Antioch Baptist Church is planting a new church in Georgetown, Texas. After three years of preparation, Bro. Andy Comer, Antioch’s Church Planter, and 34 others will be relocating to Georgetown this summer to begin establishing Antioch-Georgetown.
On Sunday, May 28, Antioch Conway will have a Commissioning Service for the group that is moving to Georgetown. After hearing messages from Dr. Jason Aultman, Lead Pastor of Antioch Conway, and Bro. Comer, Lead Pastor of Antioch Georgetown, the group will be given a charge and the entire church will pray for them and their mission. A church picnic will then be held to celebrate and send them off.
The idea of planting a new church was first considered as Dr. Aultman was envisioning next steps for his growing church. God had blessed Antioch with tremendous growth but he wanted the church to also send out leaders who could take the message of Christianity out to other communities.
Antioch Conway, which is affiliated with the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) began discussions about the possibility of planting a church about three years ago. They knew they wanted to plant a church in an area where there wasn’t a BMA church but they didn’t want it to be too far away from other BMA churches.
After doing some research, Georgetown, Texas caught their attention. It is the fastest growing city in the nation. Many of the people moving to Austin to take technology jobs are making their homes in this thriving suburb 30 miles to the north.
In December, 2014, Dr. Aultman approached Bro. Comer, about the possibility of joining the Antioch staff as a Church Planter. He would train and prepare himself and others for two years and then relocate to Georgetown.
Bro. Comer, who was then the pastor of Davis Street Baptist Church in Sulphur Springs, TX, had just led his church through a period of change and transition. It had seen growth and had just bought land to build a new facility. The congregation had become like a family to him.
"It was hard to leave but I got really excited about the possibility of planting a church in Georgetown," Comer said.
Bro. Comer was born and raised in Texas. His father, also a pastor, moved the family to Bridge City, TX, south of Beaumont, when he was in the fourth grade. His family still resides there.
After graduating high school, Bro. Comer attended Jacksonville College where he earned an associate degree in 2005. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas A & M Commerce in 2007 before going to BMA Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, TX. He will graduate this weekend from the seminary.
Bro. Comer joined the Antioch Conway staff in September, 2015. During his time in Conway, he has been going through BMA church planter training sessions and learning more about the organization and operation of churches. He has worked with all of the Antioch staff to learn about the various ministries of the church.
Twenty-one adults and 13 children, representing 13 families, will be relocating to Georgetown this summer. Three have already relocated and started jobs in the area. Bro. Comer, his wife and three daughters will be moving May 29. The rest should be there by the end of July.
"This summer, the group will focus on getting settled and getting to know their new community. It always takes a while to learn the streets, the location of the restaurants and get used to the culture," Bro. Comer said. "We will start introducing ourselves to people and inviting them to Bible studies which will be held in three or four homes. We will also begin looking for a location to rent."
In the fall, the groups will be brought together once a month for a special service. Small groups, which will meet in homes, will also be launched. Weekly services in a rented space will begin on January 21, 2018.
Bro. Comer will be the Lead Pastor of Antioch-Georgetown. Ben Brandon, who has been a Worship Intern at Antioch Conway since 2015, will be relocating with his new wife, Catlyn, to serve as Worship Leader at Antioch-Georgetown. Stephen Castleberry, Antioch Conway’s Middle School Pastor, and his family will also be moving to Georgetown to help establish the new church.
Future plans include planting other new churches in surrounding areas based on the demographics of the congregation.