Related: Pastor C.M. Alexander : "For whatever reason, the Lord has kept us here
According to the historic African-American church’s website, Alexander became pastor in 1969. While on vacation in Atlanta, his father — at the request of a member of Antioch — asked the younger Alexander to fill in one Sunday while the church prepared to vote on a new pastor.
After preaching “A Man Is in Town,” the church offered him the position on a write-in vote.
Related: Sign the guestbook for Rev. C.M. Alexander
At the time, Antioch had only 600 members, today it has about 14,000.
Alexander was also a prominent community leader. He helped lead a bus boycott that integrated the Bibb County transit system during his pastorate in Macon. And, while a pastor in Savannah, he formed a partnership with C&S Bank President Mills B. Lane to improve 109 blocks of real estate in Savannah.
Alexander was born in Atlanta, “a Grady baby.” He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and attended Florida A&M University , where he was a member of the “Marching 100.” He later earned a degree from Morehouse College.
Antioch had its beginnings as a “prayer band” in a butcher shop on Marietta Street by eight former slaves calling themselves the “Bethursday group.” Its founding pastor promised the church would be a “light in darkness.”