Church sign offers inspiring messages for more than two decades

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BISMARCK, N.D. - If you drive by Cornerstone Community Church in Bismarck, there's a sign that will no doubt catch your eye, and probably bring a smile to your face too.

The sign has been a fixture on the corner of West Wachter Avenue and South Washington Street for the past two decades, inspiring all who pass by, and even people on the other side of the world.

On one of Bismarck's busiest intersections there is a sign that's been turning heads for 20 years.

“There's some good sayings on there,” said Kurt Bachmeier as he waited at a red light at the intersection by the sign.

Twenty years ago, Pastor Keith Ritchie was new to Cornerstone Community Church. The sign was here when he arrived.

“It was put in just before I got here,” recalled Ritchie.

But Ritchie made it a priority.

“It's just our way of saying hello to everybody. We try to make it inspirational and uplifting,” he said.

The sign's message changes weekly. And so, every Wednesday you'll find Steve Wolf here. Wolf is the sign guy

“It's whatever I pick,” said Wolf.

He took over the job about a year ago.

“Sometimes I run the ideas by Pastor Keith,” he laughed.

On this hot summer day, he is excited to share this new message: “Come visit us. We're prayer conditioned.”

“We use it just to give inspiration to people driving up and down the road,” said Ritchie.

“It definitely makes you think once in a while,” agreed Brian Osmond, a motorist waiting for the red light to change.

And while this intersection sees lots of traffic, the signs are seen all over the world.

“We have churches in Egypt, Paraguay, Cambodia. They've all linked into our sign and they get the weekly sign update,” explained Ritchie.

Wolf says that's a sign that his work here is important. And that's enough to keep him coming back week after week.

Ritchie says they welcome sign ideas from the public. You can share your ideas on the church's Facebook page or website:

The only rules for sayings: Ritchie says it has to be uplifting, you have to be nice, and it has to be 12 words to fit on the sign.