Top 5 Places to Plant a Church in Louisiana #SendNorthAmerica #churchplanting #send2015

gatorI like to call south Louisiana the back pocket of the Bible Belt. Still many cities & communities in need of new churches in one of North America’s most unique cultures. Here’s the top five places to plant a church in Louisiana:

1. New Orleans

Population: 956,000. Only 2.1% attend a SBC Church. Only 11% Evangelical. 432,270 unaffiliated with any church.

Includes the Parishes of Orleans, Jefferson (Louisiana’s 2nd largest Parish), St. Bernard, Plaquemine, & St. Charles. New Orleans is strategic for a lot of reasons: one of North America’s most influential ports, a cultural icon for the world. For Louisiana, it makes up 20% of our population. For Southern Baptists, its one of only three Send Cities in the South.

Contacts: The New Orleans Baptist Associaton, DOM Jack Hunter. George Ross, North American Mission Board Send City Coordinator for New Orleans.

2. Acadiana

Population: 675,000. Only 1.8% attend a SBC church. Evangelical population only 9%. 229,049 unaffiliated with any church.

Includes the cities of Lafayette, Youngsville (one of Louisiana’s fastest growing), Abbeville, Carencro, Opelousas, Breaux Bridge. This is true Louisiana. Cajun Country. The images most shared about Louisiana come from these areas. Amazing food. Gators. Live Oaks. It’s also home to Louisiana’s second largest University, University of Louisiana – Lafayette.

Contacts: The Evangeline Baptist Association, DOM Bert Langley.

3. Baton Rouge

Population: 630,000. Only 2.0% attend a SBC Church. 23% evangelical. 242,000 unaffiliated with any church. 

Includes the cities of Baton Rouge, Prairieville, Gonzalez, Port Allen, Plaquemine & others. Louisiana’s state capital & the center of political life & becoming more influential in the Business life of the entire I-10 corridor. Growing refugee populations have been noted & this year will begin receiving Syrian refugees. Also, home to one of America’s most influential universities, Louisiana State University.

Contacts: The Baptist Association of Greater Baton Rouge, DOM Tommy Middleton.

4. Bayou

Population: 208,000. Only 1.8% attend a SBC Church. Only 6% Evangelical. 70,672 unaffiliated with any church.

Includes the cities of Houma, Thibodaux, Grand Isle, Galliano, Cutoff, & others. One of the best places for fresh shrimp in North America! Beautiful people & incredible culture. Also, very influential because of the thousands that work out of these communities in the drilling & oil production industry across the Gulf of Mexico. Home to Nicholls State University.

Contacts: The Bayou Baptist Association, DOM Joe Arnold.

5. I-12 Corridor

Population: 541,234. Only 4.8% attend a SBC Church. 25% Evangelical. 270,687 unaffiliated with any church.  

Includes the cities of Denham Springs, Walker, Hammond, Ponchatoula, Covington, Mandeville, Slidell & others. Fast growing for years due to suburban life. Now robust corporate life developing. Home to Louisiana’s third largest University – South Eastern Louisiana State University in Hammond.

Contacts: Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association, DOM David Brown. And Northshore Baptist Association, DOM Lonnie Wascom.

And VERY close behind or tied with these FIVE:

  • Lake Charles – Center of Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor. Expected to add 20,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
  • Avoyelles Parish region – Still several communities that have never had an evangelical church.

Planters & partners needed. Message me for info about these and other communities that need new churches in Louisiana if God may be leading you to the Bayou. 

Find other info on Church Planting in Louisiana at

And connect with other church planters in Louisiana by joining our Facebook Group – Louisiana Church Multiplication Network.

About Lane Corley

I am - Follower of Jesus Christ - Husband to the beautiful and patient Heather Corley - Father of three. - Church Planter / Church Planting Strategist with the Louisiana Baptist Convention. - When I can, I’m reading, raised bed gardening, deer hunting, and on mission with my church. - Hoping to be helpful.

Posted on August 3, 2015, in Church Planting, Louisiana Baptists and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’m not trying to sound negative about this but what about the established SBC churches in these areas??? I am all about spreading the Gospel as much as possible but it seems that more emphasis is being placed on church plants than helping our established churches. For example, our church supports Cooperative Program PLUS our local Association. Right now, we are currently building a new facility because we outgrew our existing. I plea to our LBC for financial support to help with some of the expense was returned with “we can’t help you”. REALLY??? But we have funds to start new churches, buy them supplies, etc. Here we are, effectively spreading the Gospel, people are being saved, and we just need a little help and we receive none. Please hear me, I’m not crying nor am I bashing our LBC. They are a vital asset to the ministry in Louisiana. It just saddens me that we are willing to leave established churches to the waist-side in favor of starting new ones. If I’m alone in this observation, please forgive me. BUT in these 5 areas listed, I know that there are churches in these areas that can be effective if we would invest in them.

  2. Hey Tony, Thanks for the comment. I post this list today, because it’s the start of the Send North America Conference where church planters are gathering from all other the country & some may be still deciding on where God may be calling them to plant their lives. And yes! In all of these areas there are churches that are working hard to spread the gospel & glorify God. The church I pastor is one of them in the I-12 Corridor community of Madisonville. In my opinion, in no way does support for church planting cast existing churches to the wayside, but instead recognizes that the lostness in the area is still so great that we need to open up new fronts to attack it. We don’t devalue a thing by saying we need more of it. We raise its value, by saying it’s the solution that we’re all looking for. New churches tend to raise the water level for everyone as new people are reached, outreaches are conducted, & the Gospel becomes the story of the people in the community. And church planting when done right is about that & only that. I’ve written about some of the questions that we ask in strategy when planning for new churches HERE.

    The LBC does have many ways it supports the work of existing churches. My role is Church Planting Strategist, so I communicate things related to church planting in Louisiana & I write this post from my personal blog. Some of the resources I’ve come to appreciate as a Pastor affiliated with the LBC are: Free Conferencing & Training, including the Evangelism Conference every January that features World Class speakers & equippers. This type conference in other states or for other denominations can cost $150-$300 per person & our churches are allowed to bring unlimited numbers of congregants at no charge. There are also catalyst & strategist that will do FREE individual training or consultation for you & your church with just a phone call. My church is out of children’s space & the Children Ministry Strategist came at no charge to help our team brainstorm last weekend. In your area, the LBC has helped to fund programs like Unlimited Partnerships, which provided staff members for existing churches recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The LBC also helped to provide a church health strategist to work in the New Orleans area to provide support to existing churches. And I’ve come to see that the greatest thing we have as Southern Baptist through our associations & state conventions is the support of a network of pastors & churches that have wisdom & experience to help each other through whatever stage of ministry we’re currently in. I have your email & when I return from the Send Conference, I’d love to connect with you & hear your story & see if we can be of mutual support to one another.

  3. Ernest Mitchell

    This is really encouraging to see the possibility of planting churches in these parts.
    I am from Houma, I am prayerfully considering moving back to Louisiana to be apart of a future church plant. I didn’t see the need but those statistics and my last visit home showed me. I’ve lived in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and was raised. I would love to gather more info. I am currently a ruling elder and discipleship Pastor in a PCA church in West Palm Beach Fl and I am preparing to take my lisencure and ordination exam to become a TE.

  1. Pingback: Top Posts of 2015 | Lane Corley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: