The community known as “Antioch” began at the convergence of Antioch Pike, Hickory Hollow Parkway, Blue Hole Road, and Mt. View Road. The original town of Antioch began as a church located by Mill Creek in 1810. Antioch was a commuter town because workers traveled to and from downtown Nashville. From the beginning, the town provided immediate services like a post office and general store. For planning purposes, the community was given the name Antioch–Priest Lake because the study area encompassed areas near J. Percy Priest Lake and the neighborhoods that grew from the heart of Antioch in the early 1800s.
In 1810, The First Baptist Church was organized in the area near Mill Creek. Then in 1820, a large landowner by the name of Charles Hays donated land for the church to build on, and began referring to it as the Church at Antioch, giving the town its name. Charles Hays based the name change on Bible scripture (Acts 11:26 KJV) which states “…and the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” The village was known as Antioch from 1820 onward. For a short time in the 1870’s and 1880’s, the post office designation for the village was Oneyville, named after the post master of that time—Dr. J. H. Oney. However it was later changed back to the name Antioch.
Now a town featuring a post office, Antioch began to grow covering an area of one to two miles in either direction. The Antioch mail route itself also covered additional areas outside of those communities. Beyond that initial two mile boundary were the communities of Una, Mt. View, Cane Ridge, Tusculum and Bakertown.
Much of the land in the town of Antioch was owned by Charles Hays and he remained the largest land owner through the first few decades of Antioch’s existence. By the end of the 1840s however, road construction had begun on Mill Creek Valley Pike (now known as Antioch Pike), and the road opened for use in 1846. Construction also began on a rail road that would change the face of the community.
The railroad built near the town of Antioch was vital for mail delivery and those workers who had jobs in the “big city” of Nashville. Even back then, the commute to Downtown Nashville was a chore requiring a horse to Nolensville Road, followed by a trolley taking a half day to get to Downtown Nashville. The first train helped workers get to and from Nashville quickly. In its heyday, approximately 18 passengers were taking the train to and from the city of Nashville.
Over the years, there were four trains that ran both north and south that stopped at various station locations in Antioch. The first station was southwest of present day Una-Antioch Pike. The book With Good Will and Affection...for Antioch states that this may be in the spot where Hickory Hollow Parkway runs today. In 1891, the train station would move to its second location near the terminus of Blue Hole Road at Antioch Pike. This was the final location prior to the arrival of the automobile - the invention that would make travel by railroad less popular. In later years, because of the popularity of the automobile, the railroad would remain in operation, but primarily for mail delivery.
Even though the railroad was losing popularity, the town of Antioch continued to grow through its local commerce. By the 1880’s, the village consisted of a railroad station, one church, one store, a blacksmith shop, and a few homes. In the 1930’s an auto repair shop and later a village pub would replace the blacksmith shop. Also in the area, local music teachers taught lessons out of a home on Mill Creek Valley Pike (Antioch Pike), and a two-story grocery store was owned and operated by a bachelor, Mr. Harris who worked in the store and lived on the second floor. The post office remained as a community staple in the area and existed as part of the local grocery stores in subsequent years.
Over time, as Antioch continued to grow through suburbanization, it became more difficult to pin-point where Antioch was located. Having never formed as an incorporated city, the town of Antioch was mostly defined by its postal address. Identifying the community this way also proved difficult because the mail route wasn’t confined to the small area around Blue Hold Road. A 1993 Nashville SCENE magazine article titled “An Antioch State of Mind” reported that the Antioch post office grew to serve 14 rural routes and 11 urban routes. Despite the confusion about where Antioch started and stopped, people continued to be drawn to the area and it saw significant growth in subsequent years.
In the 1970s, Antioch experienced explosive growth, largely due to the expansion of the Nashville sewer system to the area and the availability of large amounts of former farmland, which made possible the construction of many low-rise apartment complexes,
The most important business concentration in Antioch is Global Mall at the Crossings, formerly Hickory Hollow Mall, which opened in 1978. As Hickory Hollow Mall, it was a regional shopping mall with a gross leasing area of 1,107,476 sq ft (102,887.9 m2), more than 140 stores, and 5,795 parking spaces. Anchor stores included Sears, and Macy's. As of late 2008, the mall had seen an increase in store closures, including larger stores such as Dillard's and Linens 'n Things.[not in citation given] A Walmart Supercenter and many new strip malls have also opened. Large-scale home builders such as Beazer and Centex Homes have constructed many new subdivisions. As of February 2013, Target left the Antioch area.
Recently there has been a fierce resurgence. CHS is building a call center to have 2000 jobs on part of a 300-acre tract developed by Oldacre, McDonald LLC. The southeast library had moved to Antioch adjacent to the mall, along with the Ford ice center. A state of the art community center shares the same building as the library which was formerly the Dillard's section on the old mall. Most recently the DMV placed a full service driver license testing station in Antioch. Metro greenway projects run along mill Creek and massive Park space had been purchased by metro parks near Cane Ridge High School.
Starwood Amphitheatre, Nashville's former primary outdoor music venue, was in Antioch. The amphitheatre closed prior to the 2007 season, and has been demolished.
- "Antioch History". Antioch High School Alumni Association., Retrieved 2013-05-29. The area continues to experience some of the highest growth rates in Nashville-Davidson County. <re Antioch/Priest Lake Community Plan: 2003 Update, Main Plan Document, page 5. (Page 137 of PDF retrieved on January 24, 2011.)
- "Fact Sheet - Hickory Hollow Mall". CBL and Associations Properties. Archived from the original on March 17, 2012.
- National Association of Free Will Baptists