Sunday Mornings at 10:45 AM
709 West Lee Avenue, Sherwood, Arkansas
The first transgender suicide hotline is now up and running in the U.S. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860
About the Church
About Open Door in Sherwood, Arkansas
Open Door Community Church is a nondenominational Christian Church. Many have been bruised in the name of “religion.” We believe that it is time for the healing to begin! Our worship is contemporary, meaningful, uplifting, and fun. Open Door Community Churches offer a message of reconciliation and bridge building between the Christian community and those who have felt alienated from it through law-filled teachings not based on the grace we believe Christ intended. We exist to proclaim God’s unconditional love to all and to provide fellowship, friendship and spiritual opportunities to all. The leadership at Open Door Community Churches are excited to see gay and non-gay Christians worshiping together as one. We believe that gay and non-gay Christians can and should come to the table of the Lord together, side by side, without labels. We believe that as these two historically separate communities join together at the cross of Jesus Christ a healing and a new understanding of oneness in Christ occurs in both groups. We are part of a growing revival of grace-filled Christians transcending either the terms “conservative” or “liberal”. Above all things, we are a GRACE CHURCH! We are a family embracing the full spectrum of race, age, gender, family status, sexual orientation, economic status and denominational background. We invite all who have a heart to follow Jesus to join us on this exciting journey of bridge-building and ministry!
We at Open door want to provide a community that proclaims the inclusive, loving message of our Savior Jesus Christ.
And this is why:
Too many times today the Evangelical churches are seen as hate groups. Their songs speak of war, their sermons sound hateful and judgmental, and their atmosphere is exclusionary. We at Open door want to provide a community that proclaims the inclusive, loving message of our Savior Jesus Christ. We are traditional in our Christ doctrine yet we believe that the Christian message of grace has been perverted by many. Our mission as a church is to be bridge builders. We want to love unconditionally, to resist the temptation to judge harshly and to stand with the outcast. We believe that Christ’s vision for the church is one of diversity.
Therefore there are many in our congregation, who have felt rejected while attending other Evangelical churches, yet they feel love and acceptance here at Open Door Community Church. All are welcome to be a part of our faith community regardless of age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or race.
We as a church do not want to erect walls to keep out certain people that add texture and clarity to the grace message. ‘Whosoever will’, may come or else we desecrate the name of the one who founded our faith, Jesus Christ. We believe this is the cutting edge Christian doctrine for the 21st century but it is no different than the teachings of Christ 2000 years ago.
What We Believe
Open Door Community Church is made up of people from various church/denominational backgrounds. To fully define “what we believe” would be difficult. And “Doctrinal Statements” tend to be exclusive and divisive. However, it is possible to extract some common beliefs, particularly from those traditionally accepted as the “basics” for hundreds of years of church history. (Examples: The Apostles’ and the Nicene Creed) Using those foundational truths, we present the following statements as a “framework” around which we can unite, a covenant with which we can agree. In detailing this information, the following disclaimer should be noted:
The phrasing of these statements are not inspired and can be interpreted various ways. That is NOT to say that anyone desiring to unite with this church must believe all these truths. We are very diverse and the actual incorporation of these truths can vary greatly, but at least it gives those who are making the decision some idea of what we believe.
It is not our desire to limit what we believe to just these statements. In this platform, we are only attempting to present the basics.
Though there are many concepts of God found in the Old Testament, we believe in the one true God revealed as the eternally self-existent “I AM”, the creator of heaven and earth and the redeemer of humankind. We believe in a personal loving God as revealed in Jesus Christ, “God with us”. Through him we can best know the nature and will of God. (Matthew 1:23) Jesus taught that God is an ever present, ever near, loving parent.
We believe in Jesus Christ and what is taught about Him in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John): he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed many miracles and proclaimed the message of love, hope and reconciliation to all who would listen and respond. His message was “whosoever will may come”. Jesus died to pay the ultimate penalty of our sin. He rose from the dead after three days, thus providing the gift of eternal life to all who will receive Him as Savior. We believe Jesus is God in the form of humankind. As a human, he lived among us and delivered to us the message of God’s love and forgiveness. He is the reality of an invisible God made visible to us in human form. If we want to know who God is, we can look at Jesus. He conquered death and ascended to the “right hand of God the Father”. Jesus is Lord of all things. As such, He deserves a place of honor, submission and respect in the life of every believer. One day, Jesus will physically return to earth in power and glory. No one knows the time or date. Until that time, the Christian is instructed to be active in our ministries. John 1:1-3, 14; II Corinthians 5:21; Acts 2:22-24; I Corinthians 15:1-8; I Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:1; Ephesians 1:20-22; Matthew 24:36, 42, 44-46
We believe that God inspired certain people in the covenant community to write the Scriptures found in the Old and New Testament. We further believe that the Bible contains the infallible message of the Gospel and bears witness to the living Word of God which is Jesus Christ. God’s Word spoken in and through the Scriptures should be understood in the light of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In order to understand God’s Word spoken in and through the scriptures, persons should study the writings of the Bible in their historical settings, compare scripture with scripture, listen to the witness of the church through out, history, and share insights with others in the covenant community. The Bible has importance both literary and historical as a record of God’s dealing with humankind and as a revelation of God’s will. The Bible should not be used to support personal prejudices and self-righteous judgments.
Open Door's History
In August of 1995 Randy McCain was minister of Music and Assistant to the Pastor at a church in Sherwood. He had held this position since 1991. In 1992 he committed to a lifelong loving, committed relationship with Gary Eddy. At that time there was support from within the leadership of this church for their relationship. However, Randy had been advised not to disclose this relationship with the whole church.
In 1995 the pain of staying silent about a relationship that was so meaningful and Christ-centered was too great. Randy wrote a letter to the Elders of the church telling them of his relationship with Gary stating that he did not feel that this in any way disqualified him from ministry. One week later he was asked to step down from his ministry. Through the pain of this experience Randy and Gary kept hearing the voice of God in their hearts telling them not to give up. The scripture that they held onto was Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
In October 1995 Randy and Gary opened their home for a weekly Bible Study. At that point there were several people who attended this study who had no church to call home. One such friend was Becky Rudy. She continually asked Randy why a new church could not be formed for all who feel that they do not fit into the other churches in town for one reason or the other…the disenfranchised. Randy and Gary had already decided that they could not attend any church where their relationship would not be celebrated by those in the faith community.
So in January 1996 Open Door Community Church had its first worship service attended by Randy, Gary, and Becky. They met in the living room of Randy and Gary’s home. Randy stressed that although he and Gary are gay, Open Door Community Church was not an exclusively gay church. “We are a part of the church of Jesus Christ which consists of all who profess Christ as Savior,” Randy stated in an early meeting. “The church must be an open door for all who are hungry for God, who are searching for meaning in their lives, who need our Savior Jesus Christ, and who need the fellowship of the body of Christ, yet have been told or have been made to feel in the past unwelcome in the faith community.” Randy then read from the book of Isaiah, an Old Testament prophet: “Is this the kind of fast that I have chosen, only a day for a man to humble himself? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is in this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every shelter–when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not turn away form your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you…Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and the Lord will say: Here I am…If you do away with the yoke of oppression, and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then shall you rise in obscurity and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58
Open Door Community Church has become a safe place to many who are searching for answers to their spiritual questions…a safe place to worship God, to form relationships, and to eat at the table of the Lord on equal ground with all of God’s children. May we always provide an “Open Door” to the oppressed, the poor wanderer, the hungry, and the abused.