Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church celebrates 200th anniversary

6 months 1 day 1 hour ago Sunday, December 01 2019 Dec 1, 2019 Sunday, December 01, 2019 4:54:00 PM CST December 01, 2019 in News
By: Emily Wolf, KOMU 8 News

COLUMBIA — What's in a church? For Little Bonne Femme Baptist, almost 200 years of history.

The church, first founded Dec. 5, 1819, hosted a special program Sunday to recognize its upcoming bicentennial. Worshipers young and old joined each other in a meal, hymns and sermon that discussed how the church's history intersects with Missouri's.

Little Bonne Femme was founded almost two years before Missouri became a state, and the church has continued offering its services ever since.

"The church survived through the depression, those were tough days," Pastor Bart Tichenor said. "There were a few months where the treasury had a few dollars in it."

The event was part of a year long initiative by the church that worked to inform its congregation of its history. For some, that history mirrors their own.

Steven Sapp, a deacon at Little Bonne Femme, is a 5th generation churchgoer. He and his three sons continue the family tradition.

""My boys are sixth generation at Little Bonne Femme," Sapp said. "So I grew up in the church, my parents attended here, like, my mom's parents, and their parents and their parents, so um there is a long history of tradition coming to this church." 

Evan, 13, Aaron, 10, and Landon, 8, are all active members of Little Bonne's community.

For Evan, the church provides a space to grow up with others who share his love of God.
"We all have our opinions, but we all share one big relationship with God," Evan said. "Just growing in a community, this community, in this environment is pretty great."

Steven said that while the church is still in the same area as it started in all those years ago, the brick and mortar location isn't what makes it special.

"We're proud of the building, and proud of the place we've been worshipping for 200 years, but it's the family and the brotherhood of believers here that we're really proud of," Steven said. 

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