By Jamal Thomas
Montgomery, AL- Antioch Baptist Church has a rich history which includes the Miss Georgia Washington legacy. It is located in Pike Road, Alabama, in the Mt. Meigs Community. Antioch is the first and oldest missionary Baptist church in the Montgomery Antioch District Association and in the surrounding areas; founded before Alabama became a state.
The late Rev. James McLemore founded the church in the month of June, 1818. He served for twenty-six years before his death in 1934. The original land was given to Rev. McLemore by a wealthy landowner, William Wright. The property deed was signed by the sixth president of the United States on May 20, 1920. The church was first located on the North side of I-85. The first structure was a wooden building. The original Antioch Cemetery remains in that location today. According to records, the church was deeded to the Colored members and moved to its present location. The wooden building was blown away by a storm, it was rebuilt, then bricked, air conditioned, a kitchen, class rooms and fellowship hall were added later. A new sanctuary was added on to the structure located at 738 Gibbs Road in Pike Road, Alabama. In 1998 the church was placed on the National Registry of Alabama Historical Places.
Rev. McLemore was a white missionary Baptist minister, a pioneer preacher, organizer and moderator with a highly spiritual tenet. Following the Civil War, the white congregants left Antioch leaving the remaining colored members to run the church. Beginning with the founder of Antioch Rev. James McLemore, there have been twenty-six pastors to shepherd the flock. The present pastor is Rev. Richard E. Griffin, a man of God.
Excitement is buzzing all around because in June of 2018, Antioch members will celebrate its 200th Church Anniversary! Everyone is invited to share this blessed celebration.
For more information visit www.antiochmtmeigs.com
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