Our History

The roots of our congregation began in 1865, when we were organized as a Sunday School Class in Philadelphia, PA. In 1868, the class was formally recognized as the Central North Broad Street Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of Broad and Green Streets. In 1930, Dr. Merril T. MacPherson came to pastor Central North Broad Street Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Merril and Ruth MacPherson
In 1936, Dr. MacPherson and some of the congregation were locked out of a church prayer meeting for placing God’s Word above the opinions of man. This led to the decision to reform the congregation as an independent church. As Dr. MacPherson preached from Revelation 3:7-13, all agreed on a new church name, Church of the Open Door.

Church of the Open Door’s first official building at 5455 Old York Road was completed on Thanksgiving Day, 1940.

In 1966, the congregation voted to relocate Church of the Open Door to Fort Washington, PA and purchased 10 1/2 acres of land. Additionally, in 1971 ground was broken for the Open Door Estates, currently known as Acts Retirement-Life Communities, Inc. In 1975, Open Door Christian Academy, a K–8th grade school, was founded.