After serving in ministry for several years in Pennsylvania, the Lord led Bruce and Wanda Stewart to Lake County to plant a church in 1983. Two local pastors urged them to prayerfully consider working in Clermont.

Harry and Barbara Camp moved with the Stewarts to Clermont. The Camps had helped Brother Bruce and Wanda with the teens in Pennsylvania.  Moving by faith, they all left Pennsylvania in two trucks, not knowing exactly where they would live. The Stewarts moved with their four-month old daughter, Leah. At that time, Bruce says, they only knew one family in the area. It was a memorable time starting a new church in the small community of Clermont. The first major event was a tent meeting - for eight days Pastor Stewart and another local pastor preached a tent revival at the corner of StateRoad 50 and US Highway 27.

The first official service of Open Door Baptist Church was held in November 1983 in Harry and Barbara Camp’s living room. Nine adults and two children attended. The Lord soon provided a large storefront at 770 Montrose Street in downtown Clermont; the first service was Christmas morning, 1983. Open Door remodeled the new building by adding paneling to cover the existing pegboard walls, buying padded pews and constructing rooms for Sunday School and a nursery. The church remained at Montrose Street for almost six years. It was a good time of growth as the church built a core of committed people. When the owner sold the Montrose Street building in 1989, the church was on the move once again. And again, on short notice, the Lord provided a place at 1705 South Grand Highway.

During this period, the church acquired its current property on US Highway 27 and began planning construction of a brand-new, permanent home. This was one of the most exciting phases in the church’s history! God miraculously provided and made this new work possible as twenty-two acres were purchased from a local attorney Dennis Horton in January 1990.  After a church building committee had plans drawn, a groundbreaking ceremony was held July 15, 1990. Members of the congregation did most of the construction work and it progressed as the Lord made funds available.

Since that time, the church has expanded and renovated the main building in numerous ways as changes were made to accommodate growth to various church ministries. One of the biggest expansions was the addition of a large, 14-room Sunday School building in 2001 and a duplex and parking expansion in 2005.

The steady growth the ministry of Open Door has experienced over the years is testimony to the power and grace of a faithful God. The Lord has always been the One to miraculously provide for all the needs of the church and congregation, and He alone deserves the glory for the success of the ministry of Open Door Baptist Church.

Rear of Church

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