the year of our Lord 1935, the month of June, the seventh day in the
city of San Antonio and the state of Texas, on the corners of Hayes
and Gevers Streets, a church was planted known as Antioch
Missionary Baptist Church.
There were fifty-three
persons present in the organization. There was hardly a high school
diploma among these fifty-three persons, but their experience with
Christ had set them apart as a peculiar people, a Holy nation, and
they determined to fervently show forth the praise of Him who had
brought them out of darkness into life's marvelous light. They stood
together in the calling of men to repentance and faith in a
virgin-born, dead, buried, and resurrected Savior.
Dr. C.F.C. Curry, former pastor of Mt. Zion First Baptist and
Friendship Baptist Churches, presided over the meeting and the church
called as its first pastor, the Rev. Rufus Wilson, a strong man in
faith, who dared the impossible and endured as seeing Him who is
invisible. His motto was "God is able" and in what appeared to be a
step backward, Pastor Wilson moved the little group to a tent on
Center Street in the back yard of one of her members, James Parker.
From the tent, they moved the worship to a laundry building on
Walters and Crockett until Fredia Keith discovered the present site,
an abandoned dairy, with an old house facing Nolan at Walters Street
which was renovated for worship.
Then Antioch took on the
character of its historical counterpart, and the Word of God went
forth and many people were added unto the Lord. The unusual fervor
of the Antioch congregation drew people from every segment of the
community, young and old, learned and unlearned. In 1947, Pastor
Wilson led the church into a building remodeling program at a cost
of $65,000. The Lord continued to do great things and lives were
transformed, bodies were healed, and many men were called into the
ministry who went on to pastor major congregations across this great
Pastor Wilson led Antioch for 17 years. Then on
august 17, 1952, God put in His providential goodness, put a group
of people from Antioch in the path of a young man named John Joseph
Rector, who had only surrendered to preach in January 1950. He was
to be called to the Antioch church at the age of 22 years, the
youngest of his time to be called to a major church. In less than
1.5 years, a mortgage of $16,000 was liquidated and the church took
on immense growth.
May 1968, the church sponsored a housing development at a cost of
1.25 million dollars, named Antioch Village, which was rated by HUD
as one of the most outstanding operations in the city. Also,
$100,000 in properties was added to the church's estate. Then in
1971, the church negotiated the largest loan for an African American
congregation in the state for over a half million dollars to
construct a new sanctuary. The project was completed in 1974 and
this beautiful sanctuary is where Antioch worships today. Somewhat
akin to the church at Corinth in the scriptures, Rufus Wilson
planted, J.J. Rector watered, but God gave the increase. To God be
Pastor Rector provided 40 years of mystical
ministry under the direction of the Holy Spirit. As his health
failed, he had the foresight to bring on a young vibrant seminarian
as Youth Minister, the Rev. E. Thurman Walker, who quickly became
endeared to Pastor Rector, the Antioch family, and the San Antonio
community. The Lord took Pastor Rector home in March 1993, at which
time, his then Co-pastor, Rev. E. Thurman Walker became the pastor
of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. This was a move ordained by
the Holy Spirit that resulted in a seamless transition in
leadership. Rev. Walker's first official Sunday as pastor was March
In the years which passed,
Antioch continued to progress and be blessed under the leadership of
a God-sent Shepherd. These blessings included a record year in 1993
of a one-half million dollar budget, the establishment of the
Antioch Christian Academy in 1995, which seeks to educate the total
child: mind, body, and spirit, the establishment of the Antioch
Community Transformation Network (ACTN)
a community development corporation with
501c3 status. As the new millennium arrived, Antioch took on a 7.5
million dollar Family Life Education Complex & Community Center
under the watchful eye of ACTN.
Phase I of this project was the
construction of a 4 million dollar, 21,212 sq. ft., Sports Complex
which opened in May 2005. Plans have begun on Phase II of this
building project, the Family Life and Education Center, which is on
track to break ground in 2011.
The Lord took Pastor Walker
to his eternal home on October 26, 2009.
In 16 short years, Pastor E. Thurman
Walker, M. Div, D. Min., opened the door for many ministry
opportunities in the life of Antioch.
He truly lived his days in a manner to
leave a legacy for tomorrow.
Antioch and San Antonio is better,
because Pastor Walker
allowed himself to be used by God in a
Like Pastor Rector
before him, Pastor Walker, being led by God, brought on Rev. Dr.
Kenneth R. Kemp an associate minister, who served as his Assistant
In September 2009, Rev. Kemp became
Co-Pastor of Antioch, and upon the demise of Pastor Walker in
October 2009, Rev. Kemp became Pastor of Antioch. It should be noted
that after a short, but intense psychological and emotional
struggle, Pastor Kemp chose to significantly reduce the amount of
time he committed to a
promising career as a physician in order
to be true to God’s call on his life.
He was installed on February 21, 2010.
In the first year of Rev. Kemp’s pastorate, each month new souls
were added to Antioch, attendance increased and God blessed our
budget to exceed 2 million dollars.
Under Pastor Kemp, the Lord continues to
bless Antioch as we “Press Toward Higher Ground.”
THIS IS WHO WE ARE..
THIS IS WHAT WE DO..
IS HOW WE ROLL!
We're Taking Our
Ministry To The Next Level...