“ ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:11
God set in motion His plan for First Baptist Church of Round Rock more than a century ago. In 1847, two years after Texas became a state, the Baptist Mission Board of New York sent four young men, fresh out of seminary and on fire for the Lord, to Texas to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ “in the wilderness”. The men first settled in an area located on the banks of Brushy Creek. One of the men, R.H. Taliaferro, of Kentucky, participated in a revival in Huntsville. One revival attendee has been quoted as saying, “I heard R.H. Talaiferro again in the great revival . . . at Huntsville. In one of his powerful sermons, General Sam Houston, General Davis, and a number of leading citizens were powerfully convicted, and during the meeting of twenty-five days, over one hundred and twenty souls were saved.” In December of 1847, Taliaferro preached the first Baptist sermon on record in Williamson County. In 1848, a group of ten or twelve families organized a missionary Baptist church in the Round Rock area. Robert Taliaferro became its first pastor.
Over the years, the church had a number of different names: in 1854, Brushy Creek Baptist Church; in 1858, Baptist Church at Round Rock; in 1877, Old Round Rock Baptist Church; in 1891, Round Rock Baptist Church; in 1917, Robertson Memorial Baptist Church; and finally, in 1948, First Baptist Church of Round Rock. The church grew while enduring hardship and change. In the face of frontier living along the Chisholm Trail, meeting in homes and sharing buildings with Presbyterian, Methodist and Church of Christ congregations, enduring the Civil War and the reconstruction that followed, expelling “false teachers”, suffering a fire that resulted in the total loss of the church building, construction of Interstate 35 and the growing pains of a mushrooming Round Rock population; God has been continually at work within First Baptist Church of Round Rock.
The people of First Baptist Church have a history of generous and sacrificial giving and going to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world and just as men were sent out from New York to the Texas wilderness, so also, First Baptist Church has continued to follow God’s plan by sponsoring many local missions: 1940’s, a Mexican mission in Round Rock; 1950’s a mission that was called “Brushy” and a mission in the McNeil area of Williamson County; 1970’s, a mission in the Pflugerville area that is now known as First Baptist Church of Pflugerville; 1980’s, sponsored the organization of Fellowship Baptist Church and started Brushy Creek Baptist Mission now known as Fellowship at Brushy Creek; 1990’s, sponsored Northeast Baptist Mission that is now known as Central Baptist Church and sponsored the organization of Primera Iglesia Bautista.
Since the 1950’s, First Baptist Church has had a close and enduring relationship with the Texas Baptist Children’s Home. Since the1990’s, a number of IMB missionaries have enjoyed our missionary residence during stateside assignments. Also, within our community, members of First Baptist Church have aided in the founding of Round Rock Caregivers and the Agape Pregnancy Resource Center. Utilizing our facilities, we have reached out to our community through Bible Study Fellowship, Mother’s Day Out, Upward Basketball, and most recently, Friendship International.
Finally, God’s plan continues to be seen within the lives of the people of First Baptist Church. We have had a number of members who, through the growth and nurturing within our church, have been sent out as pastors, missionaries and other church leaders. Today, God continues to work in the lives of the people of First Baptist Church of Round Rock. While God is calling many of our people to special mission assignments, we each carry the gospel of Jesus Christ daily to our own community whether we work in business, government, education or our homes.
We are called in 1 Chronicles 16:12 to “remember the wonders He has done”. Those who have gone before have left us with a rich heritage. As we look forward, let us continually seek God’s plan for each of our lives and for First Baptist Church as we strive to be witnesses to the gospel of Jesus Christ in Round Rock, in Texas, in the United States and even to the remotest parts of the earth.
1846—Four young men were sent to Texas by the association of Baptist churches to “preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in the wilderness.” In the fall, the first Baptist sermon on record in Williamson Co. was preached by Robert H. Taliaferro.
1848—Missionary Baptist Church, later called Brushy Creek Baptist Church was organized. Brother Taliaferro became the church’s first pastor. The church united with the Colorado Association.
1852—Due to an extremely small membership, the church met and dissolved.
1854—On February 5th, the Brushy Creek Baptist Church was organized and Elder E. McDaniel was named pastor. The church had no permanent building, and met under a shade tree, and in the homes of members.
1855—The church joined with the Cumberland Presbyterians and built a one-room church at the corner of Sunset and Chisholm. It became the meeting place of the Methodist and Church of Christ congregations also.
1858—A resolution was passed changing the church’s name to Baptist Church at Round Rock.
1877—The church was again renamed, becoming the Old Round Rock Baptist Church.
1891—The church membership reached over 100 members. A church committee was appointed to locate a site in Round Rock for a new building.
1897—A building was erected at the intersection of Austin and Anderson Avenues, with the building facing Austin Avenue.
1916—A new building was built where the elevated water tower now stands. The church became known as Robertson Memorial Baptist Church, due to the generosity of a local merchant. This building was destroyed by fire, and the congregation used the Presbyterian church building and grounds at Brown Street and Round Rock Avenue.
1940’s—This building was enlarged and a baptistery was installed. A parsonage was built on the corner of Brown Street.
1948—The church officially assumed the name of First Baptist Church of Round Rock.
1957—The first educational building was erected across from the sanctuary on Brown Street.
1977—Ground was broken for a new sanctuary and Sunday School building.
1983—The Hertie Burk playground was constructed in memoriam.
1982—Ground was broken for adding the Education Building E.
1996—The Family Life Center was dedicated under the leadership of our pastor, Dr. Gary Brinkley.
2005—The First Life Center was opened with new offices, Preschool and Student Ministry areas.