In April of 1976, the church began with the loss of a great spiritual leader, Bishop Coy Monk. Though there were much confusion and sadness, God was faithful to His word: "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." This led to the preparation of another leader; our pastor Elder Jerry V. Burns. This young man was faithful, sincere, and obedient to God. Because of these qualities, the Lord blessed him by putting him in the hearts of people. For with God's revelation a new ministry was formed, which pastor named "The Open Door Church Of God In Christ." Revelation 3:8 states: "I know thy works: Behold I have set before thee an Open Door and no man can shut it."
The first building was located upstairs at 986 Gates Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. A water cooler served as a podium and milk crates were the chairs, but being together with love and joy abounding made it all worthwhile.
This location was also where our first recording took place. A 45 record titled "You'll Survive" and "We Got Love At Open Door", which is still our motto today. In addition to " Where Everybody is Somebody." The singers were the combined voices of the Youth Ensemble and the Voices of Salvation, along with our pastor and his wife, First Lady Delores E. Burns, who were the group leaders.
The Lord continued to bless, for after two (2) years our membership grew by leap and bounds. The Lord spoke to the pastor again. He told him to go to Greene Avenue, Brooklyn, New York. In doing so, he came upon our present building and the Lord said, "That's the one."
This building, which was once a large paper box factory, was cold, damp, and full of rubbish. There were no rooms or dividers, and the floor was cemented and cracked. But the people had a mind to work, and they did. With much cleaning, scrubbing, and fixing, the day finally arrived for a great move.
In July of 1978, the congregation marched from 986 GATES Avenue to the present edifice 999 Greene Avenue. This location is where the blessing of the Lord really began to manifest itself. The Lord made it possible that the building was paid for in less than two (2) years. In the second year, a fireproof wall was built separating the sanctuary from the dining room and offices. Pastor took his vacation money from his job as a Lab Technician Supervisor and repaired the floor.
One Sunday, we were sitting on folding chairs, the next Sunday we were sitting on pews. As time went on, doors were replaced, a cross was hung, lighting fixtures were replaced, paneling added, an altar added, the railing was placed around the pulpit, and last but not least, brand new cushioned pews. Yes, the Lord is in the blessing business.
Since the move into this building, two (2) more records have been recorded: first, "Our Roots Are Mighty Strong"; the second and most popular, "Rev. Jerry V. Burns and The Open Door Singers", which became #7 on WWRL Top Ten Countdown.
On June 13, 2012, Pastor Dr. Jerry V. Burns transitioned to be with the Lord. This called upon Elder Bernard Taylor who served at Open Door for twenty-six years to be appointed as Pastor.
On November 28, 2015, Greene Ave between Patchen and Broadway was co-named to Rev. Dr. Jerry V. Burns Way in honor of his contributions to the community. In addition, the church established a scholarship for students to achieve their goals and become Leaders of Tomorrow.
Despite what the church has experienced with the loss of our Founder, God has truly blessed Open Door. With these blessings, we have seen souls saved, spirits lifted, miracles performed, deliverance from alcohol and drugs, families reunited, and the love of the Lord spread abroad. Once again, we can say: "To God Be The Glory."
Open Door Church of God in Christ mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet the needs in his name without discrimination. Aim to develop a culture connection with people impacting one life at a time, as a pillar in our community and great city.