Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Little Chapel on the Bonaire Prairie

The Bonaire Methodist Chapel, by Marie Holly
   It was this month, in 1894, that the Bonaire Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was completing construction on the chapel built by a handful of families from the farming community. Earlier that year, the Rev. M. B. Ferrell, a preacher at the Sandy Run church, choose Bonaire as a spot to try to plant a new church because it was the next stop headed south on the Georgia Southern and Florida Railway. That February a committee was formed to consider the formal development of an ongoing, worshiping congregation, and soon afterwards Mr. W. S. King donated land. By mid-summer, he and his two sons were joined by five other men in the actual building on the structure that we still worship in on Sundays.
   We don't have photographs from that August 1894, but mind does create images as I wander back there with questions about life in our community one-hundred and twenty three years ago.

Was that August as hot as it is now?
What did they do about the mosquitoes?
Who provided the saw mill to cut the timber used in construction?
How much traffic passed by on a average afternoon when the men worked on the church building after completing their work on their own respective farms?
How vital was the support they received from their wives and families, that they saw the project completed in a such a short period of time?
What visionary sketched out the plans for a room large enough room that it would still be used today to welcome new friends and guests?

   At the century mark, Earline Cole compiled a wonderful history of our church. She choose Psalm 102:18 as a theme, Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord. It is so true. We have been blessed by men and women, who could surely never have imagined the stream of persons yet unborn who would enter our little chapel. We are sending out invitations this week for our Church Anniversary on September 24 to give witness to the greatness of God. Mark your calendars now.
   Grace and peace, Scott

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