On June 3, 2019, after Pastor Robert Miller (First Lutheran in Lafayette) attended the opening of the Louisiana Missionary Baptist Association in Lake Charles, a group of us gathered at each of the three churches to mark this moment with prayer and repentance.
March 26 St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre. The Rev. Kyle Sylvester.
April 2 Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas. The Rev. Harry Richard.
April 4 Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas. The Rev. Gerald Toussaint.
Port Barre and Opelousas are in the boot of Louisiana, about 45 minutes north of Lafayette. We have no congregations in Port Barre or Opelousas, but First Lutheran is located in Lafayette. Port Barre and Opelousas are only a few miles apart.
St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre
The debris from the fire has been cleared from this, the first of the churches to burn.
This is St. Mary’s before the fire.
Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas
After the fire:
Mount Pleasant Baptist Church In Opelousas
Before the fire:
From the back.
The church was founded in 1889. Renovated in 1997.
Behold, I make all things new…
We visited with Ernest Lee Hines, with whom I’m shaking hands, and also pictured in the back of the photo elbow that. Ernest did all the brick work on this church. He hopes to do the brickwork on the new church.
Also pictured is Mt. Pleasant member James Austin Espree, who was married to Mary Ann Espree in this church 50 years ago.
We had lunch with Ernest, his wife Oradel, James and Mary. They were so gracious to share with us about their life and their church. Listening to the stories feels like such holy ground:
Pastor Robert Miller (First Lutheran in Lafayette) and his family, Amber, Simon and Thea.
Many thanks to Oradel Hines, Pastor Nancy Andrews, Pastor Robert Miller, Jackie Bernard and others for the photos.