The Antioch Missionary Baptist Church began as a dream and later became a reality near the Douglas and Cook's home sites "under a big tree" on FM 314 South, Antioch Community, Chandler, Texas, circa 1902. The early pioneers of the small, close-knit farming community struggled and sacrificed in order to have a place to worship.
During the 1920's, one of the early ministers was Reverend Wiggins. His wife, who was a schoolteacher, taught at the AntiochSchool. Reverend Brashear, also a professor, taught at the AntiochSchool for many years. Reverend Columbus Biford, who had relatives in the area, and Fuller followed Professor Brashear in the 1920's.
In the early 1930's, Reverend Dago Johnson and Horace Raven were the spiritual leaders of Antioch. Around 1936 or 1937, Reverend E.B. Humphrey would come to Chandler on the train from Marshall, Texas and church members would meet him in a wagon. Sometimes, when the collection was short, he would take his pay in goods. He would leave the area Monday mornings, heavy laden with produce grown or foods prepared by church members.
Reverend Wes Neal followed in the 1940's. Under Reverend Davis's pastorate, the large white frame church was constructed. The land was donated by Mr. Archie Vaughn, who operated a store in the community. Members met in tents on the grounds until the church was completed. The frame church was sold to another congregation in the early 1960's.
During the 1950's, Reverend Mackin enjoyed a long tenure at Antioch. He was followed by Reverend Whitfield, during the 1960's. His wife was the church's pianist. Later, Reverend A.R. Harris, an inspiring, young minister from Louisiana, led the congregation to new heights.
Reverend H.L. Wallace of Chandler, Texas was pastor for 31 years. He was a carpenter who made many repairs and renovations to the church. The current brick building was constructed under his pastorate in 1962.
Reverend Carlton Hudson, Lonnie Williams, and J.D. Montgomery followed Reverend Wallace.
Today at Antioch
Our current leader, Reverend Donald E. Smith Jr., is a well-educated, business-minded, Spirit-filled visionary, who is leading the congregation to a higher level of Spirituality. Our Vision for the church is to spread Evangelism throughout the community and emphasize the importance of teaching our youth the Word. This Vision has been implemented by community mailings, a community Holy Week Revival, Vacation Bible School, "Fun Day" fundraiser at Antioch, participating in community activities and having fellowship with other churches. Under his watch, the church has been extensively remodeled in the Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, offices, classrooms, restrooms, electrical, and plumbing systems. An increase in church membership is reflected on the Usher, Choirs, Youth, and other ministries in the church. There is a state of the art tape and video ministry that reaches the homebound. The congregation is blessed with three inspired missionaries, who conduct Intercessory Prayer for the community every Wednesday at . Our increasing number of young people participate in our Wednesday night Bible Study, Praise Dancers, competition and participation in the Texas Baptist Congress of Christian Education, holiday programs/plays and many other activities. The Deacon Ministry continues, as in the past, making decisions that ensure the continued spiritual growth of the Antioch family. Antioch's Missionary Society Ministry is a mainstay that has always been involved in helping others with their personal and spiritual needs.
Antioch stands as a symbol of a glorious past--- and as a beacon of hope for years to come.
(Please note that the history of our church was compiled from a culmination of many memory sources and there may be some inaccuracy.)