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Serving Jamaica from 1985:  Doug & Lorna Kessner, Missionaries

Doug and Lorna sent in 1985 by Northwest Missionary and Alliance Church (an evangelical, non-denominational church) located in Farmington Michigan, are the founders of Cornerstone Ministries in Jamaica.  “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations,” Matthew 28:19, challenged them to use their practical skills to share the gospel.

Doug has been a journeyman tradesman since 1962. God has given him a burden to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and his practical skills with the tradesman and apprentices in Jamaica.  Doug has a Masters in Ministries and a Doctorate in Theology.

Lorna has been a Registered Nurse since 1965.  Through counseling, teaching and other practical skills, she has been able to serve God and share the Gospel.

They graduated from Christ to the world Bible Training Center in Kingston, Jamaica after which they attended a Crossroads Discipleship Training school with Youth With a Mission in Salem, Oregon.  Doug and Lorna are both ordained ministers.


Executive Director of Cornerstone Ministries, Jamaica,

Valerie Gowdy

Valerie Gowdy, took an early Jamaican retirement in 2016, as a degreed teacher, an CXC marker and an assessor for H.E.A.R.T Trust/NSTA, to devote herself to “His,” Ministry. 


Cornerstone Ministries, is an island wide concept and its main objectives are to provide a platform to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and provide accredited competency-based training to the skilled tradesman as well as to the untrained, unskilled and unemployed residents of Kingston, Saint Andrew, and the surrounding communities. 


Cornerstone Ministries has been offering skills training and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, since 1986, and over 2,000 students have been trained.  There are three main categories that Cornerstone is involved in through which this training is accomplished. 1) Industry, 2) Community Development, 3) Correctional Services


To date we teach Motor Vehicle Repairs (Cars and Light Trucks) Level 2 which includes a well-equipped comprehensive automotive department, also Data Operations Level 2 using Windows 16, and Animation 2-D and 3-D.  This is accomplished through Cornerstones three labs 14, 16, and 22-units independent computer labs complemented by the latest computer system units as well as software.   

In addition to training students from industry in motor vehicle repairs, data operations and animation, in 2015 the Government of Jamaica, approached Cornerstone to target unattached youths.  This Includes at risk males and females from 17 to 35 years old.  Cornerstone was approached because of our success since 1986 in training persons not only in the skills trades but in building character and dependability that industry is in dire need of. 

This need arises out of a Government survey consisting of 10,000 at risk youth (persons) throughout the Island of Jamaica.  These persons, are designated unattached: The Government recognizing the fact they typically have no affiliation with schools, church, family, or jobs.


Cornerstone Ministries since 2015 have completed 3 groups of National Youth Unattached Programme (NUYP) students totaling 180 trainees; Citizen Security and Justus Program (CSJP) four batches of 115 students day and evening classes with 3 from USAID Comet II; from Industry and  evening classes five batches of 100 students; Government workers 55 students and 150 animation students from the Creative Art Industry.  These programmes determine the necessary interventions, to reduce crime and violence, promote social inclusion, and identify the best practice initiatives, that impact and enhance individuals to achieve the desired results in the, targeted communities of Jamaica


What a great opportunity to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this group:

It is important to note that Cornerstone Ministries is not a church nor is it a seminary, however we are a Christian Centered Technical Training School.  We teach skilled trades both theory and practical and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In fact, one hour of every theoretical day is devoted to Christian principles classes.


This character building of our students stems from a no-nonsense approach to academics, but critical to the success is our approach to teaching God’s principles. This character building is accomplished through tailored 13-week Bible Class presentations; and in our morning devotions.

These unique classes include, Love 101, The Father Heart of God, Taming the Tongue, Seven basic needs of a wife, Eleven Basic Needs of a Husband, Owe no Man Nothing but the Debt of Love.


As children of God, our place in His kingdom is secure (John 14:3). Our confidence flows from Him who chose Jesus to be the “cornerstone” on which our lives are built, and He chose us to be “living stones” filled with the Spirit of God, capable of being the people God created us to be (1 Peter 2:5-6).


I as the Executive Director of Cornerstone Ministries, its founders, the Kessner’s, our Board, staff, and students, thank you for your continuing gracious support, that enables “His,” Ministry to continue since 1986. 




Valerie Gowdy

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