Antioch Church
Thursday, July 18, 2024
Where Strangers become Friends and Friends become Family!

History of Antioch

A Brief History of Antioch United Methodist Church
Antioch United Methodist Church was born in the minds of the Springfield District of the United Methodist Church in 1988. Northeast Springfield was experiencing a lot of change and growth; that same year, a piece of property was purchased just northeast of the intersection of Highway H and Valley Water Mill Road for a new United Methodist Church.
In June of 1990, the first pastor was appointed and began to work at gathering a brand new congregation. The method to accomplish this effort was a program called "Phones For You". Through this telemarketing approach, 12,000 homes in northeast Springfield were contacted by 200 volunteers from other United Methodist churches in Springfield to announce the first worship service of Antioch United Methodist Church. This effort took 4 weeks of phoning and nearly two months of mass mailing. On October 7th, 1990 the first worship service was held on a rainy Sunday morning in an outdoor tent, at which 100 people were present for this new beginning! 
By February 24th 1991 the new congregation was duly chartered as a United Methodist Church with 63 full members and 25 preparatory members. On October 30th, 1991, the membership stood at 83 full members and 25 Preparatory members. On August 16, 1992, there was a ground-breaking ceremony for the new sanctuary, and March 28, 1993 was the first day to worship in the new sanctuary, with a consecration service on July 25, 1993 by Bishop Ann Sherer.
In time, an adult choir and a youth group were started, and pie making was one of the main ways of fundraising for many years, as the requests came from all over the community for some delicious apple pies from Antioch. One year, the people of Antioch were not able to pay the insurance bill. The members began to pray, and seek God's help, as this is God's house. About that time, a fireworks business owner contacted Antioch, wanting to have a fireworks stand on the church property. A meeting was arranged, and the fireworks business owner agreed to give a down payment...the exact amount needed to pay the insurance bill! 
Over the years, Antioch United Methodist Church has had its share of ups and downs, as all churches do, with many wonderful pastors. The current pastor, Rev. Kevin Cawley, came to Antioch in July 2007. At the time the average worship attendance was 65. From 2007 until 2016, Rev. Cawley was the pastor of both Antioch United Methodist Church and Christ United Methodist Church. During those years, the people of Antioch began a children's choir, puppet ministry, drama ministry, Wednesday Bible study, Crosslines Food Distribution, Victory Mission outreach, adopting a local school, 5K Walk-Run fundraiser for Robberson Elementary School, and new Outdoor/Fishing ministry. 
In January 2010, a groundbreaking ceremony took place for the new family life center, with new classrooms and multi-purpose room. The family life center is named The McCall Family Life Center, named after Mr. Harold and Ruby McCall, who left Antioch the funds to pay for the new building. In June 2016, Rev. Cawley was appointed as the full-time pastor of Antioch United Methodist Church, and Antioch United Methodist Church currently has an average worship attendance of 160, including online Sunday participation. It is nothing less than a miracle that God has brought together the many different people that make up the Antioch family. We have members who have been physically healed by the power of God in our church building. We have members who never belonged to a church before who have come to Antioch and found acceptance and connection with God, and now their lives are blessed! Antioch is truly a house that God built! May God bless us as we look to our future!
We have traditional worship at 8:30 and blended worship (contemporary and traditional) with nursery at 11:00. Won't you join us this Sunday?