Cornerstone Student Ministry exists to help students experience how Jesus Changes Everything. We want faith in Jesus to be who they are and what they do, so that when students graduate from High School they are spiritually mature and prepared for the next phase of life. We believe that Jesus had consistent rhythms in his life, those rhythms were UP in worship, IN in community, and OUT on mission. Our desire is to live out those same rhythms as Jesus. We do this in both Large Group and Small Group settings throughout the year.
Large group: During the school year, 7th-12th graders meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 6:30-8:00 at Cornerstone in the Worship Center. At large group we hang out and connect with friends, play games, worship, hear testimonies, have times of prayer, and are taught from the Scriptures.
Small groups: During the school year, 7th-12th graders meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at different locations according to grade. At home groups, we hang out, have food, play games, watch a video teaching, and then break up into small groups to discuss the video teaching.
Youth Events: Throughout the year we will have different events and activities. These include Retreats, Camps, Missions Trips, Girl’s Nights, Praise and Worship Nights, Youth Conferences, Game Nights, Ski Trips, 5th Quarter Parties, etc. These events are designed to help students grow in their faith and experience God, build healthy relationships with peers and youth leaders, invite other students, and have fun.
One on Ones: When time/logistics permit, one of the highlights of ministry is meeting with students for lunch, coffee, or ice cream. These experiences allow us to hear from the students, get to know their heart, learn what God is doing in their life, and discern what they might be needing/wanting next from us in terms of growth in the Lord.
Jesse Hurkes is married to Jessica and they have four boys: Eli, Caleb, Zeke, and Jonah. Jesse has been at Cornerstone since 2007. He likes to exercise and play sports with his boys. Jesse has a passion for helping and seeing people serve the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. Contact Info: Jesse 605-520-4329 (
Emily Trupe graduated from Watertown High School in 2008 and has been helping Cornerstone with youth ministry in some capacity since that time. She is married to Brandon, who is the Worship Pastor at Cornerstone, and they have two children: Jonathan and Ellianna, and they are expecting #3 in November. Emily loves Jesus and has a heart for students.  Contact Info: Emily 605-520-0689 (
Pamela Carlson has been serving the youth ministry since 2010 when her eldest son was a 7th grader, and in 2020 came on as part-time staff. She enjoys the unique perspective of being a parent as well as a youth leader. Helping students find personal freedom from specific areas of life and equipping parents to grow in spiritual effectiveness are two of her passions. Contact Info: Pamela 605-886-2242 (