Our Story

Everyone has a story. HerE's Ours.

Ours is a story of faith, perseverance, and generosity. Born out of the Great Depression, the Fort has a rich history and heritage, filled with godly men and women who have gone before us. These individuals are heroes of the faith. 

Named because of our proximity to historic Fort Des Moines and affiliation with Open Bible Churches, Fort Des Moines Church of the Open Bible was established in November, 1931 out of a tent revival sponsored by First Church of the Open Bible. Pastor John R. Richie had a vision to build a church on the city's southside but was in need of land. Hearing Richie's vision to build a church, a widow named Mary Schaff donated her apple orchard in honor of her late husband. Mary's incredible sacrifice infused a spirit of generosity into the DNA of the Fort. The original church building was replaced with a multi-purpose facility in 1993. Over the years, the Fort has continued to be known for its generosity, warmth, and genuine love for people. 

In 2005, the membership approved a change in leadership from a senior-pastor lead congregation to a leadership team. We recognize we are all in this together. It isn’t about one leader or one ministry; each one of us has a part to play in advancing the Gospel of the Kingdom. The Fort is the people who come together, utilizing the gifts God has created in them to take the Good News to a broken world. 

On November 1, 2021 we celebrated 90 years as a church. We might be 90 years old, but in many respects it feels like we're just getting started! 

We love helping people find God in their own stories.

God is always at work, shaping the stories of our lives, even when we don't necessarily see it. His ultimate goal is to draw us closer to His heart so we might reflect His glory. 

Our story, like yours, is ongoing, and the final chapters have yet to play out. Until Christ returns for his bride, we are committed to continuing our story with excellence, purpose, love, and a dedication to God's Word and fulfilling the Great Commission.