Justin Poythress

Tell me about your basketball season.

I was always expecting a good season because we put hard work in and put our hearts into it. We kept praying about it. It’s been a great basketball experience especially with Coach Steele and Coach Agee. They are always talking about Christ and how we should apply his guidance to our lives. You wouldn’t really expect basketball to increase your knowledge about God, but here at Cornerstone that happens.

What’s been your favorite thing about Cornerstone?
(Senior year was first year at CSA; Spent four years at another school)

I was trying to be a Christian but my life there was unbalanced. I would sometimes talk to God, but I really didn’t feel like there was a big impact on my life as a Christian over there because there were a lot of distractions and temptations. Coming here to Cornerstone…I’m not even supposed to be here, but God allowed me to be. I fasted and prayed so I could get here. Here at Cornerstone, I actually feel like it’s a big family. The kids look up to me. The 7th graders, 8th graders, 6th graders, they always call me ‘Tree Top’ because I’m the tallest guy here and they always give me high fives.  Some of them say I’m a big role model and like a big brother to them. It makes me feel really proud and loved by everyone here.

I wasn’t really so sure before I came here because it was a small school. I wasn’t really ok with that…now I am because it feels like a big family here. The teachers love me. They always care about me. If they see me doing something wrong, they always correct me, and they say it in a positive way. With Mr. Swale, my bible teacher…I’m really going to miss this when I graduate… if I ever have a problem or any questions about God he’ll say, “let’s go eat at lunch together” and we’ll talk about it. I really like that. God revealed a lot of things to me through Mr. Swale and these teachers. I can really feel the love of Christ here illuminating in my life…the love of Christ is illuminating through them on to me so I can help and show [it] to others. This is my testimony because at my previous school, I was a silent Christian. Now here at Cornerstone, I’ve been built up. Now I talk to other people about God where if I was at my previous school, I would be so scared and nervous. Now I help others. I don’t mind volunteering. I sing in church and in chapel. I never thought I would do that because I used to be so scared. I was like, you know that’s not what the cool kids do. But now, I don’t care because I know the love of Christ and what Christ did for me.

Through the senior trip going to Noah’s Ark and the Creation Museum, it really lit everything up and God really revealed a lot to me. As Christians, we are shown so many facts and information about how the Bible is true and stuff like that. I already knew the Bible was true, but this opened a new door. I always used to blame God for the death of my father, but Noah’s Ark showed me what sin caused. Sin causes death and pain, so it’s not God’s fault. It’s our fault for our sin. I never thought I would say this. Every year I always say, “oh I can’t wait to get out of school,” but now I don’t want to leave.

How will you carry what you’ve learned in your experience at Cornerstone with you? How do you think it’s going to affect your future and your life outside of high school?

I know Cornerstone has taught me how to talk to God every day. You don’t just talk to Him like three times a day; you can talk to Him throughout the whole day. That is going to ensure my protection and that is going to show how God will use me. Every day I ask God to show me and I trust Him so I know God has a future planned for me. Cornerstone has equipped me with a lot of knowledge about how to go about in this unknown world and unknown territory. One thing Cornerstone taught me is to trust God because God has a plan for all of our lives. We have the bible…Cornerstone gave me a lot of knowledge…I am prepared but I am still a little scared of the unknown.

Final Thoughts…

When us athletes…when we met the board before the final four, we could really tell they really care about us. They came to our games and they bought the whole school tickets to go to the game. I really loved their support. My heart really hurt after the final four loss, but I really want to thank the Lord and thank God for putting me in this place of love and support. This really shows that God loves us. I literally don’t know where I’d be if I was still at my previous school. I used to get in a lot of fights and had really bad anger issues, but God put me in a place of love here and it really changed my heart.