History

We are beginning to build this History Page of the congregation and so this will be a work in progress for a while.
Antioch Church of Christ
Early group met in homes and "under oak trees" to sermons by "Uncle Dick" Huffman
First building erected 1856
Remodeling occurred 1948 and 1966
 
Read below for detail information about Antioch Church
 

Antioch Church of Christ is located on U.S. Highway 231, Castalian Springs, TN.  It is part of the Barthelia Community.  Barthelia was a two room school house that closed in 1957. The building still stands today and is used as a private residence.  For many years Antioch was the only church in the community.  This same community is sometimes referred to as Rocky Creek.  A creek with a very rocky bottom, named Rocky Creek, crosses U.S. Highway 231 about a mile north of the Antioch church building and runs nearly parallel with the highway until it empties into the Cumberland River.  Because of its near proximity to the church building, it was often used to baptize people into the church.

One of Antioch's members, Virginia Highers, taught school at Barthelia from the mid 1930s until it closed.  After that she taught at Trousdale County Elementary in the town of Hartsville where the students transferred.  She relates stories how in those early days she rode a horse to school and the young boys would argue over who would feed the horse.  Virginia still resides at home and is 99 years old.

Before Antioch Church was established, the people met for worship services under oak trees and in the homes of members of the community.  That is when W. A. Huffman, grandfather of the late "Uncle Dick"
Huffman began preaching his first sermons.  Mr. Huffman moved from Second Creek community to Rocky Creek and worked with the residents for two years.  In 1856 the first building was erected.  Don Laffater and Tom Hunt helped with the construction.  Elder Huffman named the building, Antioch, from Acts 11:26, "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch."

In 1894 Brother L. S. White held a meeting at Antioch; among those baptized at this meeting was Brother Clay M. Pullias, who later became a nationally renowned minister of the Church of Christ.  He served as president of David Lipscomb College.   He held his first series of meetings at Antioch.

In 1930 the membership had dropped to a very few, by some moving away and older members passing.  Some Sundays, when snow was on the ground, there would be only six or eight members present, who had walked to the meeting place.  George Burgess was diligent in keeping the doors open for those in the community who wished to attend worship.  Many wintery Sunday mornings he would be the only one present.  He was known to walk to the building with a basket hanging from his arm containing the Lord's Supper.  Other names of the active members were Bronson Burgess, Jim Burgess, Lewis and Leone Rankin.

Later more young people began attending services and Antioch grew stronger, numerically and spiritually. Many young preachers preached their first sermon at Antioch.  Brother Treadon  McElhiney, who preached for nine years, would ride a bus from Nashville to Payne's Store, here someone would meet him and take him the remaining 5 miles to the church building, except when it was snowing.  On these days he would walk from Payne's Store to the church building.  (Payne's Store was the local general store in the community, located north of Antioch at the intertion of Highway 231 and 25.)  Others who had delivered their first sermons at Antioch were Stanley Reel, William Welch, Benny Burns, Eddie Hendrix, and Clifton Smith.  Some of these young preachers were students at David Lipscomb College and enjoyed the experience in preaching at Antioch.

In 1935 Brother Hugh Walker held a meeting which resulted in 37 being baptized.  Late in the afternoon, just about sundown, a line of people went to the"baptizing hole" in Rocky Creek, a spot just below the bridge.  In 1959 a baptistery was built inside the building along with the addition of two Sunday school rooms and a foyer across the front of the building. October 11, 1959 Michael Highers became the first person to be baptized in the building.

In 1949 Thomas H. Burton conducted a series of meetings. 

In 1954 A. W. Chism preached a revival meeting, at which time 21 were added to the church.

In 1966 the building was air conditioned; new floors and carpets were installed, along with new theatre style pews.

By the early 1970's the membership was over 100; there were five different age group classes on Sunday morning and two training classes on Sunday evening with a Bible study each Wednesday evening.  Elders at that time were Lewis Rankin, Joe Gray Armstrong, and Claude Watson; deacons included George Davenport, Humphrey Crook and Brother Burchett.  Song leader was Lewis Rankin; minister was Brother Cecil Pryor.  Brother Pryor worked with the congregation for four years and through his guidance the church grew and flourished.   Missionaries receiving support from Antioch were Brother Messiah in Barbados, Brother Rex Merrick in New Zealand, G. F. Raines in Newton, Mississippi  (he established a congregation there), and Brother Rutherford in Zambia, Africa.  Support was also given to two orphans' homes, Tennessee Children's Home and Potter's Orphan Home.

In 1976 Brother Woody Stovall was selected as the regular preacher for Antioch.  He remained the preacher for 10 years.   Brother Stovall's work with the church also included some renovations to the building.  Public water had just become available to the area and for the first time running water was in the building.  One Sunday school room was converted into restrooms.  The auditorium got a face lift, new ceiling, and paneling over the old walls.  All looked new and clean again.  The old out house in the back was no longer used.

In 1986 Greg Herring was hired as the regular preacher; he worked with the congregation for a little over a year.

In 1988 Lloyd Celsor became the regular preacher until 1992.  By 1990 Jack Goodall had become the regular song leader and served as song leader for the next fifteen years.    Through the 90's these preachers served the congregation as ministers, Brother Ralph Kidd, Brother Bob Reynolds, Brother Randy Jackson.  During the 90's Antioch saw a decline in membership again.  The older members passed from this earth and the young members moved away.  In the mid 90's the gas furnace, free standing gas heaters and outdated air conditioner units were replaced with a central heating and cooling unit.  The restrooms and auditorium got a new coat of fresh paint and new carpet was installed throughout the building.  Church benches were donated to Antioch from the Mt. Juliet Church of Christ as a result of their remodeling.  The uncomfortable and noisy, squeaky theatre seats were replaced with wooden benches and padded seats.  The baptistery took on a beautiful new look with a wall mural as a backdrop.

In 1997 Greg Armstrong (grandson of Joe Gray Armstrong, one of the early Elders)was hired as the regular minister.   Jake Pruett began leading the singing and served until he went away to college. Average attendance was 30 for Sunday morning worship.

In 2000 the long anticipated Fellowship Hall was completed.   This addition made the event and fellowship meals more convenient and enjoyable.   It has served the congregation well and has found many uses.

In 2007 Greg Armstrong resigned as minister.  Once again the congregation began searching for a regular preacher.  Due to decreased attendance and contributions, local men were used in an alternating schedule to fill this position.   They included Randy Jackson, Calvin Ramsey, Toney Pruett, and Walt Rogers from Murfreesboro.  Once a month Andrew Spivey, a young man interested in becoming a preacher, joined in this rotation.  He was 15 years old when he started in 2007.  With this experience at Antioch, Andrew has grown in knowledge, enthusiasm and confidence in preaching the Word.  It has been uplifting to the members of Antioch to be part of Andrew's development. Andrew went on to study at Freed Hardeman University, but continued to come to Antioch on the third Sunday of each month.

Gavin Coriell and his wife Karen started working with the congregation in the early part of 2011. By the beginning of April he had a website and Facebook page created to represent the church, ured a minister (Greg Dismuke) to conduct a revival in the summer and again in the spring, and stirred enthusiasm within the membership at Antioch. The worship service times were changed to 9 AM for Sun. School and 10 AM for worship in November of that year. Gavin setup office space in the building with plans to use his experience and education in counseling individuals.  May 1, 2011 he took the position as the regular minister for Antioch and served until March 30, 2013.  The sudden passing of Toney Pruett in August of 2012 took a huge toll on the congregation. At that time the church was once again in the position of having no fulltime preacher and the decision was made to cancel the morning Sunday school class and instead have a Sunday Bible study in the evening in place of the evening worship service. A rotation began with the help of Keith & Alecia Spivey (Andrew's parents) finding young men from the Hartsville Pike congregation in Gallatin who, like Andrew, had a desire to preach. These included J.D. Cantrell, Caleb Carter, Caleb Bullock and Clay Carnes along with Josh Scruggs from the Halltown Rd. congregation, Rashad Harper from the Morrison Street congregation and Carl Goad and Jim Lanius who were older- retired gentlemen from Lebanon. The attendance numbers continued to be low, averaging 14-15 on Sunday morning. 

Antioch has operated without elders since 1995 with the passing of Joe G. Armstrong. Increasing membership is a much needed, desirable goal, as the primary mission of the church is to reach lost souls with the gospel message.
 

Times

Morning Worship
Sunday - 10:00 AM
Evening Bible Studies
Sunday - 6:00 PM
Wednesday Bible Study
Wednesday - 7:00 PM

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Contact

3930 HWY 231 S.
Castalian Springs, TN  37031
615 - 374 -1932 office - Phone
615 - 374 -1932 office - Fax
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Jeff Baxley
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615-374-3025
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