We are deeply committed to helping one another grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ and sharing His Good News; the location where that happens doesn’t matter. The “church” is only a building.
We’ve had gatherings inside a friend’s borrowed barn, an old elementary school, or just a one-on-one conversation in a pasture, or an interstate highway rest stop.
Frank Slaughter, Calvin Jones, and Doug Longaker way back in the day: taking the gospel to the people through music, this time on a stage-trailer at a rodeo.
The ministry efforts of Open Range have included outreach events like rodeos, horse shows, clinics, craft and tack sales, concerts, trail rides, and motorcycle rallies.
Open Range actually started as a “wandering” music ministry around 2006, simply spreading the gospel first hand. Often times, though, members of the worship band outnumbered those listening to the message!
The road was long and persistence was required (along with rain ponchos), but the unique opportunities, love and fellowship of the participants helped plant seeds in the hearts and minds of those they met. Many sought us out and followed from location to location.
Many churches grow larger and eventually branch out to form a “church plant” in an additional location. But the Open Range process went differently, we think reflecting God’s unique vision for THIS ministry!
Kind of “upside down” in a way, one of our founding pastors, Dave Putthoff, has said about the beginning of Open Range: “we planted the gospel – and then a church grew up.”
The name we chose for our ministry, “Open Range Fellowship”, appealed to us because of the idea that on the open range there were no fences or barriers, and we saw broad opportunities for individual salvations and growth in the Word, and in our case, nothing to hinder the work of the Lord in the areas we were eager to serve.
“Don’t fence us in,” akin to an old western song, was another old-West philosophy that spurred us on as well, because then and now we are a community that helps those who feel fenced in -or out- find the open gate that leads them home to the Lord.
Listen in to an unscripted, 35-minute pastors’ discussion between our two founders, about the early years of the ministry as a stand-alone, worship-music team that eventually launched as Open Range with an intent and mission for outreach. At the end hear an invitation to join us – not just at Open Range but as followers of Christ!
Click the “arrow” icon to start the audio player:
Based on the Great Commission
“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18-20
Open Range is non-denominational, but that doesn’t mean we’re out here on our own. ORF is administered and accountable specifically through the Heartland Region of Great Commission. One of our region’s other websites is gcmovements.com.
God has great plans for Open Range Fellowship, and He has great plans for you!