ONE CHURCH, THREE CAMPUSES
Our history as a church in Houston is relatively young, but our lineage is long. Our story stands on the broad shoulders of men and women of God who for generations have surrendered their lives to the person and purposes of God.
THE ANTIOCH MOVEMENT
The Antioch movement began in 1986, when God called Jimmy and Laura Seibert to begin a training school with eight people from Highland Baptist Church in Waco, Texas. The vision was simple: love God, love each other and love those that don’t know Jesus. They believed that the local church could own the process of training and sending people across the street and around the world so that all might hear and know the good news of Jesus.
In 1991, they began planting churches. The first church plant was in Ulan Ude, Russia just as the Cold War was coming to a close. This church continues today to plant churches of its own. In 1999, the elders at Highland Baptist Church blessed Jimmy and Laura and sent them out to start a new church in Waco called Antioch Community Church.
Over the past 20 YEARS that church has grown from 400 people to 5000. Today the original church planting vision has grown into a church-planting movement with over 75 churches in 20+ nations of the world, including churches scattered throughout the US in cities like Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Boston, Chicago, Knoxville, Tempe, Fort Collins, Norman, Dallas, College Station and …. Houston.
ANTIOCH HOUSTON/ BAY AREA
In 2011, God put a vision in the hearts of Fred and Becca Nelson to see an Antioch church-planting movement begin in Houston. One day, Fred and Becca separately had the same sense of what God is doing in Houston, “gathering the scattered sheep and raising a banner to the nations” (Isaiah 11:12). It has been amazing to see this promise begin to unfold. By November 2012, a core group of 70 people had formed and it became clear it was time to move and make preparations to start the church. Our first Sunday service was held on January 27, 2013 in the Houston Bay Area.
After six months, we had grown to 200 people, started 12 new lifegroups, sent our first mission trip, enlisted 30 people for our first Antioch Training School class, and laid the groundwork for our UnBound ministry. It was a busy year! By 2015, we were seeing hundreds of people set free from sin to return to Christ and the church, and sent our first missionaries to other nations.
Also in 2011, Jesus began to put a burden on the hearts of Robert & Susie Lee for the people in their hometown of Galveston, Texas. The Lord led them to plant a church that would reach the lost and broken of the island with a passion to see the nations reached for His glory. With a small group of people who met together in the home of a friend they began to invite the lost and hurting with a focus of life-on-life discipleship. The church quickly outgrew the house and Redline Church was birthed in 2012. After years of relationship with people from Antioch, the Lees and the leadership of Redline decided they wanted to join with Antioch. In February of 2018, Redline officially joined Antioch Houston and relaunched as Antioch Galveston.
From the time Antioch Houston launched, we carried a vision to see new Lifegroups, campuses, and churches planted not only in the Bay Area, but across the Greater Houston metroplex. One of our first Lifegroups started in 2013 located in the Heights area of Central Houston. This Lifegroup quickly grew and multiplied several times over. By the fall of 2017, it became clear that it was time to launch a Sunday morning campus in Central Houston.
In April 2018, Antioch Central Houston had our first Sunday service with over 200 people! In September 2018, we transitioned to two Sunday services. We are excited and expectant for what God is doing in the Central Houston area and how we can be a part of it.
Today as we move through our sixth year as a movement in Houston, nearly 1000 people gather every Sunday morning on three campuses, 50+ Lifegroups meet around the city, and 27 missionaries have been sent to the nations. It has been amazing to see God build His church from the ground up. As we look ahead, we believe God has called us to partner with other people, churches and organizations to give every person in the Greater Houston area the opportunity to hear the Gospel and to start house church (Lifegroup) movements all across the city. Ultimately, we want to fulfill the Great Commission in our lifetime by proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom among every unreached people group in the world, so that Christ will return. And with God’s faithfulness behind us, His Spirit with us and heaven before us, we are confident that the best is yet to come!