Elder LaFleur and Sister Jean hosted the first Open House in their home in 1979 and invited all of the church congregation. Everyone was excited, especially the children and young people–they knew when the Elder was hosting something, there would be fun involved, and Sister Jean would have delicious food prepared.
Elder and Sister Jean wanted a way to gather the people of God and connect with friends and community in a relaxed atmosphere where everyone could have something good to eat and sit around sharing in coffee and desserts as they visited. They set a time that guests could pop in and out through the evening.
As the congregation grew and the ‘float in and out through the evening’ idea never caught on, Elder moved Open House to the Church dining room, where it is still hosted today. Wherever God’s people gather—is Home.
The Open House event highlights Elder and Sister Jean’s generosity, love, and compassion for God’s people. With the holiday season comes stresses of trips to the mall, searching for parking spaces, and preparing for big dinners. For those seeking a reprieve from the hustle and bustle, Open House rekindles the true spirit of fellowship and good times together in Christ.
For almost 40 years, Sister Jean has shopped for presents all through the year for Open House so that every adult and child could pick a special gift before they leave. Each present is heartfelt, thoughtful, and selected with special care.
Elder was always a child at heart and loved the Christmas season. He believed its joy, cheer, and giving should infiltrate all 365 days of the year.
Near the end of an Open House, as the food and fellowship winded down, adults had their cameras ready, and some, sipping a cup of coffee, got closer to the living room area for the most unforgettable part of the evening.
Elder always made Open House night magical and full of laughter for children. His heart was as big as heaven and he wanted everyone, most especially every child, to have a happy Christmas. Nothing was more joyful than seeing his face when all the kids gathered round on the red carpet with him and Sister Jean for the highlight of the evening. The excited chatter, smiling faces, and fun would spread among all the kids and usually involved a round of Jingle Bells, prank gifts, funny stories, candy canes, and silly string.
These holiday traditions that came to life at Open House are wonderful memories that generations from The Church at Onslow will always cherish.
As a special treat his year, Open House will culminate with gathering around the red carpet for some live music. Enjoy hot chocolate or coffee and sing along as the students, young people, and alumni of Onslow Christian Academy are featured in a brief musical performance near the end.
You’re invited to experience The Church at Onslow’s Open House in the true spirit of Christ and unity among family and friends ❤️
See you there!