During the October 2015 International Appeal, at Prospect's 900 Apostolic Faith Hispanic Church in the Bronx, NY, Pastor Luisa Monsac led by the Holy Spirit presented “Seeds and Oil” to Pastor Andrés Mercedes as a representation of growth and expansion of God's work. This motivated the ministerial body to start a work in Maryland and another in Queens NY. During this campaign several souls received salvation. Among them was Sister Glenia Eusebio, who traveled on Sundays from Lebanon PA to the church in the Bronx, NY approximately 165 miles. This act of perseverance also externalized the prophecy of expansion given by Pastor Luisa Monsac.
Pastor Andrés Mercedes and the ministers saw fit to include Lebanon, PA in this vision of expansion. Pastor Eliseo Charleston testifies that in the first meeting held in Sister Glenia's home on December 26, 2015, that same day the Holy Spirit spoke to her spirit and firmly placed these words in her heart that until the day of today they resonate in his being. " Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one can shut," Revelation 2: 7-8 . This is how the name “Open Door” arises. The idea of the name was spoken to the other brothers who consented to the name "Open Door" with the aim of never forgetting the vision and revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Eliseo Charleston, who presides over the Lebanon, PA work by God's grace and mercy, notes that God began dealing with him a few months before opening the work. He believes that God's plan was in motion simultaneously, since before the campaign, God had instructed him to leave his current job, because it was time consuming. He worked 12 hours a day and as a minister, he did not have enough time to work on the construction site.
After a challenge that the Holy Spirit asked him, “Do you dare to throw yourself into the void and fully trust in Me? ". Pastor Charleston answered "YES" to the call. He was the sole provider for his family of three children and his unemployed wife, when he resigned from his 9-year job, a good salary and health insurance for the whole family. He jumped in faith and took a new 40-hour-a-week job and a lower salary. Soon he began to dedicate himself to work in Sunday school leadership. "I thought that this was the reason why the Lord had asked me to change jobs, since that ministry of study of the word was prospering." But, one day at the meeting of the official board of the church, of which he was still a member, Pastor Andrés Mercedes presented the triple project, a work that would begin in Maryland, one in Queens and another in Lebanon PA. Minister Aldo George along with Minister Ana Morrison were assigned to be in charge of the work in Queens. Minister Elvido Ortiz along with co-chair Máximo Mercedes were assigned to help in Maryland ”. And minister Eliseo Charleston who lived in Rahway NJ, was assigned to help in the Lebanon, Pennsylvania work because he resided near PA.
With certainty in his heart after the first meeting, and that the Holy Spirit spoke into his life, he immediately understood the real reason why God asked him to quit his job. God wanted to open this work in Lebanon and had chosen him to be in charge of it. The following week, on January 2, 2016, the first official service was held in the living room of Sister Glenia's home. Approximately 12 people attended: four of them residents of Lebanon, Pastor Andrés Mercedes who brought the message of the word, the Charleston family (today the Pastoral Family), Cristian Tapia, Scherley Rodriguez, Randy Rosario, and Miledis and Miguel Castillo. The Holy Spirit did not wait and confirmed what he had secretly spoken to Pastor Eliseo through the lips of Pastor Andrés Mercedes,"Behold, I have placed before you an open door which no one can close." In addition, the Holy Spirit pointed out that the minister Charleston should not be a manager who traveled only on weekends, he indicated: "the Shepherd must be where the sheep are." Shepherd Eliseo expresses that this idea was not really received with great joy by him and his family, since they saw Lebanon as a backward field, even the lights at night were dim. However, “8 months later we were in a truck with our belongings heading to Lebanon PA, thus leaving the city of many lights. We love Lebanon and all of our brothers and friends. We hardly even visited the city ”. Pastor Charleston expressed.
The trajectory has not always been easy, but everything is possible for those who believe, and this church has decided to believe. We don't claim to have achieved it all, we keep reaching forward. One of the goals of this church is to be able to buy our own temple, and we know that God who has been actively working on our behalf will help us ”. At first it was quite difficult, declares Pastor Charleston, as they lacked the clerical clerical experiences. Remember, that on January 16, 2016 they rented a place at 720 Jonestown Rd., And put up a sign announcing to the community the opening of the church, which at that time was called Iglesia Fe Apostólica, Inc. “I received a call from the governor of the city of Lebanon PA, where he literally told me that he had no right or authority to put a church in the city, since there were procedures and laws that we had ignored. I remember that we paid a lawyer to get us accepted by the city legally. Two years later we realized that we were not legally registered as a church in the state of Pennsylvania, so we proceeded to incorporate the church into the state, this prompted us to study everything related to church incorporation and administration. Thank God today we are legally located in the state and following the corresponding processes with the IRS ”. Pastor Elisha points out. Two years later we realized that we were not legally registered as a church in the state of Pennsylvania, so we proceeded to incorporate the church into the state, this prompted us to study everything related to church incorporation and administration. Thank God today we are legally located in the state and following the corresponding processes with the IRS ”. Pastor Elisha points out. Two years later we realized that we were not legally registered as a church in the state of Pennsylvania, so we proceeded to incorporate the church into the state, this prompted us to study everything related to church incorporation and administration. Thank God today we are legally located in the state and following the corresponding processes with the IRS ”. Pastor Elisha points out.
This did not stop the work of God, immediately God began to restore and save souls. The Castillo sisters reconciled to the Lord along with Brother Irvin Xavier at our second service, and a few months later we had our first water baptism. Sisters Miguelina and Mersy Castillo were baptized there, an act held at the Faith Apostolic Church in the Bronx NY, on March 26, 2016. A year later, God blessed the church with the birth of children, allowing it to make its first presentations as children: Amelia Aquino on May 28, 2017 and Samuel Eusebio on June 25, 2017.
Since then, the church, now called “Iglesia Puerta Abierta”, has always been working in the work of God: carrying out prayer and evangelization campaigns, studies of the word and offering opportunities to the saints with calls to different ministries to develop. We believe in and support the development of ministries in our church, which brings growth and blessing. We are a church full of brotherly love that recognizes that growth is progressive because God's work never stops.