Category Archives: Louisiana
Georgia Barnette is at Work!
Our Louisiana Baptists State Missions Offering, the Georgia Barnette Offering, is a great spark for missions all over Louisiana. In 2021, we received just under $1.6 million for the offering and this money has been at work across the state of Louisiana this year! As Louisiana Baptist churches give to the 2022 offering, here is a brief run down of some of this year’s Georgia Barnette expenditures, as of September 1st:
- $75k in scholarships for ministerial students.
- $206k in church planting and compassion ministry funding for over 100 projects across the state.
- $92k in funding for the Mission Builder program providing construction resources and volunteer mobilization for church building projects across Louisiana.
- $55k for training and networking events for leaders in non-English speaking churches in Louisiana.
- $18k for African-American church leadership development and networking events.
- $20k for special evangelism projects including Prison outreach and evangelistic event support.
- $92k for Collegiate Ministry, including Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at Grambling University and Southern University in Baton Rouge and Summer Missions support for Baptist Collegiate Students.
- $35k for the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Extension at Angola State Penitentiary.
- $56k for ESL (English as a Second Language), Multi-housing, and Chaplaincy training and projects across Louisiana.
- $40k for Disaster Relief Training and Projects.
- $26k for women’s ministry support, including Crisis Pregnancy / Sanctity of Life Projects and job training for women in crisis situations.
- $150k for the Here for You Multimedia campaign.
Still around $550k to be distributed over the next four months. It’s always a lot of fun to watch the Georgia Barnette offering at work! Find out more about the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering at GeorgiaBarnette.org. Watch for opportunities to give through your church this Fall, or give RIGHT HERE. Let’s be faithful to provide this spark for missions in Louisiana!
Lost in Louisiana’s Metros
Louisiana has nine Metropolitan Statistical areas, which includes all of our major cities and 34 of our 64 parishes. 82% of the population of Louisiana lives in one of these Metro areas. These are not all urban areas. Extremely rural parishes including Union and Grant are included in these areas.
So how are we doing at reaching Louisiana’s Metros?
Combined – Link with Metro by Metro Breakdown
- 3,655,086, live in Louisiana’s Metros
- 76.5% are potentially spiritually lost
- 26.2% or 957,829 are evangelicals
- 3.1% or 111,486 attend a SBC Church
- There are 956 SBC churches in our Metros, which means there is 1 church for 3,823 residents.
Data on each Metro area individually:
- New Orleans – Worksheet– By Parish with SBC Data
- Baton Rouge – Worksheet– By Parish with SBC Data
- Lafayette – Worksheet– By Parish with SBC Data
- Shreveport-Bossier – Worksheet – By Parish with SBC Data
- Lake Charles – Worksheet – By Parish with SBC Data
- Houma-Thib – Worksheet – By Parish with SBC Data
- Monroe – Worksheet – By Parish with SBC Data
- Alexandria – Worksheet – By Parish with SBC Data
- Tangipahoa – Worksheet
|New Orleans – includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, St. James||1,167,866|
|Baton Rouge – includes Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana||802,484|
|Lafayette – includes Lafayette, St. Martin, Acadia, Iberia, Vermilion||426,897|
|Shreveport-Bossier – includes Bossier, Caddo, De Soto||398,594|
|Houma-Thib – includes Lafourche, Terrebonne||208,178|
|Lake Charles – includes Calcasieu, Cameron||199,607|
|Monroe – includes Ouachita, Union||176,441|
|Alexandria – includes Grant, Rapides||153,922|
By Potential Lostness:
By Evangelical Population:
By SBC Attendance and Churches:
|Metro||SBC Attenders||% SBC||SBC Churches||Church to Population|
|Houma-Thib||2,477||1.2%||29||1 / 7,179|
|Lafayette||6,653||1.6%||60||1 / 7,115|
|New Orleans||24,473||2.1%||191||1 / 6,114|
|Baton Rouge||22,194||2.8%||192||1 / 4,709|
|Tangipahoa||4,450||3.7%||60||1 / 2,018|
|Lake Charles||8,221||4.1%||64||1 / 3,119|
|Shreveport-Bossier||17,764||4.5%||146||1 / 2,730|
|Monroe||13,438||7.6%||99||1 / 1,782|
|Alexandria||11,816||7.7%||115||1 / 1,338|
Lost in Louisiana
Jesus said he came “to seek and to save the lost” Luke 19:10
The Baptist Faith and Message says that it “is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ… to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ.”
Being spiritually lost is described in the Bible as being alienatedfrom God, guided by the flesh, perishing, under wrath, and many more terrifying descriptions for the present and eternal life of an individual. Followers of Christ must be committed to follow His example and command to seek and save the lost.
One of the assumptions that kills the mission to the lost is that we think most people are already saved or have a church they attend. Below is a compilation of Parish by Parish data that shows how many are potentially lost, how many evangelicals there are, and how many attend southern baptist churches across Louisiana.
The tool used calculates Spiritual Lostness by:
- # of non religious adherents + cults
- # of Christian adherents (all denominations including Roman Catholics) minus 60% of total (using Barna’s figure that 60% of people that claim to be Christian, do not profess to believe in Christ as a means of salvation)
- Add 60% to non-adherents + cults = number of lost individuals
- Also shown is how many may be reached by a non-traditional or new church. 50% of the lost say they would attend church if invited. So, 50% would not. These are the radically unreached.
Yes. You can probably poke holes in the data, or you can say, “What if this is true?” – “What will it take to reach that many people in my community?” “Is my church able to reach the lost as it is?” “What am I doing to change these numbers?” If you could start a movement to reach thousands of lost in your community or region or the state, what would it to look like?
- SBC Attendance numbers are from 2018 Annual Church Profile Data.
- Population figures are from the 2010 Census. We’ll be looking forward to updating this with new 2020 Data in the very near future.
- Data on Adherents is mostly from The Association of Religious Data Archives – thearda.com.
Lostness Across Louisiana
- Parish by Parish LINK (includes populaton, evangelical population, SBC attendance, church to population ratio)
- Louisiana Worksheet LINK
- Estimate shows that 76% of Louisiana may be spiritually lost. That is over 3.4 million!
- 28% of Louisiana’s population are evangelicals.
- 26% are Roman Catholic.
- 41% are none’s or non-affiliated.
- Only 3.5% of Louisianians attend an SBC church. Less than 8% of the population are resident members of an SBC church.
If you add all these numbers to the fact that baptisms, worship attendance, and Bible Study attendance are all down and at historic lows for Southern Baptist in Louisiana, it points to our need of a movement of God to turn the tide of lostness in our state. Revitalization? Yes! Crusade Evangelism? Yes! Sunday School Growth? Yes! Church Planting? Yes! We need all hands and all ideas on deck!
How goes it in your Parish?
Here are Parish by Parish Worksheets on Lostness throughout Louisiana –
- Acadia Parish
- Allen Parish
- Ascension Parish
- Assumption Parish
- Avoyelles Parish
- Beauregard Parish
- Bienville Parish
- Bossier Parish
- Caddo Parish
- Calcasieu Parish
- Caldwell Parish
- Cameron Parish
- Catahoula Parish
- Claiborne Parish
- Concordia Parish
- De Soto Parish
- East Baton Rouge Parish
- East Carroll Parish
- East Feliciana Parish
- Evangeline Parish
- Franklin Parish
- Grant Parish
- Iberia Parish
- Iberville Parish
- Jackson Parish
- Jefferson Davis Parish
- Jefferson Parish
- Lafayette Parish
- Lafourche Parish
- LaSalle Parish
- Lincoln Parish
- Livingston Parish
- Madison Parish
- Morehouse Parish
- Natchitoches Parish
- Orleans Parish
- Ouachita Parish
- Plaquemines Parish
- Pointe Coupee Parish
- Rapides Parish
- Red River Parish
- Richland Parish
- Sabine Parish
- St. Bernard Parish
- St. Charles Parish
- St. Helena Parish
- St. James Parish
- St. John the Baptist Parish
- St. Landry Parish
- St. Martin Parish
- St. Mary Parish
- St. Tammany Parish
- Tangipahoa Parish
- Tensas Parish
- Terrebonne Parish
- Union Parish
- Vermilion Parish
- Vernon Parish
- Washington Parish
- Webster Parish
- West Baton Rouge Parish
- West Carroll Parish
- West Feliciana Parish
- Winn Parish
Yes, There Are Towns in Louisiana without a Southern Baptist Church!
Louisiana has 304 Census Designated Areas, noted as cities, towns, and villages by the Census Bureau. A few years ago, out of curiosity, I did a little digging into how many of these might not have a Southern Baptist Church. I knew of a few, but didn’t expect that number to total almost 100! Now, if you’ve ever looked at this list, you won’t recognize many of these places unless you are from there. A few even have a population of less than 10! The Missions and Ministry Team has sought to keep this list updated and add it to the numerous things that play into good church planting strategy and missiology for Louisiana.
Not all of these places necessarily need a new church. Some of these towns have active churches near them. It’s not the objective of the Louisiana Baptist Mission and Ministry Team to start churches, just to say we did. If it’s a strategic need and if God calls his people to go; we will assist in starting a church in these geographic locations.
Not all of these places are without evangelical witnesses. We are not saying that all of these places are without the witness of an evangelical congregation. We celebrate the work of evangelical partners who are seeking to reach our state and we’re happy when we find that a community has an active witness of the Gospel in its midst. When we find that little to no active gospel witness is present, the priority rises.
Not all the places in Louisiana that have a church are saturated with the Gospel. A more shocking statistic than the number of communities without a Southern Baptist Church is the low percentage of people that attend the Southern Baptist Churches that are already in existence. Most parishes across Louisiana, have less than 10% of the population attending SBC churches on any given weekend. Many areas, even across the south, have too few churches to reach even 30% of its population with the gospel.
Louisiana’s need for new churches in no way compares with the need in other parts of North America. The fact that Louisiana has towns with no SBC churches has challenged me to remember pioneer areas across North America and the world with zero access to a gospel advancing community of believers. As a missionary friend says, “As you go to the church of your choice this weekend, remember those with no church to choose.” Let the reality of Louisiana’s need, remind us of the unfinished task before us in carrying out Christ’s Great Commission.
How can we respond to places with no church?
- Pray! Pray for laborers (Luke 10:2). Pray for open doors (1 Corinthians 16:9).
- Take a vision tour. In 2020, our team will be conducting one day Vision Tours and Windshield Surveys in many of these towns with no SBC Church. Email me at email@example.com and let me know if you’d like to help with these tours.
- Adopt a town to pray for and plan to reach out through a day of prayer walking or other outreach event. Let us know if you’d be interested in reaching out in a city or town without a church.
Where are these towns? Here’s a list of the top 50, listed by CDA / Town / City or Village, Parish, Association, and Population. Check out our Engage Map for and interactive look at locations of Louisiana Baptist churches, church plants, and target locations for new churches – https://www.engagemap.org/louisianabaptists/EngageMap.
- Terrytown – Jefferson – NOBA – 24,216
- Bayou Cane – Terrebonne – Bayou – 21,173
- Estelle – Jefferson – NOBA – 16,791
- Gardere – East Baton Rouge – BAGBR – 11,229
- Woodmere – Jefferson – NOBA – 11,114
- Timberlane – Jefferson – NOBA – 10,655
- South Fort Polk – Vernon – Vernon – 9,293
- Oak Hills – East Baton Rouge – BAGBR – 8,980
- Old Jefferson – East Baton Rouge – BAGBR – 8,283
- Galliano – Lafourche – Bayou – 7,650
- Eden Isle St. Tammany NSBA 7,631
- St. Gabriel Iberville BAGBR 7,094
- Meraux St. Bernard NOBA 7,073
- Village St. George East Baton Rouge BAGBR 6,802
- Inniswold East Baton Rouge BAGBR 6,772
- Vacherie St. James BAGBR 5,689
- Chackbay Lafourche Bayou 5,647
- Grambling Lincoln Concord Union 5,184
- Elmwood Jefferson NOBA 5,037
- Eastwood Bossier NWLA 4,547
- Richwood Oauchita NELA 3,378
- Buras-Triumph Plaquemines NOBA 3,358
- Lutcher St. James BAGBR 3,345
- Brusly West Baton Rouge BAGBR 2,721
- Chauvin Terrebonne Bayou 2,682
- Abita Springs St. Tammany Northshore 2,584
- Bayou Gauche St. Charles NOBA 2,557
- North Fort Polk Vernon Vernon 2,432
- Edgard St. John the Baptist NOBA 2,315
- Rosepine Vernon Vernon 2,235
- Garyville St. John the Baptist NOBA 2,225
- Boothville-Venice Plaquemines NOBA 2,220
- Montz St. Charles NOBA 2,140
- Labadieville Assumption Bayou 2,092
- Henderson St. Martin Evangeline 1,885
- Belle Rose Assumption Bayou 1,837
- Paradis St. Charles NOBA 1,616
- Ama St. Charles NOBA 1,361
- New Sarpy St. Charles NOBA 1,203
- Cullen Webster Webster-Claiborne 1,133
- Paincourtville Assumption Bayou 1,070
- Empire Plaquemines NOBA 1,054
- Leonville St. Landry Acadia 1,042
- Rosedale village Iberville BAGBR 983
- Grand Coteau St. Landry Acadia 964
- Supreme Assumption Bayou 859
- Parks village St. Martin Evangeline 831
- Mermentau village Acadia Acadia 815
- Killona St. Charles NOBA 815
- Convent St. James BAGBR 711
Love Louisiana: Tiger Island
- What Louisiana city was first named Tiger Island?
- What Louisiana Parish is home to an ancient people group that still resides on its aboriginal lands?
- What Bayou was formed by a 10 mile long snake?
If you know the answers to these questions, you might be from St. Mary Parish. St. Mary Parish includes the cities of Morgan City (formerly known as Tiger Island because of rare cats spotted there by the first surveyors in the late 1700’s), Franklin (the Parish Seat), Patterson, Berwick, and the Chitimacha Indian Reservation (home of the Chitimacha Indian, who were once one of the strongest tribes in North America). Chitimacha legend has it that the ancient tribe fought a war with a 10-mile long snake and on its defeat it squirmed to its death and its remains formed Bayou Teche. Today Bayou Teche is 125 miles long and includes the beautiful Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge in St. Mary Parish.
St. Mary Parish is also home to the Gulf-Coast Baptist Association. A group of 15 southern baptist churches that partner together for the gospel in this coastal community. Today, they are in need of our partnership and prayers as economic downturn and declining church attendance has greatly impacted this association. Here are some fast facts about Gulf Coast Association:
12 Quick Facts about St. Mary Parish:
- It is located “right in the middle of everywhere” – about 50 miles from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette.
- It is part of the Gulf Coast Baptist Associaton. Associational Missions Strategist is Steven Kelly. He is also the Pastor of Bayou Vista Baptist Church near Morgan City.
- 54,650 residents. 59% White, 33% Black, 5% Hispanic, 3% other.
- 14 Southern Baptist Churches. 1 church for every 3,904 residents. (Our state ratio and goal for each association is 1 church for every 2,850. Gulf Coast Association needs 5 more churches to get to that ratio).
- Only 1 African-American church and only 1 Hispanic church.
- Gulf Coast churches have averaged between 900 and 1100 in total worship attendance for the last 10 years, with a total of 1,019 in 2018. That’s only 1.9% of the total population.
- Bible Study or Sunday School attendance was at less than 1% in 2018 with 506 attendees.
- “Well, most people are Catholic in South Louisiana.” Not so fast. The ARDA reports that there are 24,662 nones in the parish, or religiously unaffiliated. That’s 45% of the population. 17,834 are Roman Catholic, or 33%. 9,885 evangelicals, or 18%.
- Crime is 26% higher that the state average and 48% higher than the U.S. average.
- Poverty is at 21%, which is 1% higher than the state and 6% higher than the U.S.
- Greatest needs according to Associational Missions Strategist Steven Kelly, are for an African-American congregation in Morgan City. A new Hispanic congregation may be needed. RePlanting and Revitalization partnerships are needed across the Gulf Coast.
- Also needed are Bivocational or Covocational Pastors and Planter who will plant their lives in these communities and see them reached for the gospel.
Pray for Tiger Island and the surrounding communities of St. Mary Parish.
Love Louisiana: Terrytown
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?