Category Archives: Louisiana
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
- 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.
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?