History of Antioch Baptist Church, DeBerry
County Road 329
P. O. Box 327
Panola, Texas 75685
Submitted by David Hudson & Chekiter Esther
As we shall review the records of our Church, we shall recall the precious memories of our early pioneers. When we think of their true services, our eyes may become wet with tears. They have left a lasting record, which we will never forget.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
The District Missionary of the Texas and Louisiana Association organized the Antioch Baptist Church on the second Sunday, October 13, 1889. The church was an offspring of the New Boggy Bayou Baptist Church, Bethany, Louisiana. The Church was organized as an independent Church due to the convenience for others. Its founding members were:
· Reverend A. M. Moore
· Reverend Bill Wright
· Reverend W. Jackson
· Sister Henetta Jackson
· Brother A. Golden
· Sister Allie Golden
· Brother Joseph Golden
· Brother James Golden
· Brother Calvin Allen
· Sister Katie Golden Allen.
The members of the Church elected their first pastor, the Reverend W. Jackson. He served one year. Under his leadership, three deacons were ordained: Brother Joseph Golden, Brother James Golden, and Brother Milton Richmond. Brother Manual Smith served as church secretary under Rev. Jackson’s leadership.
The Reverend B. Wright was the second pastor who served for one year. The third pastor, Reverend David Washington, was elected and resigned after one year of service.
After these short pastorships, the District Missionary of the Texas and Louisiana Association called a meeting to elect a pastor until the Church could come to an agreement. The association sent the Reverend R. A. Granger to serve until the Church elected a fourth pastor. After three months, Reverend R. T. Buggs was called. Under his leadership the Church raised enough money to lay the foundation for a Church building. Through the hard struggle the Church was still set on having their services in the William Spring Public School House.
After Rev. Buggs resignation statement the Church called their fifth pastor, Reverend A. F. Burton. He served for two years. The sixth pastor, Reverend Lawrence Webb, also, served two years.
The seventh pastor, Reverend T. H. Lee, served eight years. He accomplished the completion of the Church building and remodeling and then resigned after his great work.
The eighth pastor served for six months. He was Reverend W. M. Beechum. The ninth pastor, Reverend S. M. Bendaw, served for one year. Afterwards, Reverend T. J. Alexander resigned after two years of service being the tenth pastor. The eleventh pastor, Reverend S. M. Jones served for three years.
Reverend A. R. Richardson served until his death as the twelfth pastor. The Church was under his leadership for twelve years and seven months. Under his leadership, two deacons were ordained, Brothers Sam Golden and M. C. Pipkins.
The Church still holding on to their trust and faith in God called a meeting and elected their next pastor, Rev. S. R. Robert. He was the thirteenth pastor. He resigned after serving two years.
Reverend E. Moore served as the fourteenth pastor for seven years.
In the year of our Lord 1940, Reverend T. M. Boyd was called and served seventeen years and two months. He was the fifteenth pastor. After Rev. Boyd’s service the Church worked with the District Missionary Army until the Church called for another pastor.
Upon working with the District Missionary Association, the Church called Reverend Leon Bennett in February 1958. His installation was in June 1958. Under his leadership great success was made and the Church was still holding on to the Master’s hand, trying to make it to that Promised Land. With the help of Christian workers and many friends the Church accumulated funds and established 10.4 acres of land as the Church’s property.
[In the year of 1910, the Church had already acquired and established six acres of land. Brother S. M. Burns gave the first acre; two acres were bought from Mrs. H. T. Wilson; and 2.3 acres were bought from Brother Henry Allen.]
Working under the leadership of Rev. Bennett, he ordained one deacon, which was Brother Charles Brown, Sr. One member answered the call to the ministry, Brother Arbury Golden. Sister Rose Ann Anderson served as Church secretary until her death in 1979. After completing great works within the Church, Pastor Bennett resigned after sixteen years of service.
For seven years, the Reverend W. M. Turner was the seventeenth pastor. Under his leadership he ordained three deacons: Brother Amos Brown, Brother H. D. Wynn, Jr., and Brother John M. Stephens. During his leadership, the front of the Church was added and twelve Bibles were purchased. He reigned from his years of good service.
In the year of 1973 of September, the Reverend C. Odom was called to pastor. Great work was accomplished. He served for three years and resigned after accepting a full-time pastorate at the Jewel Street Baptist Church, Shreveport, Louisiana. He was the eighteenth pastor.
The Church called their own member as their nineteenth pastor, the Reverend Arbury Golden. He served until his death. The Church lost a great pastor, member, and faithful worker.
One year later, the twentieth pastor, Reverend Chester Duncan, was called on December 10, 1979. He was installed in March 1980. Under his leadership new pews were added; new siding was installed on the Church building, and a fellowship hall was built. Reverend Duncan served for seven years.
The twenty-first pastor was called on August 24, 1987. He was the Reverend W. J. Boyd. He was installed on December 20, 1987. During Rev. Boyd’s leadership the Church began prayer and teachers’ meetings on Friday night. New members were added. Further improvements to the fellowship hall were done with the addition of cabinets, tables, and chairs. He served for three years.
From November 3, 1990 to July 29, 1991 the Church was without a pastor. On November 3, 1991 the Reverend Robert Golston was installed as the twenty-second pastor. Under his leadership he donated a stove to be used in the fellowship hall. He resigned in March 1993.
On October 2, 1993 the members of the Antioch Baptist Church elected their twenty-third pastor, the Reverend Rogers L. Jackson. He was installed December 19, 1993. Pastor Jackson began holding weekly Bible Study and Annual Vacation Bible School. The first Vacation Bible School was held July 11-15, 1994. The Church re-laid the Church’s cornerstone on October 9, 1994. In January 1996 the church went full time with complete services each Sunday.
Under Pastor Jackson’s leadership, the Church kept moving forward. Several new members joined over the years and are still active. The Church purchased new pews, altar and pulpit furnishings, new lighting, carpet and air conditioning. Also, fellowship hall improvements were made and a Cemetery Fund was established. In 1998 the Church established the “Gladies A. Hudson Scholarship Fund” that gives annual scholarships to members that graduate from high school and further their education by going to college. Another fund established within the past year is the “Building Fund.”
During the years 2002-2004, the Church did significant improvements to the church building and grounds. These included: the installation of a beautiful black wrought iron fence across the front of the cemetery with a walk through and a drive through gate; remodeling the Church building exterior walls with new boards and paint; new roof; porch and handicap ramp; new doors in front and rear. In addition, a complete remodeling of the pastor’s study area was done with new paint on walls and ceilings, new carpet, decorations, bath and bath flooring. The Church vestibule received a fresh new look that included closing in all holes, new paint on walls and doors, and a new chandelier. Members, former members, relatives, and friends did some of the remodeling. Their generous donations of free labor and materials accounted for much of the new facelift that we have today.
The Church has been blessed with the addition of eight new members during the past year. Currently, it has over 40 active members. Many former members that have moved away and joined elsewhere come back home year after year to their home Church. They take pride in reminiscence of their loved ones that have gone home, of the little white Church (still used today as the sanctuary), the outside baptismal pool, and the outbuilding. On September 19, 2004, the members and the surrounding church communities honored Rev. Jackson in his tenth year of pastorate.
The Church’s present officers are Deacons Amos Brown, Freddie Stewart, Moses Shillow, and Lonnie Stewart.
Antioch Baptist Church is listed on the Panola County web site at the following address: http://www.rootsweb.com/~txpanola/cemeteryframes.htm
God has so richly blessed Antioch Baptist Church for one hundred fifteen years and we give Him all the praise.
Sister Ruby Adams celebrated her 90th birthday with family and friends at the Church in April 2004.
Leroy Hudson – October 20, 2001
Dennis Anderson – 1960-2002
Fred Anderson – December 12, 2002
Willie Dean Golden – April 16, 2003
Edna Jean Golden – January 6, 2004
Blanch Adams - April 16, 2004
Rosetta Strong – May 3, 2004
Henderson Wynn, Jr. – August 8, 2004