Pastor Jeff Smith
I first came to Akron in 1991 to the University of Akron. While I had grown up in the church and was a believer, serving Christ was not on my mind. That would all change when I started going to a Bible Study and then serving in a ministry that is now Urban Vision. I was convicted that I was living just for my own desires and not even asking God what He would want for my life. As I did this, my heart was drawn to study God’s Word more and share it with others. I met my wife Lee Ann while serving at a Bible club and we had a teen Bible study in our apartment on the weekends.
During these years I transferred from Akron University to Malone University so that I could study the Bible. One class that I took at Malone was on missions and my heart was moved to think of many that had little chance to hear that Jesus loved them and gave His life for them. This eventually led to my wife and I going and serving in the country of Turkey for eight years. My hearts desire is still that all people might know the love of Christ and have a chance to trust in His sacrifice for their sins.
After coming back from Turkey I started working at Urban Vision. I worked with the kids and also the teens. I started what is known as the teen discipleship program because I believed that the teens of our neighborhood could make a great impact in our community. I am so proud of so many of them because they have become valuable servants that serve faithfully in reaching out to our community and are a great example of people from different nations coming together because of their faith in Christ! I desired to see this group come together as a local church that would reach out to our neighborhood.
This led to the formation of North Side Open Door Church in September of 2014. Since that time I have been the pastor of the church and I long to see us show the love of Christ to all people in our neighborhood. I believe this can only happen by each person growing in Christ and using their gifts to share Christ’s love with all those around us. I love to see people of different cultures represent the unifying power of the Gospel as we come together and worship.