This history of our church is a history of God using people to make disciples of Jesus.
One of the original settlers of the area, David Myers, planted Rowlett Creek Baptist church in 1844. He was an aggressive disciple maker. He was so devoted to sharing Jesus that one night in the middle of the winter, he was riding back from a gathering where he was teaching a small gathering of believers to live and love like Jesus and it started to sleet. David got so cold that he lost consciousness on his horse, the horse took him home and David died a few days later.
In 1872, some of the followers of Jesus that had grown out of Rowlett Creek decided that there should be a gathering of believers in McKinney. The first building was built in 1877 under the leadership of one of the great disciple makers in Baptist History, “Father” RC Buckner. Father Buckner was aggressively involved in orphan care in the area. Soon, the church commissioned Father Buckner to start Buckner Children’s Home. Today, Buckner International impacts hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Buckner’s deep compassion to meet needs continues to be a driving force in our church. Specifically, his heart for the orphan is reflected in the hundreds of families in our church who have fostered and adopted.
Major W.E. Penn has been credited with sharing Jesus with more people than anyone other than Billy Graham. Penn was a lawyer from East Texas that became an evangelist. In 1880, he led a revival in the McKinney area. Over two hundred people were saved by grace through faith in Jesus. More than 100 of those new believers joined First McKinney and the church more than doubled in size. The sudden influx of new believers encouraged a heart for missions to reach the lost. Our church history books tell us that from 1896-1917, $348,850 was given to the church with “a vast majority of this sum going to missions, education, and benevolence.” The first long term missionary that the church supported was Miss Euva Majors. Miss Majors was a missionary to China for many years and aggressively made disciples of Jesus until the communist takeover. Missions continued to define the giving of our church. In 1959, the church was contributing 43% of its total undesignated income to missions.
Giving our resources to make disciples is not all that we get to do. God has called all of us to give of our time. Over the past 50 years, First McKinney’s missional heart has defined us in the community. When the current campus was expanded, the decision was made to build the Family Life Center before the Worship Center in order to serve the city. First McKinney helped to launch Habitat for Humanity in McKinney. In addition to church plants in the United States and around the world, in recent years we have planted Crosspoint, Templo de Alabanza and Crossroads Cowboy Church in our area. Our desire is not just to gather people, but to send people.
To continue to meet needs and grow relationships in our own community, First McKinney partnered with other churches in our area to become a lead sponsor of 3e McKinney in 2008. 3e is a ministry that helps churches in McKinney to work together to meet needs. One outreach effort has been through our partner school, Finch Elementary. We have served more than 400 families through adopting classes, putting on field day events, purchasing Christmas gifts for parents to present to their kids and tutoring students one-on-one.
Last year, 229 people left McKinney on 17 short-term mission trips. In addition, we continued to help support some 49 mission partners, 14 of these partners were members of our church that are now full-time on the mission field.
The future of First McKinney will continue to focus on making disciples. We give Him all the glory for what He has chosen to do. We will continue to meet needs, grow relationships, share Jesus and teach obedience. Why? That is what discipleship looks like. We want to live and love like Jesus so that our neighbors, nations and the next generation will follow Jesus. We can’t wait to see what God has in store!