Bonne Femme Baptist Church, Missouri
The Christian Repository, 1889
The occupation of this and other States by the French is memorialized by the names of its towns and streams. St. Charles, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, Bonne Homme and Tuque Prairie are examples. Though Daniel Boone gave his name to the rich and populous county of Boone, yet the earliest French settlers named its principal stream (good woman), Bonne Femme. The Bonne Femme church was organized in 1819 — the same year that Missouri was admitted into the Union, and enrolled among its members was William Jewell, founder of William Jewell College; his mother and father, Martha and Charles Hardin, parents of Ex-Governor Hardin, R. S. Thomas, first president of the William Jewell College, together with many of the ancestors of the leading families of Boone County, the Morses, the Stephens, Suttles, and Harris. Over this church, James Suggett was at once called to preside.
Ah! there are many inspiring and tender recollections awakened by the name of that blessed old church.
There was borne the Bonne Femme Association — though organized at the Providence church. There preached some of the strongest and purest men of this land. There my own sainted father was pastor for years. There Wilhite and Suggett and Doyle and Hinton, set apart him who now addresses yon to the work of the ministry. They were a people of enterprise and piety.
Away back in 1835 the church, together with the community, built, beside their large log meeting house, a brick building with three spacious rooms, and obtained a charter for the Bonne Femme College, which was attended by young men from all parts of the State. Hundreds found hope and commenced a new life in that old meeting house; streams of blessings flowed from that church throughout the distant West; and it is a proof of the piety and the power of James Suggett that he was the chosen pastor of that church and also of that of Columbia until he removed from the neighborhood.
[From The Christian Repository, October 1889, pp. 271-272; via the University of Wisconsin – Madison, digitized documents. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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