In 2001, Gwen and Charles Matthews began a Bible study in their home here in San Diego. Shortly after launching the Bible study, the number of Bible study attendees began to grow. The Bible study quickly doubled, and then tripled in size!
The word got out about the awesome “Word-based” Bible study that was also interactive; here people could participate in the Bible study. They could learn and share their views in a friendly environment. Soon there were visitors, which included occasional visitors from China, Africa and Japan. People wanted to experience what God was doing with the small Bible study in the Matthews’
After much prayer and instruction, Gwen and Charles finally answered the call to pastor. The late Dr. Loretta A. Gonzales of Triple A Ministries ordained them and released them to pastor. They held their first service on Resurrection Sunday, March 31, 2002. The first worship service was held at their home with approximately 25 people in attendance. That very same Resurrection Sunday, Pastors Charles and Gwen Matthews performed our very first christening and welcomed their first “official” members to the “unofficial” church.
There was no turning back from that point! At the next Sunday service, to the congregations’ delight, our Pastors shared the name God had given them for our church, “Open Door Family Worship Center.”Our foundational scripture for the God-given name: …I was a stranger and you invited me in… Matthew 25:35.
Open Door Family Worship Center continued to grow and flourish at the pastor’s home. The house services were filled with the Spirit of the Lord and an intimacy that cannot be put into words. As more and more people joined the Open Door family, the pastor’s home could no longer hold the congregation!
On Sunday, May 2, 2004 we moved in to our second location in Lemon Grove, CA. After four years, the building could no longer hold the growing congregation. By faith, the pastors again began looking for a home to house the Open Door Family.
March 4, 2009 Open Door Family Worship Center moved to 4646 Mission Gorge Place San Diego, CA. Under our pastor’s extraordinary vision and leadership, the Open Door Family Worship Center has birthed a school that trains in the prophetic and character of lifestyle named “Eagle Eye”, a Saturday training school called the “International Institute for Spiritual Development (IISD)”, and there are other projects in the developmental stages. God is truly blessing and moving in our ministry! Open Door Family Worship Center purposes to actively pursue the Father in order to continue to be one of the places where He dwells!
The services in the early days are as awesome as they are now. The intensity of worship and God’s glory has built over the years; people always come by to be refreshed by the “forward-moving” voice of our Shepherds combined with strategic, Bible-founded principled living. Come join us at the “Open Door Experience”; we are filled with joy and the love of our Father; come to the Door- it is Open and we will love on you!
The Trailblazer: Dr. G
Gwen Matthews has a powerful anointing and is a trailblazer for Jesus! Her ministry depicts a life poured out as she endeavors to follow the model of Apostle Paul by offering herself as a drink offering to all who are thirsty. Her vision is to instill values of spiritual growth, character development, Christian education, and hard work, as well as community involvement and leadership wherever she goes. These values carry over to her church family, Open Door Family Worship Center, where she pastors with her husband Charles Matthews. Gwen is a wife, mother, counselor, motivator, teacher, professor, prophetess, and pastor to name a few of the many roles she fulfills.
Gwen lives on purpose and encourages others to do the same by prophetically confirming their God-given purpose and mentoring disciples at the International Institute for Spiritual Development.
She is a graduate of Booker T. Crenshaw Christian Leadership University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and a Master of Arts in Theology, with an emphasis in Pastoral Counseling. Gwen recently received an honorary doctoral degree at Next Dimension University in Divinity and Christian Education. Further academic accomplishments include teaching as a college professor at Victory School of Biblical Studies.
Gwen is called to the nations and is the founder of SISTERS International. SISTERS is a non-profit organization comprised of Servants Interceding, Sacrificing, Teaching, and Effectively Reconciling Sisters. The vision of SISTERS International is to develop community leaders and bring restoration and healing to women of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Gwen is a highly sought after public speaker nationwide, and commenced international ministry in 2012 when she traveled to Indonesia with a team from Morris Cerullo World Evangelism Ministries. Her heart desire is to carry the vision of SISTERS to other countries.
Gwen is gifted in music and performing arts and has made an impact over the years. She is an artist with Making a Necessary Difference at the End (MANDATE) Records. Gwen is a contributing artist on the Now or Never compilation CD, featuring her hit So in Love that moved up the gospel radio bulletins. She also contributed to When the City Sings as a songwriter, showcasing her original song during the live recording. Gwen impacted radio audiences in San Diego, CA as the host of Good Nuz that aired on KURS 1040 AM Gospel Radio. She is also gifted theatrically and offers the Word of God and worship from a non-traditional perspective known as “The Experience.”
The Servant Leader: Pastor Charles
Pastor Charles Matthews is a family man, married to the love of his life, Pastor and Prophetess Gwendolyn Matthews for 27 years. Together, they raised three gifted and god-fearing children that are also in ministry. Pastor Charles Matthews is a man of integrity and believes strongly in the family unit. He mentors men, teaching them to become the priest, protector, and provider of their household.
Pastor Charles Matthews has an apostolic calling and powerful anointing on his life. He pursues the vision of Open Door Family Worship Center, where he pastors with his wife, with diligence: to teach, equip, train, and release others into ministry. Pastor Matthews moves in compassion to reach the lost and promotes the love of God as the foundation upon which the church must be built. He is gifted and anointed in evangelism, teaching, and church administration. Pastor Matthews formerly served in ministry as a praise and worship leader. He brings this gift and anointing to Open Door Family Worship Center where the goal is to have an “all-out” worship experience during Sunday services.
Pastor Charles Matthews is a servant leader in the community. He serves as a community organizer and advocates in the capacity of President at San Diego Area Congregations for Change. He promotes social justice in the community through this organization, in accordance with biblical principles in Isaiah 58 and Matthew 25. God has given him the vision to change the world in this manner one person at a time. Pastor Matthews is recognized and respected by many as a community father. Some of his community accomplishments include the following: marriage conferences; men’s ministry; fundraisers for needy families; hospital visitations; food, clothing and blanket drives; street ministry; prison ministry; and, advocating for public school improvements.
Our Vision & Mission
Reach And Influence People Worldwide Through Witnessing, Preaching And Living Exemplary Lives That Would Direct Them To Jesus Christ.
Teach And Nourish, Through The Word Of God, Anyone Desiring To Grow And Attain Full Maturity In The Christian Faith.
Release The People In This Ministry To Go Forth Into The World In Order To Reach And Influence The Lives Of Others.
To See A World Of People Whose Lives Have Been Transformed To Live Godly Lifestyles Through On-going Evangelistic And Outreach Events. Also To Empower Individuals Through Biblical Training And Education To Enhance Personal And Interpersonal Development And Expand The Training And Education In Order To Reach Our Communities And Our Nation.
Open Door Is A Family Church That Endeavors To Express Love That Promotes The Healing And Restoration Of Lives In Accordance With The Word Of God.
Statement Of Faith
It Is Our Belief That God The Father, God The Son And God The Holy Spirit Each Have A Unique And Individual Function But Are United As One In Purpose And Form A Tri-unity, Three United As One, Which Is The Trinity.
We Acknowledge That The Father, Jehovah God, Loved Us So, That He Sent His Son Jesus To Die For Our Sins. After Jesus Died, He Was Raised From The Dead And Sent Us Another Comforter, The Holy Spirit.
We Believe In The Gifts And Operation Of The Holy Spirit As Well As Water Baptism, Which Is An Outward Demonstration Of An Inward Change, As A Symbol Of Dedication.
We Acknowledge That Our Salvation And Only Hope For Eternal Life Is A Gift From God The Father By His Grace Through Faith In His Son Jesus Christ.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,