Our Story

How it all started...

Bonhomme Presbyterian Church started in 1816 and is the oldest active Presbyterian church west of the Mississippi River. A Revolutionary War hero named Stephen Hempstead contacted a missionary society in Connecticut and asked for a pastor to be sent to plant churches. That pastor was Salmon Giddings. Giddings arrived, a new church was founded on October 4, 1816,  and had its first worship service at the cabin of Elizabeth Smith on October 6, 1816. Timothy Flint and Salmon Giddings served as the first pastors.

The early years of the congregation were marked with struggle. The church disbanded in 1827 and reformed in 1828 with ten members.

A building, the Old Stone Church, was constructed for the congregation in 1841.

But the Civil War shut down worship services, and they were again shut down during World War 2 and gas rationing. In 1950, the church was down to three members, Annie Yokel and her two nieces. Annie Yokel died, and left land to Bonhomme Presbyterian. A full-time pastor was called, and the church began to grow. We celebrate the milestones of pastors (Herbert Watson, Rollyn Moseson, Jim Capps, Tom Pfizenmaier, and Phil Hargrove), members, and new facilities, but we know that the true milestones are lives changed by God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, and we are so grateful for many of those stories through the years!

Expanding the vision...

Today Bonhomme Presbyterian has two vibrant worship services, Traditional and Modern, with the same message being given by the same pastor at each service. We partner with a variety of Mission Partners in the St. Louis area and around the world. Our congregation provides support for our Mission Partners, but we also join them for activities! On any given week you’ll find Covenant Partners (that’s what we call church members) serving alongside of our mission partners.

We see ourselves as a teaching congregation, and we value the life of the mind being transformed by faith in Jesus Christ.

On any given Sunday you’ll find growth hour opportunities for children, students, and adults. Our classes are fun, build relationships, and are not afraid to tackle the challenges of faith in a rapidly changing world. Throughout the week you’ll find groups like Rooted, Bible Studies for men, women, and children, opportunities to serve with others like our choir or modern worship or our tech team for both services. Come and connect with us. There’s a place for you at Bonhomme.

Where we are headed...

We still have people who see our facility from I-64 and come to worship with us, and we celebrate those connections. But we know that our future will be characterized by the ways we demonstrate Jesus to the world in which we live.

We want people to see Jesus in us, to wonder about what we believe, to watch the ways in which we serve others and our community. Our future is representing Jesus to a watching world.

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together at 9:00 am and 10:30am.