Antioch Baptist Church History
Antioch Baptist Church was organized in 1916 by Rev. Sampson Ham in the Timmonsville section of what was at that time the Darlington district. Rev. Ham was known for his faithful work among slaves and later freedmen/. Rev. Ham was also the founder of two other local Baptist churches (Mount Carmel and Savannah Grove) and he ministered to the spiritual needs of Black members in the Ebenezer Baptist Church. He started his ministry among Black members in 1831, and stayed the course of a Christian soldier until his death in 1878.
In 1927, Antioch Baptist Church trustees and members purchased from the Howard family a one half acre plot on Center Road which is now known as Twin Church Road. Antioch Baptist Church survived and grew to become a progressive place of worship, enriching the souls and lives of members through the spreading of the Gospel of the determined forefathers. The foundation of Antioch Baptist Church was composed of Black members from Ebenezer, Elim, and Sardis.
Antioch affiliated with the Pee Dee Baptist Association #1 for numerous years before joining Pee Dee Baptist Association #2. Antioch Baptist Church is presently re-affiliated with Pee Dee Baptist Association # 1.
Antioch supported its own early level formal education school for children of the community known as Antioch Center School. Once the school was closed the building was used as a feeding area during times when Antioch served as the host church for the Pee Dee Baptist Association # 1 union. The physical building stood on the property until the early 1970’s.
Antioch Baptist Church has been served by the following Pastors: Rev. Williams, Rev. Eaddy, Rev. Webb, Rev. Collins, Rev. Simon (during the late 1950’s thru the early 1960s), Rev. Samuel (during the late 1960’s thru 1972), Rev. Harold Garner (from 1972 to 2002), and presently Rev. Angelo Alexander since 2003.
A new church was built under the leadership of Rev. Samuel. Under the leadership of Rev. Harold Garner the deacons, trustees and the men of the church worked as a team on Saturday mornings to build additional Sunday School rooms and the Fellowship Hall. Antioch also moved from having church services on first and third Sundays to having church services every Sunday. The marking of a cornerstone and church renovations has been done under the leadership of Pastor Angelo Alexander as well as the establishing of a Praise Team, the Praise Dancers, a Senior Citizen Ministry, a Veterans Recognition Program, the Saturday Enrichment Program, the establishment of the Antioch Inspirational Choir known as AIC and the renaming of the Youth Choir to WOW.
Although ninety-nine years have passed, memories still linger about the school days at Antioch Center School, baptisms in the pond, Easter speeches cheered on by Mr. Jessie Hawkins, Mother’s Day recitations, the mule and wagon drove by Mr. Julius Wilson, the classy move to a horse and buggy by Mr. Albert Hawkless, the little green Sunday School book and every child having to learn the Ten Commandments. Then there were the outside restrooms, church picnics, the sunbeam choir rehearsals directed by Mrs. Lulu Wilson. Vacation Bible School, the get in line look from Mrs. Sarah Johnson. Hymns being raised by Mrs. Sarah “Pinky” McKnight and Mr. (Deacon) Fred Brown.
The unforgettable witty remarks made by Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon Willie Barr, Deacon John “Wagon” McKnight, and Deacon Joseph Black. The powerful soul stirring prayers of Mr. Elijah Taylor. The fellowshipping on the church grounds after service.
Antioch Baptist Church is delighted today to celebrate ninety-nine years of TEAMwork in action!
Information submitted by Mrs. Rennie Lunn-McAllister, Mr. Allen Brown, Mrs. Rosa Smith, Mrs. Josephine Kennedy, Mr. Isaiah Taylor and Mr. Charles Taylor.
Center School located at Antioch Baptist Church, Timmonsville, SC
The mission of Antioch Baptist Church is to love and worship God; to equip the saints for the work of the ministry for building up the body of Christ; to share each other's joy and bear each other's sorrow; to minister unselfishly to persons in the community and to contribute our resources and ourselves to the spread of the gospel here and around the world in Jesus' name.