Meet the Elders...

Open Door is an Elder-led church.  That means that the Elders, and not the Pastor, make the decisions on the overall direction of the body and ministries.  Our Pastors lead us in teaching, equipping and supporting the vision and values of Open Door.

  • Sam Allen

    Sam Allen has been married to his beautiful wife, Lilah for 14 years, and they are the proud parents of 4 young kids, ages 7 to newborn!  Lilah hails from Alabama and Sam is from Texas.  Sam serves vocationally as an Electronic Warfare Officer on the B-52  and has been in the Air Force for 14 years.  Lilah also served as an AF officer for 6 years.  In 2015, Sam transitioned to the Reserves as Sam surrendered to a pastoral call to ministry and has been working on a degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.  The Allens originally came to Open Door in 2006 and they’ve been a vibrant part of the youth and young families ministries the entire time.  The Allens are outspoken New England Patriots fans.

  • Mike Fidler (Pastor)

    Pastor Mike Fidler and his wife, Lori, were high school sweethearts and are originally from Texas.  They’ve been married for 24 years and they have 4 kids, ages 10-16.  Lori is a certified teacher and spent 20+ years in vocational Childrens’ and Youth ministry before they came to Open Door in 2005.  Mike spent 6 years in the Air Force and another 10 years in medical and staffing sales and management.  Mike left for seminary in 2011 and holds a degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.  In addition to preaching and teaching, Mike oversees our family ministries, small groups, and outreach/assimilation efforts.  Mike is crazy about double stuff Oreos while Lori is more of a snickerdoodle gal.

  • Rich Gideons

    Rich and Gena Gideons have been members of Open Door since 2000. Rich is retired from the Air Force and is currently working as a civilian for the Air Force, forecasting and teaching weather. They have 2 grown children: Angela who serves with the Open Door Youth, and Edwin who is in the Air Force in NC. Rich leads a weekly Bible study for men and works with the Helping Hands Plus ministry.  They both help lead a Boot Camp that meets a couple times weekly.  

  • Kurt Nixon

    Kurt Nixon grew up in the neighborhood surrounding ODBC and began attending as a young boy with his family. It has been woven throughout his life story ever since. He now gets the blessing of sharing this wonderful church with his wife Caroline and 5 kids, ages 12-5. Over the 30+ years of being part of the ODBC family he has served in many different positions and roles. Most of those different roles fall into one of his primary areas of gifting: teaching, leading, prayer, and planning. When not serving at church or spending time with his kids, he owns and runs a small engineering and surveying firm. He has engineering degrees from Louisiana Tech and Villanova University. He also loves chocolate chip cookies!

  • Joe Rondeau

    Joe Rondeau and his wife, Shirley, are from Massachusetts and New York originally, but were stationed at Barksdale AFB in the mid-60s.  They started attending Open Door in 1966 just after they were married.  After serving in the AF, Joe taught at Airline High School and later at Bossier Parish Community College, where he retired from in 2002.  Shirley raised two great kids, Cathy and Chris.  Cathy is one of Open Door’s missionaries and has lived and served in Guatemala for many years.  Chris teaches at BPCC and is our ‘IT Guy’.  Joe and Shirley have been active in almost every aspect of ministry at Open Door, and currently serve on the Missions Team, as small group leaders, and have been an integral part of guiding and directing our Camp ministry for 30+ years. 

  • John Southwell

    John Southwell is originally from Texas and his wife Penny is from Michigan.  They joined the Open Door family in 2010 and they’ve been married for 30 years.  They have two grown kids in the local area and three grandkids.  John retired from the Air Force and is currently employed as an accountant with the U.S Air Force. Penny is a Mortgage loan specialist and is active as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Foster children.  John teaches on Sunday Morning and is a Life Group Leader. Penny has a huge heart for kids and serves in the ARK.  John has a heart for evangelism and teaching, loves most sports, and especially loves the Texas Longhorns.

  • Rob Thomson

    Robert and his wife Susan have been married over 28 years and have two grown daughters, Hannah and Rachel.  They started coming to Open Door in 1996.  Susan worked as an Occupational Therapist before having children and has been working with the Youth and Children's ministry at Open Door for over 15 years.  She is also now employed at the Ark-La-Tex Crisis Pregnancy Center.  Rob is retired from the Air Force and followed on as a Department of Defense civil servant.  He is a gifted teacher and leads a small group, as well as running the sound booth as part of the Worship team.

  • Gary Weaber (Pastor)

    Pastor Gary Weaber and his wonderful wife, Chris, are originally from West Virginia and Delaware.  Gary served as a corporate accountant before surrendering to the call to ministry in his early 20s.  Gary attended Dallas Theological Seminary and came to Open Door directly from there in 1984, and followed that with a counseling degree and Doctor of Ministry.  Here, they’ve raised their 4 kids who are now all grown and, much to their disappointment, have 12 grandkids who don’t live anywhere nearby!  Gary has a heart for the lost and a burning desire to help people know Jesus and practically live for Him daily.  He is especially gifted in preaching, counseling and teaching, and serves as our Lead Pastor.  Chris is a gifted counselor and teacher, and currently leads multiple small groups.