When Ken Hutcherson first became a Christian in his senior year of high school, it was quite a turnaround not only in his life but the lives of those who knew him. Blacks and whites didn’t get along and Hutch being black and talking about how all people should get along, made the conflicts even more pronounced. When he realized Christ not only died for him but He died for every white person too, it made him question his own prejudices.
That year, he started studying the Bible, determined to start a group that best reflects what God’s priorities and values are. After studying the Bible for five to six hours a day, Hutch realized many churches are not based on what Scripture dictates. Many are based on color and many are based on tradition and culture. The Bible doesn’t determine people’s value by color or culture. Jesus regularly chastised religious leaders for confusing man-made traditions with Scripture.
After playing pro ball and ending up in Seattle, Hutch started working with Westminster Chapel in Bellevue under the mentorship of Pastor Wilbur Antisdale, who provided Hutch with a great opportunity to observe a pastor, leader and the inside of church operations up close and personal, helping prepare him for the next chapter of his ministerial life. So when it came time to leave Westminster, Mark Webster, Dwight Englund and Hutch talked about starting a church that reflected what the biblical church should look like – a church for all people.
The First 30 Years of God's Blessing
Antioch started with 15 people in a Bible study and grew to over 80 people in the first year. At that time, they realized God wanted them to start a church, so in October, 1984 Antioch was founded. It subsequently became a nationally recognized leader in cross-cultural ministry. Antioch's innovative commitment to multiethnic ministry was by design rather than luck, and to an unwavering commitment to Bible-centered preaching of God's Word, consistently communicated a message of hope and grace to people in the Pacific Northwest and around the globe.
"Black and White in a Grey World" best describes both Antioch's multi-ethnic perspective and its commitment to biblical truth.
Through "no fee" adoptions, world-wide missions, medical relief, our holistic approach to drug and alcohol recovery, and prison outreach, Antioch is impacting and infusing the culture with time-honored values and standards.
On October 11, 2009, Antioch Bible Church members and guests packed the house at Overlake Christian Church to celebrate 25 years of ministry. Many photos and videos were posted on Facebook in the week following the event, and many were "not ready for the celebration to end."
After battling prostate cancer for more than a decade, Hutch entered heaven on December 18, 2013. Once again, Overlake Christian Church was packed as his life was honored and celebrated by thousands of the people whose lives had been indelibly impacted through his ministry.
The Next Chapter
But death cannot thwart God's plan for Antioch. After a time of tremendous grief and uncertainty, the leadership at Antioch is more convinced than ever that God has a wonderful plan for Antioch, and that "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ."
Shortly before Hutch lost his battle with cancer, and gained heaven, he went before the congregation at Antioch Bible Church and apologized for not leading the church into a permanent church facility. He spoke of this to the staff, elders and many individuals on staff as well. He knew this was a plan that needed to be executed for the future health, vitality and continued outreach in the Northwest and around the world for Christ.
The elders looked at the bylaws, which stated, “Antioch Bible Church will never go into debt.” Certainly, we had contractual debt in many places of our operation and so the elders sought to better communicate the intent. So, the bylaws were changed to state “We will never be in a situation where we are unable to meet our current financial obligations.” (Oct 25, 2016)
In 2016, the pastors and elders met to discuss the vision of Antioch Bible Church for the next 30 years. It was decided that a permanent home for Antioch Bible Church was necessary for the following reasons:
- Financial health and stability
- Improved opportunities for fellowship and growth of relationships
- More opportunities to equip and train people as well as develop current and future ministries
- Improved facilities that enable us to be a beacon of light in our community as we serve those around us
The process was then set in place to begin not only a search for a facility, but also begin the process of raising funds for the purpose of purchasing a facility.
The main ambition of Antioch Bible Church of course, is to bring Glory to God, as we do things with excellence, and stay committed to the biblical convictions He has established. Although a 24/7 facility is not our end goal, it is giving our church the tools necessary to accomplish the ongoing vision for our church, as we stay focused on this year's theme to "Be Like Jesus, and Seek the Lost."