With a vast history in the Greensburg area, the members of the Open Door Baptist Church have something to celebrate.
North Main Street Church will celebrate its 100th anniversary on October 3, when special services will be presented by former Pastor Craig Pendl, who was at the church for 11 years.
âThis church had an impact on the lives of people in the community who were former drug addicts, former alcoholics – from all walks of life they found the answers here,â said Carol Boyce, 40-year-old member. âIt’s not just a religion, it’s a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what we are taught here.
Open Door Baptist, originally organized as the Open Door Church, was founded in 1920 and was located at the corner of Oakland Avenue and Stanton Street in downtown Greensburg. While there, church members established Every Man’s Bible Class in 1925 and the Greensburg Bible Institute in 1947.
In 1958, former pastor Robert F. Nitz took over the church and moved it to its present location, 970 N. Main St., in 1972. Under his leadership, several outreach ministries were established, including a deaf ministry that taught sign language. He also created âdial-a-devotion,â a telephone ministry that included a 15-minute radio show.
A year after Open Door moved to its Main Street location, Nitz established the Open Door Christian Academy which eventually closed in 2004. The academy completed the Accelerated Christian Education Program. In addition, a women’s ministry and neighborhood Bible time were started in 1972.
Today the church is home to several programs and includes a nursery, gymnasium with basketball court, kitchen, and teen room, where teens can take lessons and play games such as table tennis. , basketball and air hockey.
About 70 parishioners attend services every Sunday. The current pastor of the church is Joshua Franklin.
âWe try to have a warm, loving spirit here,â said Boyce, 74, of Greensburg. “Our pastor always talks about loving one another.”
This warm welcome, along with the messages taught at Greensburg Church, originally attracted Boyce to the place and led her to stay there for 40 years.
Likewise, 20-year-old member Barbara Snyder said she was originally drawn to the church because of her school. At the time, Snyder was looking for a school for his then 5-year-old grandson. Before enrolling her, the 69-year-old Greensburg resident said she attended a kindergarten graduation ceremony to get a feel for the program.
âI came over and looked at him, and all the little kids with their caps and dresses in front, they hugged each other,â Snyder said. âYou have seen the love between the teacher and the children. It was personal. It just sold me on a lot of things seeing that love in this church because you don’t get it everywhere.
Additionally, Snyder said she appreciated the messages preached at church services.
âThat’s what I love, good audio messages,â Snyder said. âYou are taught by the Bible and different people use different versions, but they are good. Nothing is missing, and when you hear the messages, sometimes they reinforce you. You go out on a new cloud.
The ceremony on October 3 is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am Past and current members are invited to attend.