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Our history

Little Bonne Femme Baptist Church has a rich & proud heritage. Not only is it the second oldest Baptist church in continuous operation West of the Mississippi, it also claims prominent & visionary members who were pioneer leaders of the state of Missouri.

Among their ranks were Dr. William Jewell, considered by many the “Thomas Jefferson of the Midwest;” Robert Thomas, the first president of William Jewell College; And David H. Hickman, a statesman who co-wrote legislation to strengthen state funding for the Missouri public school system. These are only a few of the pivotal leaders that made up this church in its early years.

In June of 1835, Baptists from throughout Missouri met on this site to approve the constitution of the organization that would become the Missouri Baptist Convention. On this site was also located the first institution of higher education in Boone County, the Little Bonne Femme Academy. This institution is thought to be the forerunner of the University of Missouri Columbia.

The church was formed on Sunday, December 5, 1819, when a group of sixteen individuals met at the home of Anderson Woods. The group referred to themselves as "Regular Baptists" and took the name of the nearby creek as the church name. The original meeting house for the church was built on the same tract of land that the present church house occupies. The west wall and part of the north and south walls of the current sanctuary date from 1845.

In 1991, Baptists from throughout Missouri met on this site to establish what has become the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Heartland. Today the church partners with this organization, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Little Bonne Femme Baptist Association in order to carry out its mission and vision.

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