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On December 17, 1881, the First Baptist Church of Abilene was founded just shortly after the town of Abilene. Today the church is still as strong and vital to the downtown area as it was in 1881. Since 1995, Dr. Phil Christopher has served as the 19th pastor of the church. The church has always been community-minded assisting with the founding of Hardin-Simmons University and Hendrick Medical Center as well as numerous other community mission programs.