Open Door Christian Church commenced in 1971 and in the first instance was known as The Church of The Open Door until 2002 when it was renamed. ‘Open Door’ was founded by Ps Milton Greenslade and given the same name as that of an assembly in Timaru, New Zealand, of which he had been a founding member. Following Ps Greenslade’s death in June 1997, responsibility for pastoring ‘Open Door’ was assumed by Ps Chris Whiting.

Drawing its adherents from south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, the church was a member of the Australian Pentecostal group known as Bethesda Ministries International. Although entirely distinct in origin and governance, ‘Open Door’ the church enjoyed close association the similarly named organisation ‘Open Doors with Brother Andrew’ and via this link has been able to see many scriptures supplied to countries where preaching of the gospel has been restricted. Not so distinct in origin is ‘Open Door Church’ in Khojewala, India. This branch of the family was founded in 1984 by Ps Harbijan Singh who came to faith under Ps Greenslade’s ministry. Our Khojewala family continues strong and faithful under the guidance of Harry’s son, Ps Harpeet Deol.

With the commencement of the Melbourne Pastors’ Network in 1996 until its end a decade or so later, Open Door Christian Church played an energetic role in the Kingston Pastors’ Network and in Kingston PrayerForce. This period also saw us play a founding role in the Kingston’s combined churches community meals project known as Matt’s Place. More recently the Church’s community involvement has been in the orchestration of a monthly Film Club (which has been part-outreach and part social) and the monthly Tucker ’n ’Toons. From 2003 to 2019, we have happily made use of our tenancy at Cheltenham Hall to host a Christmas Dinner for locals, socially isolated and marginalized.

Jesus told His disciples ‘I will build my church’ (Matt 16:18). The corollary to which is that it is Jesus who sets the boundaries and limits to a church’s reach and life. In as much as none of the seven churches to which the Apostle John wrote (Rev 2:1-3:22) now exist, we must accept that not all things, even churches, persevere in the manner that we would wish. Hence, coincident with the retirement of its current pastor, Open Door Christian Church ceased to function as a formal assembly as of 20th December 2020.

To those many who have been part of our life and ministry we commit our thanks and prayers. To Jesus Christ and His blessed Holy Spirit who has been our life, truth and passion we commit our ongoing fidelity and praise.

We thank you Lord for the blessings and challenges that have been ours as a group, to share with You. We are grateful that although our existence as ‘church temporal’ and ‘church geographic’ has concluded our bond in Christ continues as part of Your ‘church universal’.

Ps Chris Whiting, December 2020