NEBRASKA CITY – Cornerstone Church celebrated the opening of the Orchard Child Development Center at a worship service Sunday in recognition of faith and collaboration.

Dan Mauk of Nebraska City Area Economic Development said the church’s activities wing was identified as a good spot to establish child care services because it already had fire safety and group accommodations that would have made renovations a burden in many older buildings.

He said the church collaborated with Nebraska Children and Families for technical support, the Department of Health and Human Services for compliance and economic development’s early childhood community coordinator Tiffany Walker.

At the onset, however, the church stepped out in faith.


Mauk: “They started the journey before we were aware of any helpful funds that might be coming from the federal government or from Nebraska Children and Families and it was really God’s work that aligned everything to bring the financial resources.”

The Orchard Child Development Center is owned by the church, but Pastor Blake Armstrong said it will operate separately financially. He said its rapid development was more than what the church could have accomplished on its own.

Armstrong: “The Orchard is not ours … it’s God’s.” “…When it starts to come together – even now I get emotional, anytime I think about it – but it’s just a powerful thing to be a part of something that really … when we originally talked about it, it seemed so far beyond anything we could do.”


The center will serve 50 children ages 6 weeks to five years pre-kindergarten to foster biblical growth beginning Aug. 1.

Armstrong: “We want to create a culture not only for the children and their families but also for the staff to where they experience the kind of welcoming and Christ-centered culture that our church offers. We want that also to be part of the Orchard.”

 Center Director Amy Meyer credited the economic development office for helping to secure  $250,000 in grant funding.