A vision is birthed
Antioch Community Church’s history in the Boston area began with a small group of people holding a vision in their heart to see multiple churches started (“planted”) in the New England area. Sent out from Antioch Ministries, this was the first time Antioch planted a church in the United States. In 1998, the team settled on Boston, specifically the Brighton area. Brighton is near Boston College and the church planting team knew college ministry would be an important part of this church, which was originally named Community of Faith Christian Fellowship (CFCF).
A church is planted
By March of 1999, the church had its first small group Bible study, and had begun public worship services at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Brighton, later moving to the Thomas Edison School in Brighton in 2002 as the church continued to grow. Fun fact: in the early days before the Thomas Edison School, there were often as many people in the congregation as there were in the worship band!
Antioch Discipleship School (ADS) was established in 2001 to train future church planters, while equipping them in the Word of God and helping them to grow in Christ-like character. By the Spring of 2003, the church had thriving College and Young Adults Ministry Lifegroups.
Our vision of multiple churches emerges
The original team moved to the Boston area in 1998 to be a diverse people, full of faith in God, compassionately reaching the world around them. They not only wanted to plant a church, but to establish a New England chapter of the Antioch church planting movement. This desire has come to fruition through Antioch New England (ANE), our local missions and church planting organization. There are now churches (listed in order of start date) in Brighton, MA (that’s us!), Beverly, MA, Waltham, MA, Phoenix, AZ, Roxbury, MA (a “house church” movement), and Quincy, MA.
In 2007, the first church plant from CFCF was officially sent out to the North Shore, specifically, Beverly, Massachusetts. This church plant was born out of a Lifegroup that met regularly and soon after planting, they named the church The Harbor – with the hope that newcomers to the church would find it a place of refuge, much like ships find harbors places of refuge from the ocean.
In 2010, a second New England church planting team was sent out to start a church in Waltham, named The River, and another group of church planters from CFCF were sent to Arizona, planting what is now Antioch Community Church in Phoenix. Both congregations have thrived in their new locations and are continuing to introduce Jesus to their community and surrounding areas.
In recent years, CFCF, The Harbor and The River officially changed their names to Antioch Community Church in order to clarify purpose, strengthen unity, and establish a stronger connection to our sending movement of churches, the Antioch Movement. In the years since CFCF was first started out of the Antioch Movement, more than forty different congregations have started around the United States, most of them using the Antioch name. Our name changes serve to affirm our belonging in this greater community of churches, while also affirming that the picture of Antioch as seen in Acts 11 and Acts 13 is part of our DNA as a movement of churches.
Our family has continued to grow, and in 2020, we started two more churches - Antioch Roxbury and Antioch Quincy. Antioch Roxbury is a local movement of house churches based in Roxbury, and Antioch Quincy is “down 93” in Quincy, MA.
Today, Antioch Brighton has grown to offer multiple Lifegroups for college students, singles, children and families, and over 200 people now attend the celebration service on Sundays. ADS has also continued to grow and regularly has approximately 20 enrolled in the training school. Many church members participate in mission trips each year, and a thriving youth ministry has emerged among our churches.
The Movement Continues to Expand Globally
Our local church movement of Antioch New England has sent teams and individuals from our congregation to international locations to serve people groups and fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20). These people are serving in locations that include North Africa, Asia, and India.