A Detroit Icon: The Solution in Plain View

At the city’s height of success, and now again amidst great positive change following decades of decline and challenge, the Spirit of Detroit monument in the heart of downtown has been an iconic attraction for both residents and visitors to our city. The impressive statue certainly is one of the must-see tourist spots of the city. But could its true meaning go far beyond this and be one of the keys that allows our beloved Detroit to rise again as a thriving urban metropolis? The New Testament inscription behind the statue proclaims such a hope: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

The statue itself depicts humankind, represented by the family, as the jewel of God’s creation which also includes the cosmos, depicted as being held in the other hand of the metaphorical “god figure.” The family has God’s gaze, and the freedom He offers is proclaimed by Paul, the ancient merchant who wrote those words to his friends also living in a bustling seaport city. The parallels and challenges for both cities are profound, but the solution is the same: the family, the apple of God’s eye, in full surrender, worship, and commitment to Him will be the centerpiece of a community, a city that thrives and serves as a beacon of hope for others. There has never been a better time than now for us as residents to embrace the implications of our most famous statue.

Who We Are

The Spirit of Detroit Project, in the spirit of the original Cornerstone Schools, works passionately to surround our students with a loving community, a family of friends, intent on their flourishing in every way—academically, socially, and spiritually. We know that a unified, nurturing, family-like environment makes all the difference in young peoples’ ability to thrive and fully develop according to their God-given potential. Accordingly, The Spirit of Detroit Project consists of Christian adult staff and volunteers who are invested in creating a replicable model of community and school collaboration that will enable students to be highly successful. We aim through innovative, holistic programs to provide the application for the implications of that famous monument and scripture passage that inspire us.

Our Cornerstone History and Our New Path

For decades in Detroit academic circles, Cornerstone Schools built a legacy synonymous with excellence, Christian culture, and Christ-centered education. Today, there are many successful Cornerstone alumni making contributions to society all over the U.S., young men and women who affirm that their years at Cornerstone gave them a foundation for success.

A guiding image for the original Cornerstone Schools was the scriptural notion of “making all things new” (Isaiah 43:19; Revelation 21:5). This still is a fitting expression as Cornerstone enters a new phase of its history in which it now consists of all public charter schools. The original Christ-centered mission of Cornerstone is being carried on by The Spirit of Detroit Project, a separate, privately-funded nonprofit that provides students an opportunity to build a relationship with the true Cornerstone, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:20). The original school name was never accidental, but rather, was intended to highlight the importance of knowing Jesus and nurturing a relationship with Him as the way to achieve a fulfilling life of purpose.

The Spirit of Detroit Project is building upon this vital legacy by offering Christ-centered resources and after school enrichment activities for interested students at all Cornerstone Charter Schools. Our aim in all that we do is to catapult the students into young adulthood as people of vision and character, truly “set apart” by their determination to pursue their destiny and fulfill their God-given purpose.

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