The Antioch Story
History of Antioch
Ken and Tamara Wytsma started Antioch Church in the summer of 2006 with a group of about 30 people dreaming of a unique, authentic and creative community centered on Jesus Christ and a desire to make a tangible difference in the world.
On October 15, 2006 Antioch had its first public service at the Old Mill Regal Cinemas, and within two years we had outgrown the theater and moved to Summit High School. Three years later, we were presented with the opportunity to move to Bend Senior High School, where we now meet.
In February of 2008, World Relief agreed to a unique innovative and collaborative partnership with Antioch, which would eventually become World Relief BEND.
At the same time, Antioch was given a local bible college: Kilns College – School of Theology and Mission. In looking for a place for the college classes and offices, we found a storefront in the Old Mill Marketplace that quickly became The Kilns Bookstore – staffed entirely by volunteers and selling uniquely justice-focused books and products.
In December 2009, Antioch produced a benefit CD: The Congo Benefit Project – which raised over $30,000 dollars for World Relief Congo through CD sales and concerts in Bend, Oregon and Boise, Idaho (the Congo CD can be purchased through the Online Store under the “Resources” tab).
2010 saw the launch of Redux – a Q&A service and web video series aimed at giving people the power to Ask Questions and Join the Conversation about Christianity and faith. 2010 also saw the blossoming of the Antioch Internship with 26 summer interns and 10 yearlong interns.
Even though we’ve grown to over 500 adults in services, Antioch continues to be a story of simple people believing in a big God, dreaming big dreams and committing to walk humbly and authentically in our community and our world.
We believe that God is looking for a few people idealistic enough to believe that they can change the world – because if it is impossible to change the world, God would not have told us to try.
When Antioch was launched, there was a glimmering dream in the minds of several of the core leaders about one day having a college where adults and college students could grow in knowledge of the Bible, discover their purpose and learn to change the world.
In the winter of 2007 Antioch was offered a college and in the fall of 2008, the Kilns College was born; there were four night classes, sixty part-time students, and a mission to change the world one student at a time. The vision was not simply to provide vocational Christian education, but to birth an innovative school that married a classical approach to education with a missions and social justice focus. The Kilns fosters education with a global perspective, encourages interactive classroom setting, and professors who are practitioners of the subject that they teach.
We seek to allow students to further their education while continuing to grow their character and Biblical understanding, at reasonable cost. At the Kilns we believe that education should be directional and purposeful, based on the unique design of an individual. At the Kilns we hope that students will find an environment that nurtures a better understanding of who God is and how He has uniquely designed them to make an impact in our world.
Kilns College has grown since its launch in 2008 to have not only a 1 Year Bible Diploma, but a 1 Year Bible and Arts Diploma and a 2 Year Associate of Arts in Bible degree.
Kilns College continues to flourish with the largest number of credit students registered this past semester to date.
To learn more or enquire about upcoming classes, visit us at www.kilnscollege.org
The Justice Conference
"The conference is a two–day annual event to promote dialogue around justice related issues such as human trafficking, slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS and human rights, featuring internationally acclaimed speakers, hundreds of humanitarian organizations and dozens of pre-conference workshops."
Ken Wytsma founded The Justice Conference in 2010 with a group of people from Antioch who had a dream of impacting a generation for justice.
Since then, The Justice Conference has grown to one of the leading international conferences on social and biblical justice with over a thousand people in Bend, Oregon in 2011 and an estimated 3,000+ in Portland, Oregon in February of 2012.
The vision is to reach tens of thousands of people over the next decade through a leading national conference that annually educates, inspires and connects a generation of men and women around a shared concern for the vulnerable and oppressed.
The driving value of the conference is A Theology of Justice – that our understanding of God would drive our love for others and engagement in justice. As it has been said, "Grace makes us just."
To find out more about this year's conference or to register, visit the website at www.thejusticeconference.com
How do you keep up the energy to run an active and thriving church?
Easy. Offer the best college-age intern program in the country!
The Antioch Intern Program has been going strong for several years and has pulled students from over a dozen colleges and universities from all over the US and Canada.
Before planting Antioch, Ken Wytsma had worked for almost a decade with college and singles as well as spending several summers in leadership at a youth camp in the mountains. The internship idea was a simple one to provide a platform for Antioch to stay engaged with college students and for college students to have a life changing summer – much like summer camp counselor experiences had been for Ken. As a result, the internship began almost the same time as the birth of Antioch in an attempt to offer a progressive context where students could gain hands on experience in ministry from a new and creative church plant in the heart of the Northwest – the most unchurched part of the country.
Beginning back in 2007 under the energetic leadership of its former director Brandon Reynolds, the intern program has grown to national prominence and has increased from one summer intern back in 2007, to four, to sixteen, to twenty-six – a growth rate of 166% per year – and continues to grow.
The impact has been nothing short of astonishing - half of the current Antioch staff have, at one point, been summer interns and another dozen former interns now call Bend home.
With the addition of a yearlong internship track (called the “resident program”), a fleet of scooters, church planting and performing arts modules, collaborative relationships with World Relief and Kilns College – the Antioch Internship Program shows no signs of slowing down!
To learn more about the Antioch Internship or to fill out the registration form, simply click the button to visit the Antioch Internship page under “Ministries.”
redux, means “brought back” or “restored.”
The whole idea is to restore the conversation. Religion is at its best when people are free to ask questions. It is at its worst when doubts, fears, questions, hang-ups, thought and issues are suppressed.
Jesus allowed questions. The Inquisition was designed to suppress questions.
Martin Luther began the Reformation by nailing 95 issues (called “theses”) to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany in an attempt to dialogue with others about the Christian faith in hopes of returning to a more authentic New Testament expression. His desire for dialogue was met with excommunication.
The mistake we often make is to believe that questions lead us further away from truth. Therefore, questions are bad.
The truth is that questions can facilitate greater understanding that lead us closer to truth. Therefore, questions – if answered in a way that leads to greater understanding, are good.
The Q&A Service is Antioch’s attempt to give church back to the people it was created for. It is our attempt to bring back and restore permission for people to ask questions and wrestle with faith – thus the name redux.
To see Redux videos on Vimeo, go to vimeo.com/redux