Our Church History


In 1935 two revival movements, Bible Standard Conference of Eugene, and Open Bible Evangelistic Association of Des Moines, Iowa, merged to become Open Bible Standard Churches. With links extending to the historic 1906 Azusa Street Revival, Open Bible is an evangelistic, Pentecostal movement, with a passion for the Holy Spirit.


Our present church body is the fruit of two works of God in the Clear Lake area in the late 1930's and early 1940's. The first work was led by Chauncey and Alice Merwin. Under his leadership, in the late 1930's, a series of evangelistic meetings were held giving the church a start. Following the meetings, church was held in various places including the Merwin's home. The church purchased its first property at 2nd Ave. and 10th Street, Clear Lake, Iowa, with the first service being held there March 28, 1944. The church was called Bethel Chapel. It met there for 6 years until they built a new structure at 609 South 8th Street. They moved into it in 1950.

The second work of God that our church is a fruit of started in the mid 1940's by Evelyn Elefson, who was part of the Open Bible Standard Churches. It was located on East Main in Clear Lake, Iowa. God would use this work for several years and later merge it with Bethel Chapel on South 8th Street.

After Bethel Chapel and the Open Bible church on Main Street merged, the people voted to be an official Open Bible Church in the spring of 1954. It continues to be called the Open Bible Church to this day. In 2015 the church purchased another building and for the last year has been in the remodeling stage. July 31, 2016 is the first service in our new building at 509 S 17th Street in Clear Lake.

Since 1954, the church has had 8 pastors:

54 - 55 T.D. and Mable Russell

55 - 59 Robert and Janet Newburg

59 - 65 Danny and Melva Miller

65 - 67 Dean and Carol Benton

67 - 71 Kenneth and Helen Ross

71 - 76 Harlan and Arina Chloe Crouch

76 - 88 John and Rosie VanDenBerg

89 - Present Will and Joyce Hunsaker