Cornerstone community mourning death of Rev. Richard Alberta

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The Rev. Dr. Richard Alberta

Reports out of Brighton are that the Rev. Dr. Richard Alberta died today.

The firebrand leader of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Brighton Township was known for his powerful, charismatic sermons, as well as never shying away from controversy.

“Abortion is the sin of our age; I believe it is genocide,” he said in a 2005 story in the Livingston County Press & Argus. “When I speak out against the homosexual lifestyle, I’m called a gay-hater, a gay-basher by people who don’t want to believe what the Bible says about them. But I don’t want them to live in misery and that is misery.”

One of the first pastors to preach at Cornerstone, Alberta retired in December 2018. The church grew tremendously under his leadership. Membership went from about 300 to over 2,000 at its peak; the facility grew from 22,000 square feet when it was built in 1991 to over 100,000 square feet today, and includes a school that goes up to the eighth grade.

Alberta’s well-known personal story chronicles the journey of a young law student in New York who abandoned Christianity in the 1960s in response to the horrors of the Vietnam War and the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Alberta went on to regain his religious beliefs after he married and welcomed his first child; he then decided to become a minister to strengthen and support the faith of others.

Alberta came to Cornerstone in January of 1992 from Ward EPC in Livonia. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, a Master’s of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Eastern Baptist Seminary  in Philadelphia, Penn.

Alberta is survived by his wife, Donna, as well as four sons, and 10 grandchildren.

Visitation will be 3-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, at Cornerstone EPC, 9455 Hilton Road, Brighton. The funeral service is set for Friday, Aug. 2, with visitation at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m., followed by a luncheon.

The family asks that memorial donations be made to Livingston County Right to Life and Pregnancy Help Clinic in Brighton

You can read The Rev. Dr. Richard Alberta’s blog by clicking here.


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1 Comment

  1. I was reading from Mark 8 and thinking about Pastor Alberta. He was ready to meet Jesus. Everywhere he went, he would tell people about the Lord. Mark 8:33 talks about Jesus rebuking Peter and said, “you savor not the things that be of God but things that be of men.” So many people only think about this world…more riches, more things, their desires and think very little about the things of God. Pastor Alberta thoughts were about the Lord. I will never forget when I was with my 22 year old daughter, Debi, at Kohl’s. We were standing in line and Debi was newly diagnosed with (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma) cancer. In walked Dr. Alberta. He was there for one thing….to get a stuffed animal for one of his grandchildren (These were located by the check out counter along with a story book.) He walked over to where we were standing and right there in line, in front of all the other customers and employees, he prayed for Debi. He then said to her, “You are going to be all right.” Mark 8 goes on to say in verses 34-38 “…Whoever will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever will save his life shall lose it; but whoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed of when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” Pastor Alberta was not ashamed of Jesus and he proclaimed His name wherever he went. Can you imagine what it was like for Pastor to enter God’s glory yesterday? He heard the words from Jesus that we all want to hear when we die…”Well done, thou good and faithful servant…”

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