Our Story

The Louisiana Baptist Convention – A Brief History

  • 1797

    Small Beginnings

    John Coulter headed south from Kentucky to the warm tropics of Louisiana, decades before the Louisiana Purchase. His family settled in Fort Miro (Morehouse Parish). He was the very first Louisiana Baptist! From small beginnings, great things are born.

  • 1812

    Bayou Chicot

    Joseph Willis, the first Baptist preacher west of the Mississippi River, founded Bayou Chicot (Calvary) Baptist Church in Ville Platte. The church is still active.

    A month earlier, Half Moon Baptist Church on the Bogue Chitto River in Washington Parish was organized. At that time, the land east of the Mississippi River was part of the Florida Parishes.

  • 1848

    Baptist State Convention

    The Baptist State Convention of North Louisiana was organized by 13 Baptists meeting at Mount Lebanon. James Scarborough was elected president. At that time, there were 88 churches with 65 ministers and approximately 3,650 Baptists in the convention.

    George W. BainesOne of the founders was George W. Baines. He later became the president of Baylor University and his great-grandson, Lyndon Baines Johnson, became the 36th president of the United States.

  • 1849

    First Executive Board

    An Executive Board was named and met for the first time.

  • 1853

    Name Change

    The Baptist State Convention of North Louisiana changed its name to Baptist State Convention of Louisiana.

  • 1871

    Getting Organized

    By this time, three boards had been organized to manage the programs of the convention, the Board of Domestic Missions, the Board of Education and the Sunday School Board

  • 1881

    To the Ends of the Earth

    The Board of Foreign Missions was organized.

  • 1885

    Restructuring

    Louisiana Baptists restructured from four boards to one Executive Board with offices in Shreveport.

  • 1886

    Current Name Chosen

    The official name was changed to Louisiana Baptist Convention.

  • 1899

    Children’s Home

    Children's Home

    Louisiana Baptists began the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries in Monroe. The first children were three girls.

  • 1906

    Louisiana College

    Louisiana College

    Louisiana Baptists began Louisiana College with 19 students and three teachers.

  • 1917

    ABC

    Acadian Baptist Academy was formed. They held classes until it became Acadian Baptist Center.

  • 1920s

    Baptist Hospital

    Baptist HospitalIn the 20’s, Louisiana Baptists began meeting the health needs of our state by founding a number of hospitals: Baptist Hospital in Alexandria, Baton Rouge General Hospital (1945), Baptist Hospital in New Orleans (1937), Beauregard Hospital in DeRidder (1946) and Bayou Sorrel Hospital in Plaquemine.

  • 1930

    Off to College

    Seven Baptist Student Unions were formed on campuses all over the state.

  • 1944

    Foundation

    The Louisiana Baptist Foundation was formed.

  • 1945

    Parlez-vous Français?

    Louisiana Baptists launched French Radio broadcasts funded by Renee Broussard.

  • 1952

    Headin’ South

    Old Building

    The Louisiana Baptist Convention offices were moved to Alexandria.

    New Building

  • 1972

    LBC SBC Connection

    J.D. Grey, legendary pastor of First Baptist, New Orleans, was elected as President of the Southern Baptist Convention

  • 1977

    Bringing Relief

    The Disaster Relief Service was formed by John Winters, the director of brotherhood.  It grew from a single van to a ministry with hundreds of volunteers serving every year with multiple services and strategies.

  • 2012

    An Important Year

    Fred Luter

    Louisiana Baptists celebrated the election of Fred Luter, Pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Prior to the Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention in 2012, David Hankins and Waylon Bailey, pastor of First Baptist Covington and then-president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, sat down to discuss God’s plans for the coming years. This providential encounter was the catalyst of an amazing idea: what if we looked to the year 2020 and worked to make a radical difference in how we do church, evangelize and disciple? This idea overwhelmingly resonated with many pastors across Louisiana who were heartbroken for their state. The idea began to grow legs.

    Following the 2012 Annual Meeting, they continued to pray, develop and dream about how God could shape and renew the vision of Louisiana Baptists to reach our state and our world. This conversation broadened to include leaders from all over the state. The synergy created through prayer and planning gave birth to the 2020 vision – a strategy to radically change Louisiana by the year 2020 and beyond.

    One of the outgrowths of the 2020 vision was The Pledge, an intentional, pastor-led effort to increase support for Louisiana Baptists missions and ministries through the Cooperative Program. Specific benchmarks were set to challenge and guide the churches in this endeavor. For additional information regarding the 2020 initiative, click here.

And the work continues…

The Louisiana Baptist Convention is composed of approximately 1,600 congregations with 620,000 members.