Antioch Baptist Church continues to serve the community

Mary Simms, Ruby Wiggins and Maxine Gamble recently spent the afternoon packing boxes of food from the church’s food pantry for people in the community. (Staff Photo by Julian Keeler)


Many Christian churches wait on people to come inside the doors to hear their message, find a spiritual community, and build a relationship with Christ. Others conduct mission work in far-away countries. Antioch Baptist, through many community outreach programs and partners, works right in its own backyard to make Durham better.

The church, located on 1415 Holloway Street, and founded in 1993, has always served and provided an open door for not only members of the church, but people living in surrounding neighborhoods as well.

Reverend Harold J. Cobb knew the location on Holloway Street was a perfect fit. When he saw the sanctuary, he knelt in front of the pulpit and asked God’s will to be done. He served as the lead pastor for eight years before relinquishing his pastoral leadership to Reverend Michael D. Page due to health concerns in April 2001.

“Reverend Cobb started Antioch Baptist Church to address some of the issues, concerns, and bring a spiritual presence to the Northeast Central Durham community,” said Rev. Page. “We thank God for his visionary leadership and we seek to carry out his mission of work in the vineyard.”

Rev. Page himself sets an example of service for others. He has a rich history of spiritual growth and community outreach in Durham outside of his church. He was elected to the Durham Board of Education in May 2000 and was also elected as the first black chairman of the newly merged Durham Board of Education, he has been a Durham County Commissioner and was the longtime Director of Campus Ministry at N.C. Central University.

He continues to serve there as the advisor of several student ministries. The Collegiate 100 Black Men of NCCU actively partners with Antioch for many community service endeavors like packing and delivering Thanksgiving dinners to families.

“Working with Antioch is great for our organization,” said member Kennard Watkins. “They are dedicated to helping others and their commitment to the community is outstanding.”

Antioch Baptist Church offers programs that focus on rebuilding lives and helping people get a second opportunity for those who need it. They own a transitional home that allows people who were incarcerated to have a place to stay while they get things back on track and become self-sufficient. They also have a homeless ministry and a food pantry for people in the Northeast Central Durham Area.

Reverend Page plays a huge role for the church, but a lot of what Antioch does couldn’t be possible without the members.

Longtime member and employee of Antioch, Mary Simms, takes pride in aiding the community and feels the church was destined to help the surrounding neighborhoods.

“I think God put us here on this corner for a reason,” said Simms. “Our pastor is a mission driven pastor and is big on community outreach. We are serving God by serving the community.”

Antioch Baptist Church continues to show that it does more than deliver the word of God. The church is a pillar in the Northeast Central Durham community and does it’s best to provide a place of spiritual refuge.

“It’s important for us to help the community and provide a spiritual presence for people,” said Reverend Page. “The greater needs of the community will always be important at the Antioch Baptist Church.”