Antioch Baptist Church, in Saluda’s Historic District, is the oldest documented African-American church in Middlesex County. It was founded in 1866 by colored members of Clark’s Neck Baptist Church, now Saluda Baptist. The Reverend John Pollard, the pastor of Clark’s Neck, was instrumental in the formation of Antioch. The Reverend George W. Wood and the Reverend George T. Sutherlin, colored members of Clark’s Neck, were licensed to preach and led the establishment of the new church. On May 24, 1867, Lemuel.C. Bristow agreed to sell Antioch one acre of land and a church building was erected. The Reverend William Thornton was called as the new congregation’s first pastor.
The document below, the souvenir journal published by Antioch in 1968 following the celebration of its centennial, gives an in-depth history of the church as well as a glimpse of the church and its ministries at that time. In 2016, Antioch Baptist Church was blessed to celebrate its sesquicentennial.
Digitized by Tyler Radabaugh