On Sunday, September 29, 2019, San Jose Open Bible Church in San Jose, California, celebrated its 75th anniversary!
More than 200 people attended the celebration service, including five people who have been with the church since the early ’60s. Main speakers for the event were Pacific Region Executive Director Gary Emery, Northern California District Superintendent Jim Pluimer, and current lead pastor, Duane Sayre. Gary encouraged the congregation by praising its effectiveness in changing its culture. Jim challenged the church to keep dreaming and to pursue those dreams.
The congregation was also treated to video greetings from Dr. Don Bryan, former regional superintendent; Sean Dunn, CEO of Groundwire Ministries and one of the church’s former youth pastors; Dr. Tim Brown, CEO of Growing Healthy Churches, who has had a profound effect on the church’s health; and Randall Bach, president of Open Bible Churches.
Duane Sayre reflected on the history of the church, which was founded in 1942 by A. C. Wegner and then brought into Open Bible in 1944. Since that time it has had only five pastors: Bill and Carol Johnson, Jack Card, Harvey and Alice Klapstein, Joe and Nancy Pluimer, and Duane and Rachel Sayre, who have pastored the church for the past 25 years.
Duane said, “It was a great day of celebration as well as vision casting. As we celebrate our past and present, we humbly look to our future, knowing that everything we have faced has prepared us for where we are going. Our future is in God’s hands and our desire is to continue to fulfill His purpose for our church in San Jose for another 75 years or until His coming.”
San Jose Open Bible is currently actively serving their community in the public schools, hosting a Kid’s Club in the elementary school and coaching and mentoring in the local middle and high school. Their ministry called “Reach” has given well over five million dollars of donated items and goods back into the community, supporting many non-profits, local schools, homeless shelters, and Open Bible missionaries.