Main fundraiser photo

Complete the Open House

Tax deductible
In 2021 our young church found ourselves without a place to meet. Having been a “portable church” since our inception we set up in rented rooms and hired venues. But with lingering restrictions and the permanent closure of previously available spaces, we found ourselves with no place simply to get together.

However, as we faced the problem we also saw the potential that perhaps this was the moment for us to acquire a space of our own, a place to call home.

We considered what that could look like and found ourselves dreaming of something more than a “Sunday church” since most church buildings sit empty all week long. We dreamed of an environment that would be home for our church and also open to the community seven days a week. A space designed around hospitality, where neighbors could gather without the barriers often associated with a church in order to form friendships and develop a sense of community. We called it the “Open House”.

Although we lacked the needed funds, we had a vision and faith in our hearts that if God was with us anything was possible. From that time, the progress has been nothing short of incredible. We have purchased the building, secured adequate parking, and are well into renovations with plans to complete it in the late spring of 2023.

The Open House is a nonprofit neighborhood social hall and cafe opening in Orlando, FL.

Our inspiration is drawn from the days when neighborhood hangouts and corner cafes were at the heart of a community.

The former Lee Road Tire Center building at 1325 Lee Road, Orlando, will be transformed into the Open House which will include:
  • Oh Hey Cafe - a non-profit neighborhood cafe open daily to serve some of Orlando’s best coffee and pastries from Lineage Roasting.
  • The Social Hall - a flexible space for small gatherings with cafe seating.
  • The Gathering Hall - a large event space for 150 people. Perfect for family reunions, small business events, neighborhood associations, church services, or weddings.
  • The Front Porch - the roll-up doors of the former tire center spill onto a wide front porch enclosed with breeze block. A great place to meet with friends or catch a bit of sunshine.
  • The Backyard - A 9,000 sq ft lawn fenced for children to play, it is perfect for picnics, neighborhood parties, food trucks, and outdoor events.
  • Kids Playroom - A custom indoor playground will keep the kiddos occupied while parents enjoy a moment together with friends.
  • Kids Rooms - Three flexible kids' rooms will host children's programs in a fun and safe environment.

Although we have purchased the building and made tremendous progress towards renovations, due to inflation we are currently in need of $150,000 to complete construction and receive our certificate of occupancy.

This will allow us to open our doors, launch Oh Hey Cafe, and begin serving our neighbors.

Would you consider donating to this project? Whether a few dollars or thousands, any amount contributed will be a great help toward this important work.

All donations are tax-deductible and will help to keep the project on schedule for completion in late spring 2023.

Located on a major thoroughfare bordering Winter Park and College Park, we find ourselves in a convenient but often overlooked area of Lee Road between I-4 and Edgewater Drive. Once a thriving and desirable community, in recent decades it has become a neighborhood in need and designated as an “opportunity zone”.

The vision for the Open House is to become a catalyst for community improvement by serving our neighbors and by developing the “social capital” of the Lee Road district.

(Photos from our recent community clean-up day.)

Our ultimate inspiration comes from the biblical observation that “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18) and from Jesus’ instruction to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mk 12:31). However, modern psychological and sociological studies have only reinforced the essential need of strong communities for human flourishing.

A recent book entitled The Good Life, by Robert Waldinger, MD, and Marc Schulz, Ph.D., reports the findings of the world’s longest study on happiness (the Harvard Study of Adult Development), by asking the question “what makes for a happy life”. They discovered that the single greatest determinant of long-term happiness is good relationships, concluding that: “A good life is built with good relationships.”

In his seminal work Bowling Alone, Harvard professor Robert Putnam observed the decline of civic and social life in America and the need for “social capital”, the valuable networks of relationships that cause society to function effectively. For example, many people obtain employment through loosely connected relationships.

Thank you for considering contributing toward this project and the impact it will make in the community. We can't wait to see you at the Open House!

With thanks,
the One Church family



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Justin Johnson
Orlando, FL
One Church USA Inc

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