Ontario Church Flings Open Historical Doors


Athens (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church invited the public into its historical building in May as part of a province-wide historical program called Doors Open.

In addition to history and architecture, the Athens congregation went beyond the building to remind visitors that church is about people worshiping God.

As a visitor looks at the original 1850s windows, feels the hand-hewn stone, or rings the historic bell, questions often arise about the church today.

Jannie Feenstra, a longtime member of Athens CRC, believes that literally having the doors open to visitors can help educate people about church and faith. One visitor wanted to know what the wooden attachments with circular holes fastened to the backs of the pews were, which initiated a conversation about communion. Others have expressed surprise that children attend church.

Members of Athens CRC hope that by opening doors, hearts will also be opened.