board of Directors. Cornelius Ministries is an Ohio nonprofit organization organized and operating exclusively for religious purposes in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Cornelius Ministries has been the result of the desire of a few men to provide a way to proclaim the Gospel following the biblical principles found in the Bible. The simple approach of studying the text of the Bible and following the timeless truths found therein. History teaches us that, over time, many religious movements seem to forget the foundational teachings in the Bible.
Cornelius Ministries desires to help individuals come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, to help new believers organize themselves in New Testament local churches, and to train men and women to do the work of the ministry. These men with years of ministry experience believe that Cornelius Ministries can provide a necessary ministry in places where the need for the Biblical proclamation and application of Biblical principles is still great.
Cornelius Ministries takes its name from a historical person found in the Bible. The book of Acts in the New Testament describes Cornelius as a man that feared God and desired to follow the principles required to please God. When he heard the proclamation of the Gospel, he submitted to its message, eagerly embraced it, and encouraged all his family to follow.
Cornelius, as a centurion in the Roman army, was also one of the first converts who did not have a Jewish background, and thus was a forerunner of the many other Gentiles who would believe on Christ Jesus. We believe that Cornelius Ministries is well represented by his name, since his life exemplifies transformation and dedication through the simple teaching of the God’s Word.
Cornelius Ministries intends to reach out to Europe and beyond, seeing men like Cornelius find true faith in Jesus Christ, and then live out in a practical way the teachings of the Word of God.
The Board of Directors of Cornelius Ministries strongly believes that people all over the world need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cornelius Ministries is thus intended to focus its efforts upon believers in Europe and beyond, by engaging in evangelism, church development, and Christian discipleship.
The leaders of Cornelius Ministries view much of Europe as spiritually dead. Ironically, the gospel of Jesus Christ reached Europe in the first few decades of the life of the Christian Church, and spread quickly thereafter. In fact, the Church in Rome was the recipient of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans. Over time, however, Christianity became the religion of many states, became diluted, and often was swallowed up by politics, corruption, and empty tradition. The simple, biblical message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone, the Gospel, became effectively lost to generation after generation of Europeans.
After the Protestant Reformation rocked Europe in the 1500s, the Roman Catholic Church forbade the laity to read the Bible for themselves. This rule was changed within the past century, but the longterm result has nevertheless been an abysmal ignorance of Bible teachings. This has led to increasing disillusionment with the Roman Catholic Church and, sadly, seriously erroneous views of God and salvation. Consequently, many people have assumed that there is no use in seeking God. Europe is thus a very post-Christian continent.
In addition, due to the Roman Catholic Church’s legacy, civil laws and regulations make it very difficult for evangelical Christians seeking to share gospel truths to have the same legal rights, recognition, terms, and concessions as Roman Catholics. There has also been a marked increase in other religions, which formerly were almost totally absent in any significant way from Euro- pean culture. New Age, Scientology, Hinduism, Islam, Jehovah Witnesses, and even Satanism have all spread in the past fifty years, and that trend is rapidly increasing. European countries are truly in need of the Gospel.
Europe, while advanced in many ways, is a continent of profound spiritual poverty. Consequently, Europe, like so much of the modern world, is a fertile ground for the proclamation of the simple, biblical message of personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone. The leaders of Cornelius Ministries have a desire of seeing the transformation of individuals for life and for eternity through the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ. Cornelius Ministries carries out this vision in the following ways.
1. Proclaiming the Christian Gospel
Cornelius Ministries will engage in evangelism through its website, regular fellowship meetings, public speaking, spiritual counseling, praying with others, relationships with interested individuals, email correspondence, and other informal communications with people.
In addition, Cornelius Ministries publishes and distributes religious tracts and other literature to interested individuals. Many believers are trained by Cornelius Ministries so that they can participate in these evangelism efforts. The ageless Gospel message brings health and healing to a broken culture when people hear and believe the message of salvation for eternal life, forgiveness of sins, and joy through life in Christ.
2. Planting and Building Up Churches
Cornelius Ministries plans to encourage people to understand the simple Gospel of the Word of God and find true transforming faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. As men and women come to faith it is the desire of the leadership of Cornelius Ministries to see local churches formed. These independent local churches will follow biblical principles in their structure and in their ministries.
Groups of believers will meet regularly together to study the Bible in order to grow in their understanding of the Biblical truths and learn how to implement them in their daily lives, and thus have an impact in the society where they live. Each local body will perform the ordinances as found in the New Testament, baptism and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Each group will have elders who will shepherd them in their spiritual growth. Each believer, as he grows spiritually, will be equipped to then go out and teach others.
All activities of the church will be directed toward proclaiming the simple truths found in the Bible and in equipping all to serve faithfully. As new people understand and believe the Gospel, new areas will be impacted by their presence and therefore new churches will be established with new leadership. The leadership will use all the tools available to train and instruct the believers.
3. Edifying Believers through Biblical Teaching and Discilpeship
Biblical teaching and discipleship is a regular part of Cornelius Ministries’ activities. Teaching efforts will include website materials, sermons during wor- ship, written Bible studies, and speaking opportunities in the United States.
First, Cornelius Ministries will provide audio and written sermons, as well as Bible study materials, through an Italian website through their missionaries. This type of ministry effort has been quite successful, thus amply demonstrating the deep hunger of Europeans for spiritual truths. This work has had a presence in Italy of over 60 years. The ISTITUTO BIBLICO BEREANO has, over the years, impacted the lives of thousands of people who have benefited from the publications and personal contact of the staff.
Ministry efforts to date have resulted in stronger marriages, personal happiness and joy amid difficult circumstances, and strengthened families.
4. Providing Training for Christian Leaders
Cornelius Ministries trains pastors and lay leaders in preaching, pastoral care, and other aspects of Christian ministry. Training for preaching the Word of God is sorely needed, as many new and even established pastors benefit from mature leaders’ understanding of gospel truths and knowledge of how to effectively communicate them. In addition, pastoral care training is needed, to help individuals understand their present situations in terms of underlying spiritual needs. Cornelius Ministries also trains interested persons in public evangelism, other ways to share one’s Christian faith, and Bible study.