About Brad Kalajainen

Brad Kalajainen is nationally known and respected for his creativity and large staff leadership. He recently retired as the founding and lead pastor of Cornerstone UMC in Grand Rapids, MI, which averages more than 2650 in its three campuses each week.

Brad’s passion is helping churches recover their vision and effectiveness. He has taught extensively on small groups, preaching, staff and organizational development, transitions, and more. Brad coaches, consults in areas of new church planting and church revitalization, leadership, growth, and multisite ministry related topics.

Cornerstone began as a church plant in 1990 in the Michigan Conference of the UMC. Cornerstone has experienced continual growth over 29 years as Brad has led them in their mission of “Helping people know Jesus and make him known.” He is a recipient of the distinguished Denman Award for evangelism from the Michigan Conference.

Cornerstone relocated in 2008 in the heart of the economic recession onto a 38-acre parcel of land. The 13 million-dollar project was completed and debt free in less than 10 years. Since 2013, Cornerstone has launched a campus in the heart of the urban area of Grand Rapids which now averages over 300 in attendance. A third campus was launched on the west side of the city, and has grown to over 300. Building projects are underway at all campuses currently.

Brad has been married to Colleen for 41 years. They have two grown children, Kaylee and Ben, one son-in-law Mitch, and two grandchildren, Avery Joy and Maddox.