In April of 1976, the church began with the loss of a great spiritual leader, Bishop Coy Monk. Though
there was 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
is 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 he 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
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. 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 pastor again. He told him to go t o 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
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 dinning 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,
railing were 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.
The question was asked, "Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep." This question was also
asked of our pastor, and the answer came back, "Yes"--for with this command came a new and
different endeavor. In 1988, "The Outreach Ministry" was born.
Pastor stated that the Lord told him to feed breakfast to the people that were standing on the corner.
This went on for several weeks. Then the Lord directed him to begin feeding them both natural and spiritual
food. This command has since resulted in feeding of over ½ million people.
In this ministry, many have been blessed with food through our weekly distribution to people in the community
and the surrounding areas. Clothing, furnishings, household appliances and many other accessories are
Open Door also contributes to other churches and organizations such as: The Seventh Day Adventist Church,
a Spanish church, Catholic Charities, two (2) Drug Rehabilitation Houses, Crime Victims Organization,
the Human Resources Administration and numerous senior citizens organizations.
Our future plans are to purchase the building next door to house a rehabilitation center, a senior citizens
center, a day care center and a recreational center.
God has truly blessed Open Door. With these blessing, we have seen souls saved, spirits lifted, miracles
performed, deliverance from alcohol and drugs, families united, and the love of Lord spread abroad. Once
again, we can say: "To God Be The Glory."
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Our Outreach mission is to help relieve the suffering of residents of the Tri-State areas. Feeding the
hungry and clothing the naked provides hope for those in need of spiritual support. The Church aims to
reach substance abusers, legal-judicial offenders, the homeless, the poor and others who need spiritual
By providing spiritual counseling and education, along with food distribution, the Church in this
way helps relieve stress, hunger and the fear of homelessness, which interfere with productive living.
This outreach effort is also aimed at reuniting families, reducing antisocial behavior, and preparing
people for educational and employment opportunities. All are welcome to participate.
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In 1895, while searching the scriptures, Elders C. P. Jones, Charles Harrison Mason, and others saw that
they could not be saved without holiness. So, they began to preach this doctrine. As a result, they were
asked to withdraw fellowship from the Baptist Church. Later in that year, those same brethren congregated
themselves and were known as the Church of God. (Acts 20:28)
Because the truth of the gospel was being assailed on every side, and many false doctrines were being
introduced by those who proclaimed the name, Elder C.H. Mason began setting forth to defend the gospel
and prayed earnestly for a name that would not depart from the scriptures and at the same time distinguish
the true followers from the false. Therefore, in the year 1897, the Lord revealed this name "THE
CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST," with the following scriptures to support it: I Thess. 2:14, II Thess.
1:1, and Gal. 1:22.
This union lasted until the year 1906, when a great revival was held in Los Angeles, California under
the auspices of Elder W. J. Seymour. Elder C. H. Mason, among many others, attended this revival and
received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, with signs of speaking with other tongues according to Acts 2:4, "And
they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them
He came back preaching this as a New Testament doctrine to which many of the brethren were adverse. In
August 1907, the General Assembly convened at Jackson, Mississippi with Elder C.P. Jones presiding as
General Overseer--who was also adverse to the new doctrine promulgated by Elder C.H. Mason and others.
After a very lengthy discussion, the Assembly withdrew from Elder C.H. Mason, and all who promulgated
the doctrine of speaking with tongues and the right hand of fellowship.
Later in the year 1907, Elder C.H. Mason called a meeting in Memphis, Tennessee of all the ministers who
believed in receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Among the group of Elders who responded to this
great call were: E.R. Driver, J. Bowe, R.R Booker, W.M. Roberts, R.E. Hart, D.W. Welsh, A.A. Blackwell,
E.M. Page, R.H.I. Clark, D.J. Young, J. Brewer, D. Spearman, J.H. Boone.
These brethren formed the first General assembly of THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, whose faith was founded
upon the doctrine of the Apostles as received on the day of Pentecost. The Lord gave Elder C.H. Mason
to be the Chief Apostle, which was accepted by the whole assembly. Under this leadership, the Church
witnessed a great triumph.
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"Train up a child in the way he should go..." Children are taught to join
the mission and learn to have compassion on others in order to please God.