Our Church...

August 21, 2013

It’s probably a good time to share a little information and history of the church that has so recently made such a difference in our lives.

The name is Open Door Baptist Church and it was founded by a relatively young pastor by the name of Bruce Stewart who was only a few years out of Bible College. He actually began his ministry in Pennsylvania but was soon led by the Holy Spirit to move to Lake County Florida to plant a new church. So in 1982 he along with his wife Wanda and their four month old daughter, Leah, headed south.

It wasn’t long thereafter that they held their first tent meeting in Clermont and decided that this was the place God wanted them to be. Since that time, the church has expanded greatly from the first eleven individuals who had their first meeting in the living room of a close friends home. Today the church consists of a main sanctuary which holds up to 250 people, a Sunday school building and a prophet’s chamber for visiting pastors/missionaries. The church is located on twenty-two acres right on US Highway 27, a main artery through Clermont.

You’re right when you say this is a relatively small church, but it’s a church packed with some very friendly people and more importantly, the Holy Spirit is definitely working in the lives of everyone there. We noticed the differences immediately upon walking in the doors the very first time we attended. The preaching was something we had not heard for years, probably since we had attended a Billy Graham crusade in the mid 80’s. It was straight forward, directly from the bible, and you could tell the man behind the podium taught with a passion and loved the Lord.

The second thing we noticed was that the children were all nicely dressed and so well mannered. There was no crying out during the service and those who were old enough to talk with you always used the words “Yes Sir” and “No Sir”, and were very respectful, something else we had not seen in a very, very long time.

I guess it’s only fair to say we fell in love with the church immediately. From the very first day, a peace had finally come over my wife and me and we knew immediately this was the place God wanted us to serve.

So why are they so different?

Well, the main reason is that they are an Independent Baptist Church, meaning they work autonomously as taught by Jesus’ disciples. They don’t take direction from some large convention where you find all kinds of give and take going on to try to please everyone. The church seeks to please God and God only!

The fact that they are a New Testament Church that believes the bible as the infallible Word of God also is very important. Once you start questioning the Word of God as to whether or not it is true or having error, you open the doors for Satan to enter. For instance, some versions of the bible today not only question, but leave out any reference to the God Head or to the virgin birth. Once this occurs, you know you have headed down the wrong path. If Jesus wasn’t God in the flesh and if he did not come into this world without sin, how could he possibly die on the cross for our atonement? It required a perfect sacrifice to erase our sin and only God in the form of man could achieve such.

Along with this being said, the church believes that the King James Version of the bible is the inspired Word of God. Not the NIV, the Darby Version or the English Standard Version. Only the King James Version can be relied on as being without error. All other versions have been corrupted over time starting with the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in the 3rd and 4th centuries. If you don’t agree with this, we would strongly suggest you study as much history of the bible as possible. It should become evident, but if not, feel free to contact us.

Next, the church practices what it preaches. Men are the leader of the household and God is always put first followed by the wife, children and finally their personal lives such as work, play, etc. For this reason, the families are committed to Christ’s church. In doing so, they try to raise their children God’s way, teaching them constantly from God’s word and exhorting them as God does His own children.

We use to think that this was great for some, but not for everyone. My wife’s brother and wife have raised their children this way since they were very young and we use to say, just wait until they get out in the real world. But you know what? We were being very foolish in the sight of God. God expects us to raise our children this way and not to allow them to control us. What an advantage a child would have in life by being raised per the Word of God, directed in His path and His ways!

We have children as young as 5 years old in the church learning God’s word. They take part in bible quizzes around the country and often place among the top of their peers. They learn to study His word, how to pray, how to conduct themselves in all aspects of life. Most are home schooled simply because our country has taken God out of our schools. It’s a shame, but its fact, our country is slowly but surely turning away from God and teaching our children the ways of the world. Just think of the impact this would have if all children were raised in the way of the Lord!

Another thing this church is highly involved in is evangelism. From its very beginning they began to take on missionaries with like beliefs who were looking to serve our Lord around the world. Today we have over 70 missionaries that are supported through the church and once a year the church tries to bring a number of them to Florida to share their needs and experiences with us. What a blessing!

I guess we could go on and on regarding the church but it’s not necessary. There are many other like churches out there across American and those who are blessed enough to be close to one know what we are talking about. There’s also colleges such as Pensacola Christian College in north Florida which were founded and thrive today on the same principles. These universities turn out young men and women each year trained in the ministry, as doctors, engineers, teachers and just about any other discipline that you can think of.

If you have never attended such a church, we would highly suggest you check out what may be in you area. And if you are in our area, or just want to listen to some great weekly messages (yes we still do meet 3 times a week) check out the churches website by clicking on the church name below. You will not be sorry you did…


 

Open Door Baptist Church
17140 Hwy 27
Clermont, Florida 34715
352-394-4905