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First Baptist Church was organized on October 18, 1874 with eight charter members. Meetings were held in the homes of the people and later in the Methodist Church with the Reverend A.O. Buzzel as the first pastor. In 1875, Carter Hall on Wyoming was secured as a place of worship.
The Kearney Baptist Church became a member of the Grand Island Association in 1875 and it was during that year that plans were made to build a meeting house. A lot was purchased from the Union Pacific Railroad for $50.00 and $500.00 was received from the Home Mission Society toward the expense of a new building which was completed at a cost of $1,850.00 and dedicated on March 12, 1876.
A choir and Sunday School were organized in 1876. In 1882 an organ was purchased and the meeting house was repaired and repainted. The women's organization, known as the Ladies Mite Society, carpeted the church in 1886. Membership had grown to 90 with Sunday School enrollment at 114. Mid-week services, called the Covenant Meeting, recorded attendance of 50.
Plans were made in 1889 to secure a new meeting house and a corner lot at 4th Avenue and 22nd Street was purchased for $3000.00 and a church building erected at a cost of $14,600.00. The edifice was referred to as "grand and imposing" and the cathedral windows could not be equaled in the state. Sunday School enrollment grew and a Junior Society of Christian Endeavor was organized. The church was pastored for many years by evangelists and missionaries on furlough who shepherded the flock for short periods of time.
As membership grew, indebtedness was cleared, building improvements were made, a parsonage was purchased and a house and lot next to the church building were added for Sunday School classes.
The present church building was built in 1973 and dedicated on April 29, 1973 with a membership of 279. An addition was added to the building and dedicated on February 1995 with a membership of 482.
First Baptist Church, Kearney, is associated with the Grand Island Association, the American Baptist Churches of Nebraska, and the American Baptist Churches of the USA.