The Modern Antioch Church
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul [on the road to Damascus], and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.-- Acts 11:25-26
Antioch and St Paul Westport
It was in the ancient Syrian city of Antioch along the Orontes River that the Apostle Paul founded his ministry to the gentiles. Antioch was a center of commerce and intellect; a place where leaders would gather and where a vibrant marketplace showcased international wares. The Roman Empire saw it as an important gateway to the Near East – rivaling the great Alexandria in resource and wealth. Jews and gentiles came together at Antioch, and history indicates that Antioch was the first place where believers were even called Christians.
It was at Antioch that Paul, divinely called and divinely shaped, chose to make his base of operation. This hub of cultural activity also became the hub of early church activity; where the Apostle Paul went out from and returned to, as he ministered to the growing churches of Christians in the early church age. Without Antioch, Paul would not have had the foundational support that was needed to fulfill his calling.
We at St. Paul Westport are inspired by the early Antioch church. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we feel called to reach and witness beyond the boundaries of Westport and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our hearts yearn to follow the Great Commission, to support the orphaned and needy wherever they live, and to bring the healing of our Risen Lord. We aim to be an international resource, and like Antioch, encourage people to come and go from our doors, sharing the power and the miracles of the salvation of Christ. We will continue our call, until Christ comes back again. Amen!