Lutheran Church of the Open Bible

Our Beginning

In 1910, newly ordained E. Edgar Guenther was assigned to start a school in the East Fork area of the Fort Apache reservation. Arriving in 1911, he worked faithfully, but noticed that the center of reservation activity was quickly moving away from Ft. Apache to the new community of Whiteriver.


With permission he started holding services there.

In 1918, something happened that would change the course of his work.  During a flu epidemic, Missionary Guenther and his wife, Minnie, rode to the camps to help.  Taking rendered skunk oil, Epson salts, tar paper and gallons of soup, they attempted to treat flu victims as best they could.

One day they found Chief Alchesay in a remote camp, close to death.  The Lord spared his life, and Missionary Guenther kept returning to give him the Words of life from the Bible.


It was the beginning of a close friendship that led to Missionary Guenther being adopted as a blood member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.


In 1919 the Guenther's moved to Whiteriver permanently, eventually living in a home they ordered from the Montgomery Ward catalog.  In 1922 the church they were building next door with their members was completed.  On the day of the dedication of the Church of the Open Bible, Alchesay himself turned the key, marched to the front of the church and was baptized together with 100 members of his Tribe.

The church stands to this day, still filled with members of the White Mountain Apache Tribe coming to hear the Bible opened and the Word of God preached.

Open Bible's Calendar

Travel on Hwy 73 straight into Whiteriver, about the middle of downtown, look for 18 W Oak St. 


Mailing Address:

Lutheran Church of the Open Bible

Box 519

Whiteriver, AZ 85941-0519



Worship: 9:30 AM Sundays
Sunday School: Call Pastor
Recovery Ministry: 5:30 - 7:00 pm Fridays 
Adult Bible Instruction: as requested
Youth Confirmation Instruction: as requested

Contact  Pastor

Pastor Kirk Massey, Jr. 

Evangelist Leonard Fall


Open Bible's is marked:

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Pastor Dan Rautenberg

Native American Mission

Field Coordinator

Apache  Christian Training School  (ACTS) Director