Our History
Conerstone Family Ministries (CFM) has a unique history dating back to 1892.  In the late 19th century, segregation ruled the public arena.  For many of Tampa’s immigrant families there were no public schools open to their children. Rosa Valdez was a Hispanic woman who lived in Tampa and was moved by the plight of the newly arriving immigrant children.  With her own funds and the help of benefactors, she established a small school in her west Tampa neighborhood.  At the same time, Eliza Wolff, who wintered in Tampa, pleaded with the Women’s Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church South (today known as United Methodist Women) to form a mission school for the immigrants living in east Tampa. The determination and caring of these two women was the foundation of the mission that is now known as Cornerstone Family Ministries.  The public schools eventually opened their doors to Latino children, so a settlement program was instituted to meet broader needs of the families like cooking and sewing classes that would benefit children in their home environment. Cornerstone Family Ministries has evolved through the years and is now represented by a broad section of the Christian community who like Rosa Valdez and Eliza Wolff are moved to make a difference for Christ in the lives of marginalized children and their families.  Moving with the times and the changes in the neighborhoods that make up Tampa’s inner-city, Cornerstone serves the needs of children from diverse backgrounds using education and Christian character building to equip children and their families to navigate the difficult circumstances they find themselves in so that they can realize hope  for a brighter tomorrow.