The Antioch Mission began with the late Rev. Sidney Woodward in 1922. The mission effort started in the home of Bro. and Sis. Will Yates, where services were held for approximately nine months. On special occasions services were held in a tent on the corner of Jane and Speigle until a lot was purchased in 1924 on Ferguson Street, where tent services were then held for the next two years.
When Rev. Woodward moved from Lexington, the mission decided to become a church. The church was established on May 26, 1926 under the tent by a council called Rev. Alfred Harris, Pastor of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church. Rev. Moreland served as Moderator.
The church was organized from a membership of three Brothers, Bro. John Brown by letter from Nicholasville, KY., Brother Horace Rankins by letter from Houston Baptist Church; and Bro. Will Yates by relations of letter from Zion Baptist Church, which had been disbanded. After the organizational efforts, the first church meeting was held and three persons by letter, Sis. Julia Jenkins from Pricetown Baptist Church, Sis. Willie Mae Hardin and Sis. Mattie Yates from Macedonia Baptist Church, Keene, KY. At this time the church’s given name Antioch Baptist Church was chosen.
The church joined the Howard Creek Association and the first Pastor, Rev. H.P.Thomas, was called who was a member of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, Bros. Brown, Rankins and Yates were appointed deacons, Sis. Hardin was appointed Church Mother, Sis. Yates was made Church Secretary and Bro. Brown was made Treasurer and Prayer Meeting Leader. This small hand of believers received much community support both spiritually and financially.
The first convert and candidate for baptism was Sis. Margarette Lewis Cornish in 1925. Sis. Cornish stated she had attended a revival service at Pleasant Green Baptist Church and it was during that service that she was saved. Upon her confession her request was to join the membership of Antioch Baptist Church.
In 1926, a building was purchased from Liberty Baptist Church and moved to the lot the group had already purchased on Ferguson Street. This required a lot of help and many sacrifices from the deacons.
In 1927, the church held its first revival and more than thirty members were added to the congregation. Rev. Thomas pastured until his death in 1930. Following Rev. Thomas, Antioch has been blessed with the following pastorship:
|Pastor||Dates of Service|
|Rev. H.P. Thomas||1926 - 1930|
|Rev. E. Johnson||1930 - 1935|
|Rev. T.H. Gilbert||1936 - 1937|
|Rev. J.C. Smith||1938 - 1939|
|Rev. A.B. Lee||1940 - 1944|
|Rev. R.E. Girten||1944 - 1949|
|Rev. P.K. Finley||1949 - 1983|
|Rev. H. Thurman||1984 - 1989|
|Rev. W.G. Polk||1989 - 1996|
|Rev. K.G. Tyler, Sr.||1998 - Present|
In the early forties under the pastorate of Rev. Lee, a lot adjacent to the church was purchased and a building fund drive was started for the purpose of extending and remodeling the church. However, it was in 1947 under the leadership of Rev. Girten that the church was ultimately remodeled and extended.
In 1949, the church called Rev. P.K. Finley and under his pastorate in 1951, the church’s mortgage was liquidated. In 1952, a parsonage was bequeathed to the Antioch Baptist Church by Bro. John Brown and $7,000 in remodeling was completed on the parsonage.
From 1964 – 1974, a building fund drive was active and in 1975 the church was blessed to build this present edifice. Moreover, the church’s ten year loan was liquidated in 1979 after only four in half years under Rev. Finley’s pastorate who served until his death after thirty-four years of service.
In 1983, Rev. Harrison Thurman Sr., was made interim pastor and in 1984, he was officially called an under shepherd. Under his pastorate souls were saved, property was purchased and he represented the church in state and national associations.
In 1989, the church called Rev. Willis G. Polk. Under his leadership many things have been accomplished: the church had no outstanding debts, additional property was purchased and many new auxiliaries, departments and committees were added to the church. The membership doubled in size and the church family continued to grow in a number of ways.
In January 1996, the pulpit was declared vacant. For the next two years, Antioch would depend on the guidance of God to lead them until Rev. Keith G. Tyler, Sr. was called for pastorate of Antioch Baptist Church in 1998. Souls are still being saved, ministries are still being added, additional property has been purchased, remodeling of basement and bathrooms have been completed.