Louisiana, a southern state bordering on the Gulf of Mexico. It has a total area of 51,885 square miles (135,382 km²) and in 2008 had an estimated population of 4,410,796. In 2005, 64.77% of Louisiana's population was White and 33.47% was African American.
It is probable that the first Mennonites to visit this state were immigrants from Alsace-Lorraine, who landed at New Orleans, a seaport and the chief city of the state. Thus in 1839 Christian Reeser and his two brothers and sister from France arrived in that city. In 1874 John F. Funk had correspondence with Mennonites who were residents of New Orleans (Mennonite History Bulletin, July 1954).
In 1898 Mennonites settled near Lake Charles, about 200 miles due west of New Orleans, and founded a church (Mennonite Church) which at one time had 40 members. By 1955 only one family was left in the community, the others having moved away because rice farming did not become as successful a venture as expected. In 1918 a Mennonite congregation was organized at Allemands, 30 miles (50 km) west of New Orleans, but it existed only a few years, the families all moving away. In 1936 three families from the Franconia Mennonite Conference moved to Allemands and established a Mennonite (Mennonite Church) church which in the late 1950s had 45 members. An outgrowth of this church was the one at Akers, 40 miles (65 km) north of New Orleans. It was built in 1942 and in 1955 had 20 members, all natives of Louisiana, largely French-speaking. -- Melvin Gingerich
In 1988 the Gulf States Fellowship (MC) had started planting a congregation in New Orleans with a membership of 35. The other two congregations of this conference in the state (at Des Allemands and Venice) had a total membership of 156. In addition there were two congregations belonging to the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite (Holdeman), at De Ridder and Transylvania. Mennonite Central Committee operated a voluntary service unit in New Orleans. -- Reynold Sawatzky
In 2000 the two Church of God in Christ, Mennonite congregations had 380 members and the four Mennonite Church USA congregations had 216 members.
See also Indian Ministries, North America
Gospel Herald (9 August 1988): 537-539.
Hertzler, Daniel. From Germantown to Steinbach. Scottdale, PA, Herald Press, 1981: 65-75.
Mennonite Church Yearbook (1988-89): 26, 58, 151.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 403; vol. 5, p. 530. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Gingerich, Melvin and Reynold Sawatzky. "Louisiana (USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2009. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L673.html.
APA style: Gingerich, Melvin and Reynold Sawatzky. (February 2009). Louisiana (USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L673.html.