About

What to Expect

We have cultivated an overall culture of worship and the ministry of the Word in our church. All teaching or preaching is Biblically sound, Spiritually challenging and action oriented. On any given Sunday you will experience vibrant worship with an accomplished and anointed worship team. The Scriptures will be taught by one of our Pastors or a guest minister invited to help us "feed" Jesus' sheep (John 10:4; 20:15-17). 

The worship is contemporary in style; however, the interjection of the historical hymns of the faith will also be in our praise. We use technology to enhance the worship experience. However, we are intentionally cautious not to overuse it to try and wow people with artistry or technology. Our greatest desire is to create an environment of worship and faith so the HE will “come”.

Our services are planned but not scripted. Generally we target approximately 90 minutes for the worship, teaching and ministry each weekend. However, we are not bound to time, as we freely invite the Holy Spirit to come and guide us to the heart of what God wants to do as we assemble together.

With a Bible Study hour before worship on Sunday mornings, as well as an open café for refreshments and fellowship – people tend to come early and linger after the organized activities are concluded. This is part of the culture of OBF. We expect to have a family feel, because that is what we are. We are a local church family and we are part of the eternal family and household of God (Ephesians 2:19-22).

The ultimate goal of everything we do is to glorify God and touch people’s hearts in a life-giving way. Though the environment is casual and friendly – we are deeply serious in our desire to encounter God and allow His Spirit the freedom to move in our midst. We long to experience Him, to be challenged and changed by His presence.



Statement of Faith

Our basic Statement of Faith is consistent with the primary streams of ministry reflected the Statement of Faith adopted by the National Association of Evangelicals. The following declarations reflect our core convictions regarding a wide range of biblically-based beliefs. These statements represent our philosophy and help frame up our ministry methodology.

The National Association of Evangelicals Statement of Faith

  • We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  • We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  • We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.


Mission Statement

Teaching, equipping and reaching people for Christ by the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit



History

Open Bible Fellowship (OBF) was founded in 1987 in the community of Morrison, Illinois in Whiteside County. This church has been a source of truth, light and life throughout the Gateway area of northwest Illinois and northeast Iowa for more than 25 years. Those who have called OBF home have come from multiple communities on both sides of the river, thus the motto, “Regional Church With a World Vision”.

The founding pastor, James Reed, was sent to the area from his home church in Oklahoma. His pastor at the time was Chris Byrd who now serves as the Lead Pastor of Open Bible Fellowship. During Reed’s three and one half years at OBF, he influenced hundreds of people for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

On January 1, 1991, Chris Byrd became the pastor of Open Bible. Since that time, his primary gifts have been used to stabilize, reorganize and chart the course of ministry for OBF. The heart of his ministry is that of making disciples, training leaders, and equipping servants of the Lord to do the work of ministry.

World missions have been at the heart of this ministry from the outset. When Pastor Chris came to the area, one of his top priorities was to expand the level of economic support we invest in missions. In addition to economic support, he and other OBF members have gone to various parts of the world serving people in the name of the Lord.

Over the last 25 years, this church has expanded numerically and spiritually, also adding significantly to our property and facilities. The first church service was held at Norrish Auditorium on January 11, 1987 with 14 families. In 1988, the old Union Grove School was purchased to be the new home of OBF. A large addition was added in 2004 to offer additional office, nursery and classroom space. In addition, the property to the west of the church was purchased from Musel Ag for possible future growth.

From its inception, the spiritual family known as OBF has been well served by several gifted pastoral leaders. These servant leaders have all added significantly to the rich spiritual heritage that has come forth from Open Bible. Senior Pastors include—James Reed and Chris Byrd. Associate Pastors include—Mike Wiersema, Mike Harmon, Steve Harmon and Ben Johnson. When combined with lay leaders who have served as Elders and on the Board of Directors, OBF has had a long history of spiritual vitality and integrity. In 2011, OBF began a journey of planting a church in Davenport, Iowa. In 2013, the church became fully functional as an independent church under the leadership of Scott Schaefer.

At the heart of the ministry “staff” of Open Bible has always been the “lay leadership” team. Hundreds of individuals from every generation have served in a multitude of different volunteer capacities—making the ministry of the gospel available and meaningful to all who have called this local church home!