In 1881, six months after the establishment of Abilene, Texas, seventeen residents met at the local public school building and chartered First Baptist Church of Abilene. These founders instilled a mission-minded focus in the new institution. Throughout the ensuing decades, this concern for reaching the needs of the local community allowed First Baptist to play an integral role in shaping the history of Abilene. While First Baptist was not the only institution that served Abilene, the church's importance cannot be overlooked. The mission outreach of First Baptist has played a significant role in shaping the history of Abilene.