Don Lunceford Has Served At Cornerstone Bible Church In Cedar Hill For 25 Years
Pastors moving from church to church throughout their career is nothing unusual. In fact, it’s quite common.
And then there’s Don Lunceford, senior pastor at Cornerstone Bible Church in Cedar Hill.
When he came to the church right out of seminary, little did he know it was a lifetime assignment – that is, unless he’s called elsewhere after more than a quarter century of serving that congregation.
“It is a joy to be serving and ministering at Cornerstone Bible Church for over 25 years now. Sept. 9, 2020, was a wonderful celebration with my wife, our children, our grandchildren and our church family,” Lunceford recalled. “It’s a wonderful experience to share life with the people in my church, whom I love.
“My wife, Laurie, has been beside me for 36 years of marriage and enjoys serving in the ministry as well. I wasn’t sure, so googled it and the average tenure of a senior pastor is three and a half to six years.”
Lunceford said he was called to CBC while still attending Dallas Theological Seminary working on his Master’s Degree in Theology.
“The simple answer is that God has kept us here. I have always felt that you grow where God has planted you and you don’t move until He says ‘move,'” Lunceford said. “God has seen fit to let us put deep roots where we are.
“We have such a loving bond with our church family. They truly are family to us, as our immediate families live out of state.”
Lunceford, 59, previously served as a youth pastor for five years at another church for five years and as youth pastor/associate pastor at another for five years. Then, he got the calling to come to the Metroplex.
“God’s leading led me to attend Dallas Theological Seminary, which landed us here in Texas. While I was attending DTS, my wife and I felt the call to seek an opportunity for ministry,” he recalled. “Once again, God made it clear to us the exact church to which He wanted us to serve.
“We have really enjoyed doing ministry in Cedar Hill. It is a wonderful community and has changed greatly in the last 25 years, which keeps ministering here fresh.”
Laurie offered her thoughts about being alongside Don throughout their journey together.
“We have countless stories of lives touched and turned around for the good to the glory of God,” she said. “There have also been those heart-scorching stories of betrayal by those who have crossed our path during the course of 36 years.
“I have been teaching a marriage Sunday school Class over much of our time here at Cornerstone Bible Church. Families are the foundation of our society, per God’s word, and I agree fervently. Pastor Don and I struggled with priorities at the start of our marriage, so I have a passion to come alongside and teach married couples how to put more tools in their toolbox, so to say.
“Our church family here is truly family to us. We live real life side-by-side and feel their love and support.”
As for his and the church’s most significant accomplishments during his time leading CBC, Lunceford humbly says it’s “Being a steady example of God’s love through the highs and lows of life together.”
Lunceford grew up in Georgia in a Christian home, but it wasn’t until he was a teenager that he realized a calling to serve God.
“It wasn’t until I went to a summer camp as a sixteen-year old that I really dedicated my life to doing whatever God wanted me to do. That path lead me to a life of trying to serve God’s children as best as I could,” he said.
Lunceford graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Education from Florida Bible College in 1984. He spent 10 years in ministry afterwards before returning to school to get his master’s from DTS in 1998.
He has now returned to DTS to work on his doctorate.
“I have finished all my courses, and now the only requirement left for me to graduate is to complete my dissertation,” he said.
He and his wife have three children, all in their 20s, Kyle, Audrey and Brian. They also have four grandchildren. Adam and Kaylin from Kyle and his wife Anna, along with Exra and Olivia from Audrey and husband Evan. He said Brian is the “fun uncle.”
“He got the T-shirt at Christmas that says, ‘I am the Funcle,'” Lunceford said with a chuckle.
“We are so thankful they live nearby so we enjoy our Saturday Family Fun Nights every other weekend, even though they are grown and on their own. We love spending time with our four grandchildren. Our family has close loving relationships, and that is a highlight of my life.
“All of our children grew up in the church here, and now it brings joy to my heart to see Kyle bringing his family to church here, as well as Audrey and her family. Brian lives about an hour away, so when he can join us at church, my dad heart is full.”
Now, perhaps more than ever, Lunceford is calling upon that full dad heart, the love of his biological family and his church family. He was recently diagnosed with chronic lymphostetic leukemia, for which there is currently no cure. Audrey started a GoFundMe account on Facebook to help with expenses.
“As Pastor Don has been recently diagnosed with cancer, it has been so touching to have so many dear friends from our previous two churches find us and reach out,” Laurie said.
“Pastor Don and I have planted seeds of God’s love to those around us on this journey and it is sweet to rejoice in the bounty of it. Pastor Don, in living out his life fully devoted to God, has changed my life.””
In his spare time, Lunceford loves playing his guitar and listening to music. He’s also used that talent in various forms of ministry throughout the years.
He also loves hiking, camping and being outdoors, which he said is “invigorating.”
“I love seeing God’s handiwork in nature and enjoying its beauty,” he said. “It is good way for me to slow down at times and rest.”