Top 6 Places to Plant a Church in Louisiana

I 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 places to plant a church in Louisiana:

(I use data on SBC, southern baptist churches, because that attendance data is readily available to me as a SBC strategist. Data on evangelicals comes from

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 & salt water fishing 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.

6. Lake Charles 

Population: 235,000. Only 3.7% attend a SBC Church. 

Aw man! If I were 28 again & ready to start a church, I’d plant myself here! Includes the cities of Lake Charles, Sulphur, & Jennings. May be one of the fastest growing areas in the south right now with 17% growth over the last 18 months. Expected to add 40,000 jobs over the next decade. Home to McNeese State University.

Contacts: Carey Baptist Association, DOM Bruce Baker.

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 February 3, 2016, in Church Planting, Louisiana Baptists. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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