Category Archives: 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:

By Population: 

Metro Population
New Orleansincludes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, St. James 1,167,866
Baton Rougeincludes Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana 802,484
Lafayetteincludes Lafayette, St. Martin, Acadia, Iberia, Vermilion 426,897
Shreveport-Bossierincludes Bossier, Caddo, De Soto  398,594
Houma-Thibincludes Lafourche, Terrebonne 208,178
Lake Charlesincludes Calcasieu, Cameron 199,607
Monroe – includes Ouachita, Union 176,441
Alexandria – includes Grant, Rapides  153,922
Tangipahoa  121,097

By Potential Lostness: 

Metro Lost % Lost
Tangipahoa 98,743 81.5%
New Orleans 921,058 78.9%
Baton Rouge 615,413 76.7%
Shreveport-Bossier 301,040 75.5%
Monroe 132,834 75.2%
Lafayette 316,971 74.2%
Houma-Thib 153,567 73.8%
Alexandria 113,342 73.6%
Lake Charles 143,782 72.0%

By Evangelical Population: 

Metro Evang % Evang
Houma-Thib 22,651 10.9%
Lafayette 61,335 14.4%
New Orleans 186,390 16.0%
Tangipahoa 34,691 28.6%
Baton Rouge 241,123 30.0%
Lake Charles 61,906 31.0%
Shreveport-Bossier 189,528 47.5%
Alexandria 73,499 47.8%
Monroe 86,706 49.1%

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 –

  1. Acadia Parish
  2. Allen Parish
  3. Ascension Parish
  4. Assumption Parish
  5. Avoyelles Parish
  6. Beauregard Parish
  7. Bienville Parish
  8. Bossier Parish
  9. Caddo Parish
  10. Calcasieu Parish
  11. Caldwell Parish
  12. Cameron Parish
  13. Catahoula Parish
  14. Claiborne Parish
  15. Concordia Parish
  16. De Soto Parish
  17. East Baton Rouge Parish
  18. East Carroll Parish
  19. East Feliciana Parish
  20. Evangeline Parish
  21. Franklin Parish
  22. Grant Parish
  23. Iberia Parish
  24. Iberville Parish
  25. Jackson Parish
  26. Jefferson Davis Parish
  27. Jefferson Parish
  28. Lafayette Parish
  29. Lafourche Parish
  30. LaSalle Parish
  31. Lincoln Parish
  32. Livingston Parish
  33. Madison Parish
  34. Morehouse Parish
  35. Natchitoches Parish
  36. Orleans Parish
  37. Ouachita Parish
  38. Plaquemines Parish
  39. Pointe Coupee Parish
  40. Rapides Parish
  41. Red River Parish
  42. Richland Parish
  43. Sabine Parish
  44. St. Bernard Parish
  45. St. Charles Parish
  46. St. Helena Parish
  47. St. James Parish
  48. St. John the Baptist Parish
  49. St. Landry Parish
  50. St. Martin Parish
  51. St. Mary Parish
  52. St. Tammany Parish
  53. Tangipahoa Parish
  54. Tensas Parish
  55. Terrebonne Parish
  56. Union Parish
  57. Vermilion Parish
  58. Vernon Parish
  59. Washington Parish
  60. Webster Parish
  61. West Baton Rouge Parish
  62. West Carroll Parish
  63. West Feliciana Parish
  64. 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? 

  1. Pray! Pray for laborers (Luke 10:2). Pray for open doors (1 Corinthians 16:9). 
  2. 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 lane.corley@louisianabaptists.org and let me know if you’d like to help with these tours. 
  3. 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.

  1. Terrytown – Jefferson – NOBA – 24,216
  2. Bayou Cane – Terrebonne – Bayou – 21,173
  3. Estelle – Jefferson – NOBA – 16,791
  4. Gardere – East Baton Rouge – BAGBR – 11,229
  5. Woodmere – Jefferson – NOBA – 11,114
  6. Timberlane – Jefferson – NOBA – 10,655
  7. South Fort Polk – Vernon – Vernon – 9,293
  8. Oak Hills – East Baton Rouge – BAGBR – 8,980
  9. Old Jefferson – East Baton Rouge – BAGBR – 8,283
  10. Galliano – Lafourche – Bayou – 7,650
  11. Eden Isle St. Tammany NSBA 7,631
  12. St. Gabriel Iberville BAGBR 7,094
  13. Meraux St. Bernard NOBA 7,073
  14. Village St. George East Baton Rouge BAGBR 6,802
  15. Inniswold East Baton Rouge BAGBR 6,772
  16. Vacherie St. James BAGBR 5,689
  17. Chackbay Lafourche Bayou 5,647
  18. Grambling Lincoln Concord Union 5,184
  19. Elmwood Jefferson NOBA 5,037
  20. Eastwood Bossier NWLA 4,547
  21. Richwood Oauchita NELA 3,378
  22. Buras-Triumph Plaquemines NOBA 3,358
  23. Lutcher St. James BAGBR 3,345
  24. Brusly West Baton Rouge BAGBR 2,721
  25. Chauvin Terrebonne Bayou 2,682
  26. Abita Springs St. Tammany Northshore 2,584
  27. Bayou Gauche St. Charles NOBA 2,557
  28. North Fort Polk Vernon Vernon 2,432
  29. Edgard St. John the Baptist NOBA 2,315
  30. Rosepine Vernon Vernon 2,235
  31. Garyville St. John the Baptist NOBA 2,225
  32. Boothville-Venice Plaquemines NOBA 2,220
  33. Montz St. Charles NOBA 2,140
  34. Labadieville Assumption Bayou 2,092
  35. Henderson St. Martin Evangeline 1,885
  36. Belle Rose Assumption Bayou 1,837
  37. Paradis St. Charles NOBA 1,616
  38. Ama St. Charles NOBA 1,361
  39. New Sarpy St. Charles NOBA 1,203
  40. Cullen Webster Webster-Claiborne 1,133
  41. Paincourtville Assumption Bayou 1,070
  42. Empire Plaquemines NOBA 1,054
  43. Leonville St. Landry Acadia 1,042
  44. Rosedale village Iberville BAGBR 983
  45. Grand Coteau St. Landry Acadia 964
  46. Supreme Assumption Bayou 859
  47. Parks village St. Martin Evangeline 831
  48. Mermentau village Acadia Acadia 815
  49. Killona St. Charles NOBA 815
  50. Convent St. James BAGBR 711

 

Love Louisiana: Tiger Island

Louisiana Trivia:

  • 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.

Morgan_City_Louisiana_aerial_view

Morgan City, Louisiana

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:

  1. It is located “right in the middle of everywhere” – about 50 miles from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette.
  2. 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.
  3. 54,650 residents. 59% White, 33% Black, 5% Hispanic, 3% other.
  4. 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).
  5. Only 1 African-American church and only 1 Hispanic church.
  6. 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.
  7. Bible Study or Sunday School attendance was at less than 1% in 2018 with 506 attendees.
  8. “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%.
  9. Crime is 26% higher that the state average and 48% higher than the U.S. average.
  10. Poverty is at 21%, which is 1% higher than the state and 6% higher than the U.S.
  11. 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.
  12. 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

TerrytownMy 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:

  1. It’s located on the eastern side of Jefferson Parish on the West Bank of the Mississippi River.
  2. It is a part of New Orleans Baptist Association.
  3. 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!
  4. Population is listed at 23,319. The zip code of 70056 shows a population of 41,330.
  5. It is one of the most densely populated areas in Louisiana.
  6. Poverty rate is high: 26%. Compared to 20% across all of Louisiana and 15% across the U.S.
  7. Terrytown is very diverse: 36% Black, 32% White, 24% Hispanic, 5% Asian.
  8. To note the growth in diversity in this area: In 2000, Terrytown was 50% white, 34% black, and only 9% Hispanic.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?

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