Antioch began four years after the Civil War in 1868 as a part of the Woodstock Congregation of the German Baptist Brethren. On October 24 of that year, John Rickard purchased 7¾ acres of land from Jacob and Elizabeth Haun for $308.12 and laid off 1½ acres for the “Tunkard Church,” later known as the Dunkard Church at Calvary. In 1869, the Haun, Schumaucker, and Rickard families built
a 40’ x 60’ church that could comfortably seat 200 people under the supervision of William Peters, a pastor from Fort Valley. Soon after the church was completed it was dedicated and regular services were held for about 50 years. In 1908, the denomination became the Church of the Brethren.
Sadly, the church closed in 1921 due to the lack of interest and no services were held for about 10 years. In July of 1931, interest revived by a few faithful members led by Bro Walter Burner and work started to restore the building. Two chimneys were built, a wooden ceiling installed, interior walls were papered, electric lights installed, a pulpit built, window lights replaced and the woodwork refinished, all at a cost of approximately $300. The dedication services for the remodeled church were held on November 15, 1931 with Elder J. Carson Miller preaching the sermon.
Sunday School was organized the same year and has been a continuous program of the church. The first Love Feast in the remodeled church was held on August 5, 1933 conducted by Brothers Lawrence Helsley, Russell Showalter, and S. I. Bowman. In 1957, the members erected an addition on the back of the church for bathrooms and Sunday School rooms and dug out the basement which was used as a kitchen and fellowship hall. In 1958, a vestibule was added and on September 26, 1960, Homecoming and Dedication was held. Also, the first Vacation Bible School was organized in 1960.
In 2000, the picnic shelter was converted into 3 classrooms and in 2003, the Pastor’s position became fulltime. In 2004, a new fellowship hall, a new kitchen, and bathrooms were added. Nearly 4 additional acres were also purchased for $75,000 to provide for future expansion. The loan on these items was paid off several years early in 2010.
In 2006, a new road sign was installed. In 2007, the Antioch Little Duckling Preschool began and that same year, a second worship service was added at 8:30am to accommodate continued growth. In 2011 a part time Administrative Assistant and a part time Associate Pastor were added and today both positions are full-time. In 2012-13, a new sanctuary was constructed to seat 354 and the basement classrooms were finished a few years later by church members. In 2022, the congregation purchased a ½ acre plot to the west, left the Church of the Brethren, and joined the Covenant Brethren Church.
Some of the pastors over the years have included: Elder H.R. (Ramsey) Mowery, J.K. Leedy, Walter Burner, Lawrence Helsley, Clyde Hilton, Harry Lau, Olen Landes, Fred Mauck and currently George Bowers, grandson of Walter Burner, serves as Sr. Pastor and Dale Bennett as Associate Pastor for Youth and Visitation. Matt Helsley is Director of Music and Worship while Becky Leland is the Administrative Assistant.
Today, Antioch is a congregation of the Covenant Brethren Church headquartered in Fairmont, WV ( www.covenantbrethren.org ). Our mission statement is: Antioch Church is a Bible based family of God, led by the Holy Spirit, helping others to know Jesus and learning to be living examples of Christ
in our community.
Antioch’s website is www.antiochcob.org and YouTube is Antioch COB.
As you can see, God has been at work here for many years and we look forward to what He will do next!! Join us as we serve Him!!