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 answer that need; 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 faithful 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 actually attend the Southern Baptist and evangelical 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 and be a part of 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. Email me at email@example.com if you’d like the entire list, or if you know of other places in Louisiana that don’t have an SBC church presence.
|2. Bayou Cane||Terrebonne||Bayou||21,173|
|4. Gardere||East Baton Rouge||BAGBR||11,229|
|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|
|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|
|18. Grambling||Lincoln||Concord Union||5,184|
|23. Lutcher||St. James||BAGBR||3,345|
|24. Brusly||West Baton Rouge||BAGBR||2,721|
|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|
|31. Garyville||St. John the Baptist||NOBA||2,225|
|33. Montz||St. Charles||NOBA||2,140|
|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|
|43. Leonville||St. Landry||Acadia||1,042|
|45. Grand Coteau||St. Landry||Acadia||964|
|47. Parks||St. Martin||Evangeline||831|
|49. Killona||St. Charles||NOBA||815|
|50. Convent||St. James||BAGBR||711|
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.