In October, 1853, a small group of people in the AI community were led by the Holy Spirit to organize a Missionary Baptist Church. Their first meeting for the purpose of organization was held in an old log school building at Cross Roads (later called AI). There were eight charter members. The first pastor was Elder Oakley, and the first ordained deacons were J. J. Rogers and J. W. Hamlett. After much discussion about the name of the church, it was suggested that since the church at Antioch was a church of power and they were first called Christians there, that this organization also be called Antioch. (Acts 11:26)
In 1857, this small organization of devout Christians realized the importance of a church home; therefore, plans were made for the erection of a place of worship. A plot of ground upon which to build was given by J. J. Rogers, and the contractor agreed to complete the building by Spring, 1858. The current Church Building still sits on that very spot 150 years later.
What We Believe…Our Church Covenant
“Having been led, as we believe, by the spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, having entered into a covenant with God through the blood of Jesus Christ, we now covenant with one another.
We covenant that the relationships of the members of this church will be founded in love, acceptance, and forgiveness. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren”, and because of this love we will accept each other, “forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven us.” In the spirit of true Christian forgiveness we will release one another from our own personal judgments.
We covenant as individual members of the body of Christ to strive to live out the early confession of the church that, “Jesus is Lord.” We pledge as individual members of the body of Christ to seek out the place in the body wherein we should serve, to seek the presence of God by personal prayer, Bible study, giving of time and money and self to seek God with our whole heart.
We covenant that Christ will be the center of our home and that in our home “a faithful love exist between husband and wife, and that our children” will be loved, cared for, and brought up in the “training and admonition of the Lord.”
We covenant that as the body of Christ we will join together to worship God in “spirit and truth”, which we will faithfully proclaim God’s work and witness to how He has touched our lives, that we will meet the needs of people in Jesus name whether by our direct physical involvement, prayer involvement, or financial involvement. That we will educate believers in the Word of God, and that we will build the fellowship of the church.
We covenant that as we go out into the world that we will seeks to touch those in the world as if we were touching the body of our Lord Jesus, Himself. Jesus touched us as His children at the points of need in our lives and we covenant to touch people at their points of need. We covenant that all people have the right to receive the love of Christ and motivated by His love we will strive to be an agent of healing to their point of brokenness. Realizing that we live in a complex and difficult age we will seek to minister to those broken by a lack of a right relationship with God, those broken by painful family relationships, those hurt by substance abuse, those whose character has been assaulted, those who live in fear, those who mental and emotional conditions cause them to live in a world of confusion, and all others who simply need to be loved by this covenant community and Christ.
We, therefore, covenant with God and one another that we shall hear His voice and obey Him for we serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Casting a Vision
As a body of believers we have come to understand the reality that King Solomon wrote of in the proverbs when he said, “where man has no vision, man perishes.” Understanding that this is a fundamental truth to any undertaking in life, we have set out on a journey of prayer to seek that vision for our church body- one that would utilize the gifts and talents that our creator has endowed us with as believers. In short we understand that a church which is carrying out many different programs and activities will not be as successful as it could be unless the people realize what they are trying to achieve in and through those undertakings. Without a desired goal which can be held up as a measuring rod to the results, people often work themselves into “burn-out” because there is a lack of visible results. Understanding that the number one function of the church is to Glorify GOD, we are seeking to do just that by filtering all of our programs, activities, sermons, and outreach through a vision. In this process we pray that we will all be given clear ideas and direction on how to better serve the community, as well as our world at large as we carry out this vision.
Here at Antioch we have adopted the vision statement, “Growing the Christian Family at Home and Abroad”, as a way to help us focus on what we as a church are called to do. This vision statement is multi-faceted as is our ministry, first we as a church desire to reach out into our community and bring all of those we come in contact with to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and pray that the Spirit then bring them into the Christian Family. Secondly, our desire is to grow the individual families within the church itself, by teaching and preaching without compromise, the fundamental truths of scripture as they apply to individual lives and the institution of family. Finally we have a strong compulsion to support as well as send out foreign missionaries who will carry out the first two facets of the vision (mentioned above) all over God’s beautiful Earth, and thereby grow the Christian family abroad. Antioch currently supports Foreign Missions through our offerings and prayer support, as well as the fact that we currently have 13 permanent foreign missionaries abroad, and send out short term missionaries each year. We ask that you prayerfully consider joining us in prayer for our local church as well as the church Universal- and that you join us anytime that you are able as we continue to grow; warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through ministries, and larger (God-willing) through personal evangelism.