Category Archives: Louisiana Baptists
Recently I was with a group of church leaders and the issue of reaching the lost came up. One of the leaders asserted that it seems the churches are all going after the same people, while the truly lost in our communities have little outreach to them. He’s absolutely right. Many of our standard church outreach activities are white noise to the growing number of NEVER churched in our communities. Maybe its time to Start Something new to reach the lost in your city.
- When was the last time you assessed your community for the real needs of people?
- When was the last time you thought about the unchurched in your town and how to bring the gospel to them?
- When was the last time you asked hard questions about the effectiveness of your churches ministry in making contact with the lost?
- When was the last time you looked at the demographics around your church?
This years Missions and Ministry Summer Luncheon tour will focus on these questions. We want to learn about your community and highlight some needs that may be great avenues for sharing the gospel. We want to talk about starting some new fights with modern day issues affecting people in our state. Join the Missions and Ministry Team at one of our Summer Luncheons across Louisiana in June and July.
Register for a luncheon HERE.
My only experience in Terrytown and that of many others I’ve spoken with is driving through on the way to fishing destinations south of New Orleans. Terrytown is currently at the top of our list of places in Louisiana that need a new church.
12 Quick Facts about Terrytown:
- It’s located on the eastern side of Jefferson Parish on the West Bank of the Mississippi River.
- It is a part of New Orleans Baptist Association.
- It’s name came from the original developer of residential homes in communities south of New Orleans. He had a daughter named Terry, so yep, he got to name it. Terrytown!
- Population is listed at 23,319. The zip code of 70056 shows a population of 41,330.
- It is one of the most densely populated areas in Louisiana.
- Poverty rate is high: 26%. Compared to 20% across all of Louisiana and 15% across the U.S.
- Terrytown is very diverse: 36% Black, 32% White, 24% Hispanic, 5% Asian.
- To note the growth in diversity in this area: In 2000, Terrytown was 50% white, 34% black, and only 9% Hispanic.
- Crime is high: Violent crime is 50% higher than the national average and about 40% higher than the state average. Property crime is 37% higher than the national and state averages.
- There is currently no Southern Baptist Church in Terrytown. And relatively few evangelical churches. Pray with me for a new church or three in this diverse community.
- Jefferson Parish is Louisiana’s 2nd largest parish with 439,000 residents. Best numbers show the religious makeup as 15% evangelical, 33% catholic, and 46% nones.
- If these % are true of Terrytown, then there are 3,498 evangelicals, 7,695 Roman Catholics, and 10,727 people unaffiliated with any church.
Let’s pray for Terrytown!
What other interesting facts do you know about Terrytown? Interested in helping reach out and plant a church in this community?
Louisiana Baptists have planted 22 Churches so far in 2018.
- 6 in North Louisiana, 16 in South Louisiana
- 6 in New Orleans
- 13 non-Anglo. 8 African-American, 3 Hispanic, 1 Asian, 1 Multi-Ethnic
- 234 Churches Planted
- 56 in north Louisiana, 178 in south Louisiana
- 61 in New Orleans
- 128 non-Anglo. 70 African-American, 31 Hispanic, 10 Asian, 17 Other
Our goals have been to plant 300 churches by 2020; to plant more in south Louisiana where 70% of the population lives; at least 20% of plants in New Orleans where 20% of our population lives; and to plant more non-Anglo churches, increasing the diversity in Louisiana Baptist life.
- Since 2010, Church Plants have reported 13,208 Professions of Faith and 3,536 Baptisms. Church Planting continues to be one of the best ways to evangelize communities.
- Since 2010, churches have been planted in 100 of Louisiana’s 304 cities and towns and 41 of Louisiana’s 64 Parishes.
- Now, RePlanting is ramping up, with 25% of last years new works being replants and 40% this year.
66 churches away from our 2020 goal of 300. With each new church comes new brothers and sisters in Christ, new fronts on meeting real needs in communities, and more glory for our great God as the gospel bears its fruit across Louisiana.
You can be a part:
This month, Louisiana Baptists will mark new churches number 228 and 229, since 2010. The goal is 300 by 2020. We’ve passed the milestones of 10,000 new commitments to Christ, and celebrated 150 and 200 churches planted. Another interesting stat to watch for me has been the breadth of church planting in Louisiana. With the next two plants, we’ll mark the 100th city or town to have a new church planted in it since 2010. And keep in mind, Louisiana only has 304 incorporated cities and towns. Grateful for our church planters, partner church’s, and all who contribute to the Cooperative Program and State Missions Offerings to see churches planted across Louisiana.
We actually still have some significant towns without a Southern Baptist church in Louisiana, and a few with little or no evangelical presence. So our work continues…
And if you’re wondering WHY? Why plant churches in Louisiana, see my post entitled Recent Q&A: Why Plant Churches.
New Orleans is extremely important to Louisiana & our efforts to reach & resource churches there should be of highest priority.
- 21% of the Population of Louisiana live in the New Orleans Baptist Association’s five parishes. (991,000 is the latest estimate)
- Includes Louisiana’s second largest & most diverse Parish – Jefferson
- Louisiana’s largest metro area, with over 1.2 Million living in the Governments statistical area.
- One of the United States’ most influential ports & tourism industries.
- And an often quoted fact: the North American Mission Board’s original charter mentions the necessity of reaching New Orleans.
How are we doing at reaching the Big Easy?
- Church to Population Ratio: 1/7,929. Our state goal is to see every association at 1/2,850.
- % of the Population attending Worship in an SBC Church: Only 2.1%. (Hard to estimate as only about 60% of the church fill out an ACP – Annual Church Profile)
- % Evangelical Population: 11% (according to thearda.com).
- Unaffiliated Population (Nones): 432,270 (according to thearda.com)
The churches of New Orleans have endured much & are a strong lot that do great work reaching its population. And the story God has began writing through church planting over the last few years, in my opinion, is historic & amazing.
- In 2012, New Orleans became a Send City in the North American Mission Board’s Send City Strategy & George Ross became the Send City Coordinator.
- In May 2013, we held the first Send City Strategy meeting at Celebration Church to coordinate strategy & try to open a door for church planting to make a difference in the area.
- Since that time, 43 new churches have been planted. 57 since 2010 when our current state strategy began.
- Louisiana Baptists have now gone over $2 million of cooperative funding invested in New Orleans for Church Planting since the beginning of Send New Orleans in 2012. Not including NAMB or Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering grants for startup & building renovation cost.
- A wide door of opportunity has indeed opened for the next generation of churches to be planted in New Orleans.
New Orleans is a tough place to minister & we have some incredible young families laboring to plant literally in some of Louisiana’s toughest neighborhoods. I’m inspired by their courage & hard work & pray for them by name on a weekly basis.
Follow much of what is happening in church planting in New Orleans on the Send New Orleans Facebook page. And you can get info on our planters in New Orleans by checking out the Planter profiles at NAMB.net.
The Baptist Association of Greater Baton Rouge covers all or part of Ascension, East Baton Rouge (Louisiana’s most populated Parish), West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, St. James Parishes.
- Population: 640,059
- 1 Southern Baptist church (SBC) for every 6,096 persons. Rest of Louisiana is 1 to 2,895. 131 new churches would be needed to get to 1 to 2,895.
- Only 1.1% of the population (7,049) attended a Bible Study in a SBC Church in 2016.
- Only 1.9% of the population (11,861) attended worship in a SBC Church in 2015.
49% of the population is non-anglo (41% African-American, 3.9% Hispanic, 2.5% Asian) with only 16 non-anglo SBC churches. 1 to 18,154.
- 23% of the population is evangelical, showing that Baton Rouge has a healthier evangelical population than the rest of South Louisiana.
- Baptisms are down 25% from a high of 757 in 2006. 558 in 2016.
- Association Executive Director is Dr. Tommy Middleton. Staff: Chuck Lowman, Randy Osborn, Dana Truitt, Jan Terral. Check out BAGBR.org.
Some good progress made in 2017-2018 in Church Multiplication:
- One new Church Plant – Renew Church Baton Rouge.
- Four new Church RePlants – Oak Crest / United Believers; Sherwood / Living Hope; Park Forest / The Church at Park Forest; Logos and Life / Westside Community.
- Repurposed Associational Church Planting Team.
- New churches in the pipeline for Zachary (Living Hope), Ascension Parish (Hispanic).
- Greenhouse Training planned for August 17-18.
- Potential Mission Builder Project at Fellowship South Ascension in 2018-2019.
Pray for Current Church Planters:
Last year, I attended a seminar with Dr. Bill Day on evangelistic church growth. Dr. Day, defines a Healthy, Growing Church as a church that has had:
- 10% growth over a 5 year period.
- At least one baptism per year in that period.
- An attender to baptism ratio of 15:1.
I like this formula, because it helps us see that not every church that is a healthy church is a growing church. And not every church that is growing, grows by evangelistic growth. This formula cuts through the pack to get to the healthy, evangelistic, growing churches.
2017 Data is in, so here’s the latest look at Healthy and Growing Churches among Louisiana Baptists:
- 182 Louisiana Baptist churches, or 10%, grew by 10% growth between 2013 and 2017.
- Only 75 Louisiana Baptist churches, or 5%, were healthy and growing churches between 2013 and 2017; with 10% growth, 1 baptism per year, and a 15:1 attender to baptism ratio.
Where are these churches?
- 27 are in south Louisiana, 48 are in north Louisiana.
- 25 along I-20, 26 in Central LA, 9 in SWLA, 15 in SELA, 1 in New Orleans, 1 in Baton Rouge.
How old are these churches?
- 3 are less than 10 years old
- 8 are 11-25 years old
- 11 are 26-50 years old
- 23 are 50-100 years old
- 30 are 100+ years old
What’s the size of these churches?
- 5,000+ – 1
- 1,000-4,999 – 4
- 500-999 – 7
- 250-499 – 9
- 100-249 – 30
- 1-99 – 24
Who are theses Churches?
Top 25 Churches with the largest % growth between 2013 and 2017
- Christ’s Community, Denham Springs, Pastor Willis Easley, grew 211%, from 225 to 700 with 348 baptisms.
- Journey Church, Pineville, Pastor James Greer, grew 136%, from 360 to 489
- Summerville, Olla, grew by 105% from 20 to 41 with 526 baptisms.
- Unity, Oak Grove, Pastor J. Kelly Coleman, grew by 100%, from 90 to 180 with 27 baptisms
- Heflin, Pastor Ronnie Osborne, grew by 100% from 75 to 150
- New Hope, Jennings, Pastor Eric B Crochet, grew by 100% from 20 to 40
- First, Moss Bluff, Pastor Steve Bennett grew by 91% from 643 to 1,229.
- Memorial, Monroe, Pastor Roger Stoffer, grew by 90% from 30 to 57
- Open Door Fellowship, Coushatta, Pastor Steven W. McAbee, grew by 87% from 75 to 140
- Mt Gilead, Vivian, Pastor William H Treadway, grew by 80% from 50 to 90
- Calvary, Bayou Chicot, Pastor Wayne Holston, grew by 80% from 50 to 90
- Main Street, Pineville, Pastor Samuel H West, grew by 78% from 45 to 80
- Union Hill, Montgomery, Pastor Chuck Lacroix, grew by73% from 52 to 90
- New Beginnings, Castor, Pastor David H Bolyer, grew by 73% from 55 to 95
- St James, Madisonville, Pastor George Burris, grew by 67% from 150 to 250
- The New Beginnings, Walker, Pastor Charles R Smith, grew by 63% from 43 to 70
- Bethany, Bethany, Pastor Marvin Cooper, grew by 61% from 56 to 90
- Oak Forest, Leesville, Pastor Joe Call grew by 57% from 54 to 85
- Antioch, Farmerville, Pastor Rubin Weaver, grew by 52% from 186 to 283
- First, Robeline, Pastor Brian Ray, grew by 50% from 163 to 245
- First, Golden Meadow, Pastor Matthew Chouest, grew by 50% from 70 to 105
- First, Sterlington, Pastor Ben Hackler, grew by 48% from 100 to 148
- First Mt Nebo, Jena, grew by 47% from 95 to 140
- Newton, Delhi, Pastor Buddy McGurk, grew by 46% from 65 to 95
- Bogue Falaya, Folsom grew by 45% from 120 to 174
Churches that Added the Most People between 2013 and 2017:
- Celebration Church (SBC), Metairie, Dennis Watson. Added 2,073 people
- First, Moss Bluff, Steve Bennett, Added 586 people.
- Journey Church, Pineville, James Greer, Added 489
- Christ’s Community, Denham Springs, Willis Easley. Added 475
- Cypress, Benton, John Fream. Added 389
- First, Bossier City, Brad Jurkovich. Added 246
- His Church, Pineville, Steven Speer. Added 161
- First, Franklinton, Paul B Watts. Added 138
- Addis, First Baton Rouge, Tom Shepard. Added 130
- St James, Madisonville, George Burris. Added 100
Top 10 Baptisms by these churches in 2017:
- Celebration Church (SBC), Metairie 602
- First, Bossier City 169
- Journey Church, Pineville 141
- First, Moss Bluff 100
- Cypress, Benton 95
- Christ’s Community, Denham Springs 74
- First, Robeline 62
- Addis, First 57
- His Church, Pineville 50
- Newton, Delhi 46
Email me for a copy of the full report – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent Question from an honest member of a local church. “What’s the thinking of the Louisiana Baptist Convention (my employer), behind planting all these new churches? Why not just send more people to great churches like mine?”
Answer: There are Three Major Problems with this kind of thinking as I see it.
1. The problem of the numbers. How many does your church seat? “1,200”. Let’s say your church fills its building 4 times each week. That’ll be 4,800 people attending church. Praise God! I’ve studied your community, and there are actually 125,000 people that live there, and after much research, liberal estimates show that only 10% of them attend an evangelical church. Another 10% attend Roman Catholic churches based on research and liberal estimates. That still leaves 100,000 people that are not going to church anywhere. Where are we going to put that many people? If all the current evangelical churches in the community filled their facilities twice each Sunday, there would still be no room for the majority of these people.
2. The problem of the people. I’ve been to your church and I like it. Most of the people look a lot like me and dress like me and the music fits what I like to listen to. I feel very comfortable there. The preaching speaks to me, because I’ve been in church all my life and I like good Bible preaching. However, did you know that there are a lot of those 100,000 people who have never been to church. They don’t know who Noah or Abraham or Moses are, and they would be a little lost just opening a Bible for the first time. They also listen to different kind of music, their lives look a lot different than mine and yours because of race, upbringing, past mistakes, etc. So, we need to start ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHURCHES, FOR ALL DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE along with making our churches more comfortable for everyone.
3. Saturation vs. Parish Strategy. Louisiana Baptists and most evangelicals have a saturation strategy of evangelism and church planting. Until EVERY PERSON has had the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel, we keep doing EVERYTHING we can to deliver the gospel and disciple them. And the Evangelical community has found that church planting is one of the most effective means of doing that. Roman Catholics and other liturgical churches have a Parish Strategy, meaning, we’re going to plan to have one church for an area or part of town, and assume that everybody that needs the gospel will respond at or through that church. It doesn’t consider the number of people, or types of people in the strategy, limiting the number of people that can be reached through the church.
Does that make any sense?
Response: YES! I understand!
1. I was actually thinking about how many people in my neighborhood don’t go to church. Out of 70+ homes there is only 2 or 3 of us that go to church on Sunday.
2. And you know, you’re right, I wish they would, but they probably would not all feel comfortable in a church like mine.
3. And yes, we believe we should do everything we can to share the gospel with our community.
What are some ways that my church could help??!!
Pastor Charles Starnes went home to be with the Lord on December 29th, 2017. He served as Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Slidell for 32 years. During that time the church baptized 485 new believers and added 733 other members to their roles. They also gave over $1.5 million to the Cooperative Program and other missions causes. I remember Bro. Charles as a great encourager of church planters, which included me, after moving to St. Tammany Parish in 2001 to plant a church about 35 minutes from Calvary. Under Bro. Charles’ leadership Calvary was part of planting six new churches, including the first Hispanic SBC Church on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain. I’ll never forget what he said at the constitution service of one of those church plants, Thompson Road Baptist Church in West Slidell. He said,
“Everyone always makes a big deal about Calvary planting churches. Thanks for the kind words, but I just thought that planting churches and missions is what every church was supposed to be doing.”
On another occasion he said it like this:
“Everybody makes a big deal about Calvary being part of planting churches. I always say, I didn’t know it was optional.”
Grateful for Bro. Charles and his vision for multiplication and encouragement for church planting everywhere. May his tribe increase.
With 27 Hispanic Church Plants since 2010, Louisiana Baptists have almost doubled the number of Hispanic Churches in our state through church planting.
Guillermo Mangieri, with Istrouma en Espanol in Baton Rouge, recently shared Four Realities Impacting Hispanic Ministry in the US with our Church Planting Network:
1. Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the U.S. – 50 million. And the U.S. has the 2nd largest population in the world.
2. Hispanics are receptive to the message of the Gospel.
3. 23% of the Hispanic population in the U.S. are under the age of 18.
4. The Hispanic population will continue to grow in the U.S. no matter what.
In Baton Rouge alone, there are 17,000 Hispanics. 4% of the population.
Are there Hispanics in your community that could be reached? Are there enough Hispanic churches and ministries to impact the growing population in your community? Let us know if we can help you assess your community and strategize to reach different people groups around your church.
Check out Dr. Daniel Sanchez’s book Hispanic Realities Impacting America for more info on Hispanic Ministry opportunities: http://ow.ly/6NJS30gCyao