Our history as a church in Houston has just begun, but our lineage is long. Our story is both an old one and a new one, standing on the broad shoulders of men and women of God who for generations have surrendered their lives to the person and purposes of God.
Our 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, Antioch Ministries International was formed and 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 13 YEARS that church has grown from 400 people to 4000+ gathering today in Sunday services and in over 150 lifegroups across the city. Today the original church planting vision has grown into a church-planting movement with over 55 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 now…Houston.
In 2002, Fred and Becca Nelson came on staff at Antioch Community Church in Waco as young adult pastors. Eventually, Fred began to lead their adult ministries and became one of the teaching pastors. In 2010 God put a vision in Fred and Becca’s hearts to see an Antioch church-planting movement begin in Houston. One day in the fall of 2011 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 begun to form and it became clear it was time to move and preparations to start the church. Just like the early believers we began to gather for prayer meetings, form lifegroups and organize for a fresh move of God (Acts 1:12-26). Our Sunday services began on January 27, 2013.
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!
As we move through our fourth year as a church, nearly 600 people gather every Sunday morning, more than 30 lifegroups meet around the city, and third round of long-term missionaries are being sent out. But we know the best is yet to come!