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Boeuf Prairie United Methodist Church (Fort Necessity, La.) records

Identifier: LACUMC-2023-020

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the activities of Boeuf Prairie United Methodist Church (Fort Necessity, La.). It includes membership records, administrative records, and a church history. The membership records are typed facsimiles created in 2022.


  • 1847 - 2022


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Boeuf Prairie United Methodist Church (Fort Necessity, La.) is located on Louisiana Highway 135, approximately one miles north of Fort Necessity, Louisiana

Circuit riders started visiting the area in the early 1800s. In 1832, Rev. Uriah Whatley was appointed to serve from “Boeuf River up to Big Creek.” After founding the Boeuf Prairie congregation in 1833, services were held in private homes.

The church building was constructed in 1837. The cypress wood and windows were brought up from New Orleans by steamboat. The church was whitewashed, leading to the nickname the “White Swan.” In those days the church was the center of parish activities, holding many of the early parish organizational and business meetings.

At the time of the organization of the Louisiana Conference in 1847, the membership contained 141 white and 100 black members.

In 1898, the interior lattice and plaster walls were replaced with beaded woodwork walls.

Since Boeuf Prairie was in a rural area, the pastor typically lived elsewhere and rode into town…usually holding services once a month. When Rev. Daniel Barr was appointed to the circuit in 1913, he held services at Boeuf Prairie twice a month.

Since its earliest days, the church property had actually been owned by the Bonner family. On June 21, 1916, the church formally bought the property for $86.

In 1939, the church building was rotated 180 degrees. It was moved from the west side of the cemetery to the east side facing eastward towards the recently completed Fort Necessity-Ogden highway. That same year the church bought the land between the church and the highway (now used as the parking area) from Henry Buie and sold him land at the west side of the cemetery.

Led by Mrs. Lee Wooldridge, fundraising began in 1948 to add Sunday School classrooms. Her husband got lumber and labor donated from the community over three years.

In 1957, the entrance was modernized. A large social room was added to the church in 1962 and dedicated the following year. In 1964, Helen V. Talbert donated property to be used for a parsonage. The church inherited $20,000 from the estate of long-time member James M. King (after he passed away at age 1 12) to use for upkeep of the facilities.

In 1983, the church’s restrooms were remodeled and carpeting added in the sanctuary.

Boeuf Prairie United Methodist Church disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church in 2022.

Source: Timothy Hebert, “The Historical Register of the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church,” (Louisiana: Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, 2004), page MO-14.


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is organized by subject, then chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown person dropped off collection at First United Methodist Church (Alexandria, La.), then transferred by Sheila Foreman (Alexandria District Office administrative assistant) in 2023.

Finding Aid to the Boeuf Prairie United Methodist Church (Fort Necessity, La.) records
Riane Faas and Chris Brown
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections Repository

2911 Centenary Blvd.
Shreveport LA 71104 US
(318) 869-5462