People do not come to Gospel church 'The Door', because they prefer this church over another one 'because they like this one better than another one'. They come because they have had an encounter with Jesus Himself and genuinely experience God's strength in their lives. Likewise, ‘The Door’ still lays hold of the vision of the Great Commission to bring the Gospel by discipleship, outreach, music and drama plays, and sending out couples into the mission field.
We’d like to share you our history…
How it all got started in the US...
In 1970, Pastor Wayman Mitchell took over a small church in Prescott (AZ, USA). This church went through a lot of problems, but in spite of that, the church grew out to more than 1,600 churches worldwide.
This revival started during the hippie movement; rebellious youngsters who went against everything that had anything to do with materialism and authority. Newspapers and magazines wrote about a great Christian revival.
These 'Jesus People' told everybody that Jesus had changed their hearts and that He had set them free from drug addiction, emptiness and pointlessness. 'Time Magazine' states: "Jesus abundantly lives in the radical spiritual fire of a growing number of young Americans… This is their message: the Bible is true, miracles are happening" (June 12, 1971).
The first churches
in Europe were founded out of this revival. Here also, people found out that
there is more than ancient (dead) religion and tradition. People reacted and
are still reacting to the many testimonies of others who changed radically
when they made a choice, not for a church, but for Jesus Christ.
On how it came to Holland...
The open door to the Netherlands came in 1978 by a small bible study group in Steenwijk. They were about 30 and they were in search for a pastor.
One of the disciples was in charge that time. Pastor Mitchell supported him in building the church and regularly took him over to the semiannual bible conferences in Prescott, AZ. The vision of the Christian Fellowship Ministries was planted into the Dutch fellowship. The church moved to Zwolle and began to grow there.
Eventually, this church proved to be strong enough to send men out to other cities. The Evangelical Church The Door took responsibility for organizing a semiannual bible conference as well.
The CFM-churches hence carry the name ‘Evangelical Church The Door’.
At this moment,
‘The Door’ has about 50 churches in Holland. The Dutch Fellowship
has 23 churches abroad, in South Africa, China, Peru, Surinam, Curacao, Bonaire,
Portugal, Czech Republic, India, Poland, Aruba and Rwanda.
And on how it landed in Maastricht...
In 1991, Paul Rinsma went to Maastricht out of the Zwolle church with the vision to bring the Gospel to our city. The Roman Catholic church has been present in Maastricht for centuries, but it came out that few people really know who Jesus is and what He personally (!) could be for them.
Jesus came with the message to deliver people from sin, restore relationships, renew our lives, bring about healing of diseases and most of all to bring us into a personal relationship with God Himself. That is what the Gospel is all about.
The first church services started at the Hondstraat in an attic room. It moved many times to about 9 different locations in our existence.
Pastor Eric Naus became pastor of our congregation in 1998. The group of believers has grown from a bunch of students to some enthusiastic couples. We then had a band called ‘Moses Creeble’ (est. 1994) which played grunge rock music. The enthusiasm made the church to grow. God healed the sick and other sorrowful people. Some beautiful marriages followed. We moved to the Emile Wesly School at the Browersweg.
After a couple of years, Eric Naus took over the Den Bosch church. Pastor Frans Smits took his place, it was 1992. Pastor Smits - formerly known as a famous professional rock player - formed a band with our rockers: ‘The Jesus Freaks’. We gave many concerts in our homeland and abroad. The songs that contained powerful messages of the Gospel touched many personally, various people got saved as a result. We moved twice this times owing to the church growth.
After seven years Pastor Smits could move further in his calling and went to Asia. Pastor Herman Leusink took over the church for 4 years and did a powerful work. They have taken up the challenge to plant a new church in the middle region of the Netherlands. In the meantime, pastor Peter Gooijer and his wife Sharesca have come to Maastricht, an experienced pastor with vision.
We are looking
forward to the future God has in mind for us. We are convinced we’ll
plant new churches out of our church in Maastricht; notably in Belgium, Germany,
France, Luxembourg and on other continents.