Antioch Baptist Church is a body of Christian believers, laboring together for the building of the body of Christ, planting God's word through Christian Education, while transforming minds for the purpose of Christian living with a harvest expectation. (Romans 12:2)
To reach inward to the body of Christ teaching to serve; to reach outward to the world seeking to save, that the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ might be seen. To reach the lost at any cost!
Antioch Baptist Church History 1919-2015
We reflect back to our roots and to the patriots who prayed and labored untiringly to bring the Antioch Baptist Church family to this point in history-to celebrate 95 years in existence.
The Antioch Baptist Church was organized in August 1919, in the Argo Public School (since renamed Fifth Grade Center), 7516 W. 64th Street Argo, IL under the leadership of Rev. W. Coleman. The Church had three members other than the Pastor. Due to unknown circumstances, the Church did not survive.
Our Christian forefathers were a determined and dedicated group; thus, Antioch was reorganized in September 1921 in the home of Brother Arthur Davis, Rev. W.L. Petty of the Liberty Baptist Church Chicago, IL and Rev. L.K. Williams, Pastor of Greater Mt. Olivet Baptist Church Chicago, IL assisted in the reorganization. Rev. William Fowler was elected Pastor, and Bro. David Sullivan was elected as Church Clerk. The total membership was eight.
Antioch worshiped in the Health Center, a theater building, and a tent was pitched on the grounds where our present edifice stands, and where later the first stationary Church building was built. Rev.Fowler left Antioch in 1924. The Church was rebuilt on the site of our present edifice; however, it was discovered after Antioch had been rebuilt that due to real estate discrepancies the Church had been built on the wrong lot. A basement was built at 7519 W. 64th St. (the site of the old Church is now part of the parking lot), and with the aid of oxen the rebuilt Church was moved and placed over the basement.
Pastor’s that guided Antioch from September 1921 until March 1938 were Rev. W. Fowler, Rev. Cruel, Rev. Gordon, Rev. Anderson, Rev. C. Williams, Rev. Owens, Rev. Rutledge, Rev. Ellington, Rev. C. J. Rogers, and Rev. J. P. Williams, Rev. T. E.Weems was called to Pastor in March 1938. Under Rev. Weems leadership, the membership grew and all of the old debts were paid off. In March 1947 Rev.Weems resigned to accept pastor ship in Cleveland, Ohio. Rev.Henry Blackwell was contacted in March 1947, and in May 1947 he took over as Pastor of Antioch. Rev. Blackwell remained Pastor until his death on August 5, 1968.
Under Rev. Blackwell’s leadership, Antioch ministered to the community and the membership swelled to out grow the Church buildings physical facilities. The old building was enlarged in 1952, but this was still inadequate. Thus the dream of Rev. Blackwell – which was also the dream of the Church body, culminated in November 1963 when we marched into this magnificent edifice that we now worship in.
With God in front, the mortgage of six years was burned November 16, 1969 Antioch’s Golden Anniversary.
Following Rev. Blackwell’s death, Antioch was under the guidance of the Deacon’s Ministry. Rev.Elijah Swansey was elected Pastor in February 1969. Antioch remained a bible oriented Church under Rev. Swansey’s leadership and many tangible accomplishments were made. Rev. Swansey remained Pastor until June 1986. Once again, Antioch was under the guidance of the Deacon’s ministry.
Rev.Wilbur Garrett was elected Pastor March 13, 1987. Under Rev. Garrett’s guidance Antioch continued to be a bible oriented Church. A male chorus was organized, and many physical improvements were made. Rev. Garrett remained Pastor until his death September 11, 2001.
Rev. Nathaniel Randle was asked to serve as the Interim Pastor of Antioch, on September 23, 2001. On February 1, 2002 Rev. Nathaniel Randle was elected as Pastor of Antioch, under his leadership many accomplishments have already been made. The entire church has been redecorated, new carpeting installed, and renovations made where needed. A garage was built, additional propertypurchased, the Transportation Ministry has grown, and through the Vision of our Pastor the Kingdom Builders Ministry was started to ensure the future of the next generation. Christian Education has expanded and soul winning has increased, and we have remained steadfast in the Apostle’s Doctrine, with the organizing of The Amelia Williams School of Discipleship.
Under the leadership of our Pastor a New District, The South Shore Baptist District of Chicago and Vicinity has been organized and accepted in the Baptist General State Convention.
In keeping with Pastor Randle’s vision for continued growth and inspiration, additional property was purchased in 2010 and the lower auditorium was completely renovated and dedicated on Sunday, September 12, 2010. In March of 2013 with God’s blessing we became a church for the 21st Century by installing our new Media Ministry System. A new media sound room and a new finance room was rebuilt and relocated. As we go into our 96th year we are devoting serious and sustained efforts to becoming greater Ambassadors for Christ.