Cornerstone United Methodist Church. Serving Covington, Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Kent. We are committed to developing devoted followers of Christ logo


Our Team


James Murphy

A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Pastor Murphy received his undergraduate degree at Western Washington University, and his Masters in Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. He has previously served Ridgefield Community United Methodist Church outside of Portland/Vancouver, and Bonners Ferry United Methodist Church in northern Idaho.

Pastor Murphy describes his message as a simple one: that all people are known and loved by God, a message made undeniable by the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. He emphasizes the sacred worth of all people, the present love of God for all people, and encourages others in the pursuit of their own relationships with Jesus. He is passionate about sharing the news of Jesus’ death and resurrection, of being an inclusive community where all can worship and grow, and the pursuit of new avenues of serving in the Covington/Maple Valley/Black Diamond area.

Worship Director

Amy Bjorn

Amy and her husband Devin have served as musicians on the Worship Team at Cornerstone for more than 10 years, and been a part of praise and worship with various churches in the United Methodist conference since 1998. Amy has a background in jazz performance and has been involved in praise and worship bands since she came to know Christ as a teenager. She enjoys listening to and playing all kinds of music, but nothing compares to the experience and offering of collective worship! Her passion is in leading others to deeper connection with God through song, and in extending His love and grace to those in her life and those she meets.

Amy plays mostly keyboard and some guitar, and also enjoys serving in music and leadership outside the church - including the Puget Sound Walk to Emmaus, an organization that hosts retreats for the spiritual renewal and leadership development of Christians in our region.

Her favorite music artists to listen to as a child were Bruce Hornsby and Elton John - they may have had a little influence on her piano/keyboard stylings!

Youth Director

Ashley Creek

Ashley spent most of her childhood growing up right around the corner from Cornerstone, in Covington. She just recently graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Political Science and Communication and moved back to Covington to pursue her passion of serving and loving youth. Just recently married, Ashley and her husband Jimmy are blessed by the calling to serve and love the youth of Cornerstone and are excited about the years to come for the youth program here!

If there is one thing you should know about Ashley, it is that her hair color depends on her mood-- so expect to be surprised!

1 Thessalonians 2:8

Children's Education Director

Christine Girard

Christine was born in Kunsan, South Korea, but moved all around the United States and even Guam because her father served in the Air Force for 20 years. Her father retired in Phoenix, AZ where she met her husband Tom. Tom and Christine have been married since 1996 and have lived in the Maple Valley area since 2001. They have been blessed with two boys Justin and Brandon who keeps them on their feet pretty regularly.

Christine is so thankful that her family has been part of the Cornerstone family since 2001. In that time she had sung on Praise Team, taught Sunday school and served on staff as the Children’s Worship Director for almost 5 years. She stepped away from her position to work more in the area of preschool education. It was also a time for her to grow deeper in her faith and relationship with Christ. Her growing faith and deep love for children has led her to step back into the Children’s Ministry. She is excited to see just where God will lead her in shepherding His children. Christine has been learning to play guitar for 2 years. Her favorite thing to do is going out for Thai, watching movies, vacationing and hiking with her family and spending time with friends.

Lead Guitarist

Chuck Buser

Chuck has been staff musician at Cornerstone for over 20 years. Stylistically Chuck came from a rock background, performing professionally in Northwest-based rock bands since high school. At 29 he quit the band he was in to better serve the Lord with his music, a decision he has never regretted. Along with his wife Debi and three children, he formed the "Buser Family Band" that performed together for over ten years. They won the Washington State Christian Talent Contest in 2002, produced a well-received CD of original music and performed on television and at many venues. Chuck is also a music professor at two local colleges and gives guitar lessons locally as well.

Favorite pastime: Chuck enjoys fishing and camping with his family

Favorite mode of transportation: His 62 Rambler Classic

Chuck's latest musical project: A full-length CD of original fun fishing songs to be sold in fishing tackle stores

Church Custodian

Lorena Saxton

Lorena feels blessed to work with such a dedicated group of people who serve the Lord. She grew up in the South End and has been married for 5 1/2 years to her high school sweet heart! They bought their first home in Auburn where they now live. Some day Lorena would like to hike the Wonderland Trail around the base of Mt Rainer. And she says that if she ever came into a lot of money she would buy a house by Green Lake so she could walk around it everyday. Lorena has 20+ years of cleaning experience and loves what she does. Her goal at Cornerstone is to see the church grow in a clean and sanitary environment.

Travel dreams: I’ve never been out of the country other than Victoria BC but would love to visit the castles in England. I also want to visit Amish country back East- I think I was born in the wrong era as I love homemade quilts, the homegrown idea’s etc.

Someone I wish I had met: Princess Di. Also, I enjoy following the Price William and Kate romance. It would be a dream to go to their wedding.

One way I reach out: I love sponsoring Payel , a 5 year old from India

Church Administrative Assistant

Kimberley Lackey

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. I grew up at Spokane Valley UMC, and then went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English at Washington State University. At WSU, met and married my husband Bryan. We have been married for over 20 years. We have lived in Black Diamond and now Covington since college. I am mom to three busy, preteen and teenage boys. I have been an active member at Cornerstone for over 17 years. When I am not being wife and mom I love travel and photography.

I am excited to serve in this new capacity in my church and to be that cheerful voice on the phone and that smiling face to greet you on Sunday mornings.

Middle School Ministries Coordinator

Felicia Johnson

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