• • • • • • ABOUT ANTIOCH • • • • • •
by Laurie Germeraad Kagay
SOME FACTS ON ANTIOCH, TN
Antioch is a part of the greater Nashville area, located in southeastern Davidson county. Nashville has become a popular city for immigrants, and is considered the “New Ellis Island.” Nashville’s foreign-born population more than tripled in size in the 1990s, and the foreign-born people statewide likewise grew by 169%, making Tennessee a larger magnet for immigrants, by percentage, than larger cities like New York and Los Angeles. Catholic Charities of Tennessee resettled 648 refugees in Middle Tennessee in 2010 alone.
Also in 2010, English was a second language for 22% of Metro Nashville students, and at Antioch High School, over 80 languages are spoken. Large groups of Mexicans, Kurds, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Arabs, Bantus and others call Nashville their home, many of them being concentrated primarily in Antioch. Nashville is one of the few international locations where Iraqi expatriates can vote.
Antioch as a codename for "here" & it's theological implications
In Antioch, we have been easily and readily connected with the nations. Our language acquisition students at the Institute can regularly meet with native Swahili, Hindi, Spanish and Tagalog speakers. Students at our school often work jobs with people from Africa and Southeast Asia, India and Latin America and have even become their friends. It is a great place for our participants to learn about other cultures and languages, beyond just books or movies.
But more than historical fact or sociological benefit to our vocation, we use the term "Antioch," to describe our headquarters location because of the theological meaning associated with this name. Many of the biblical writers wrote history in this way–considering not only the facts of the story, but the relevant meaning associated with the names of people or places in the story.
In the book of Acts, we learn that Antioch was a place of education, equipping and empowerment. It was the first place from which missionaries were sent (Acts 11:26, 15:35).
No one tried to search for an Antioch on purpose, as to fulfill some kind of scriptural mandate, or to be clever. However, having more than a decade of history in the area and the theological implications of that namesake location in the bible, we continue to describe "here" as "Antioch;" a place for education, equipping and empowerment for a world in need.
Today, though our headquarters is geographically located in another subsection of Nashville, we are still living in “Antioch” – the place where people are empowered to be a benefit to the rest of the world.