The Historical Register

This Historical Register contains one page on each active church in the Louisiana Annual Conference. Each page includes is: a picture of the church, statistics (city, address, 2003 membership, and date founded), a short church history, directions to the church, and a map. To access the register online: https://archive.org/stream/historicalregisterlacumc.

The Historical Register of the Louisiana Conference

The photographs of the Louisiana Conference United Methodist churches were taken by Mr. Hebert from 1994 to 2004. The original pictures and negatives will be stored at the Archives at Centenary.

The ‘City’ is where the church can be found. For rural churches, it is sometimes the nearest community or town. The address is the physical address, not necessarily the mailing address. For the current mailing address and phone numbers, consult the most recent Conference Journal.

The ‘Founded’ date may not appear for all churches. Different churches may also declare their formation date according to different criteria. For some, they may date their church to when the first Methodist services were held in the area. Others use the date of the formation of the first society or congregation. The most common method of identifying a founding date is to use the date of the construction of the first church building. If a church identifies its founding date as the organization of the church (before a church was constructed), I tried to respect that and use the date given. For some churches that began in the 19th century, exact records for the founding date could not be found. If the date given is different than the date accepted by your church.

 The church histories may contain varying amounts of information, depending on what was submitted. If the material was titled or published, that information was listed as the source. For the most part, the brief histories concentrate on the formation of each church and its facilities over the years. That information forms a framework for the church over the years and is a good starting point for compiling histories.

Material such as individual church groups and general statements were kept to a minimum to conserve space. Most if not all church histories could state they formed UMW groups, held youth activities, have been blessed by God in many ways, etc. For example, this statement was given by one church: “The congregation continues a rich legacy of mission and ministry to the larger community and world! Thanks be to God!” Similar statements can be found in the material submitted for many church histories. Though they may have been left out of these abridged versions, I think we can all agree … for all of our churches … that they were cultivated over the years by many faithful members and clergy, that people were blessed by the mission and ministry of our churches, and that we pray God will continue to bless our churches and our people and will use them to do great things. A separate work on the faith stories across the Conference was planned to expand upon such material … but due to a lack of response from churches it had to be cancelled.

The data that was submitted on church histories will be scanned in its entirety (except for copyrighted books). Since only half a page of material could be fit onto each Register page, there is much more information available for many churches.

The scanned data will be stored on DVDs at Centenary and at Dillard. Much of it will also be added to the online Historical Register. The original submitted material will be stored at the Archives at Centenary College.

The churches are arranged by districts. Over the years, the districts have changed … in number, district office location, and churches included. In 2003, the Annual Conference voted to reduce the number of districts from nine to seven. The Ruston and North Shore districts were eliminated and their churches placed in one of the other seven districts. The layout of this project was adjusted in the spring of 2004 to conform to the new seven district arrangement.
 

History of the Historical Register Project

The Historical Register Project began about 1994. Tim Hebert was working on writing a history of the United Methodist Church in the Houma and Terrebonne Parish area for FUMC Houma’s 150th anniversary in 1995. In trying to find information on nearby congregations, he found that the history of some of our churches was hard to find … especially for smaller rural churches. So he began researching the histories of Acadiana District churches and visited each church to take a picture. Naming the project the Historical Register, he approached the Commission on Archives and History with the completed Acadiana District and inquired about expanding the scope to include the entire Conference. The Commission agreed to support the project in concept and financially (to pay for expenses incurred). Mr. Hebert later found that a similar idea had already been suggested by the Commission in the 1970s, and Rev. Bill McCutcheon had assembled summaries of about 150 churches in 1992. The history of the Louisiana Conference … Becoming One People … had been written in the 1980s, but did not include much information on individual churches.
 

Working one district at a time, Mr. Hebert began working his way through the Conference. After each of the first four districts, a district version of the Historical Register was completed and printed. To visit every church in the Conference required a cumulative 30+ days and over 10,000 miles of driving … spread out over the course of ten years.

After Mr. Hebert got more involved in other Conference tasks (as Conference Lay Speaking Director and Conference web servant), work on the Register slowed down. The project was also delayed to provide time for those churches to respond. After initial visits and contacts of churches in all nine districts, there were still 200 churches that hadn’t submitted a history for inclusion in the project.

Finally, with the end of the quadrennium approaching, the Historical Register was completed. A final attempt at securing missing church histories was made in the spring of 2004. A rough draft of the material was placed online in March 2004, and churches were asked to verify their church’s information. Although every church did not submit a history, hopefully material will later be found and added.

The updated information will be posted on this web version of the Historical Register< http://www.historicalregister.org/>. Replacement pages will be available online to print and add to existing printed copies. If there are errors or corrections that need to be made in the future, please send them to Tim Hebert < tim@la-umc.org >.

For more information on the clergy that have guided the Church over the years, all available Memoirs (obituaries published in Conference Journals) have been posted online in a searchable Honor Roll database at .

Current information on the Louisiana Conference and its mission and ministries can be found at its website . Links to each district’s current information page are located below.

Acadiana District
Baton Rouge District
Lake Charles District
Monroe District
New Orleans District
Shreveport District

Discontinued/Closed churches (information will be added as time permits)