Our Church History
Antioch Baptist Church was organized in 1875 by a group of 20 people who met in a log building known as the Crawford School in the Iron Duff Community. In 1877, construction began on the first building with one acre of land given by J.M. Crawford. Men of the community built the church, hauling logs from Cove Creek.
In the early 1950s, the auditorium was renovated. The church added an education building in 1963-1964, and built a picnic shelter in 1976. They purchased land to provide room for these additions and to enlarge the cemetery. In March of 1979, the 104-year-old structure was torn down to make room for a new building.
In March of 1980, Antioch held their first worship service in the new sanctuary. Eleven years later, in April of 1991, a fire completely destroyed the auditorium and fellowship hall. Undaunted, the church rebuilt the sanctuary and fellowship hall, which were ready for occupancy on April 19, 1992. Antioch continued to grow in membership and constructed a new sanctuary with additional Sunday school space in 2004 and 2005.
The Reverend W.H. Conner was called to serve as the first pastor of Antioch Baptist Church. Three men served many years: the Reverend Doug Davis served as Pastor for 33 years; the Reverend Jarvis Teague for 27 years; and the Reverend Steven Taylor for 20 years. Our present pastor, Dr. Gary L. Hearon, came to Antioch after his second retirement and has now served two and a half years. There have been four full-time youth ministers – Todd West, Joel Bradsher, Mike Williams, and our present Youth Minister Jeff Cairnes. There have been two children’s directors: Lynne Krekelberg and our current children’s director, Robin Gosnell.
Under the leadership of these dedicated men, and women, Antioch Baptist Church has grown from that original 20 members to over 480 today.