The Bayou Church began in 1965 with the goal of spreading the good news of Jesus in Acadiana and beyond. Over the years, it’s become clear that the primary way that happens is through Christ-centered relationships. What began as 31 people in Beadle’s Furniture Store on Kaliste Saloom Road has grown to impact the lives of thousands, with about 2,500 people worshipping together each weekend, meeting in homes throughout the week, and serving Acadiana in many practical ways.
2. What would you tell the rest of Acadiana makes you special?
In some ways, we have a lot in common with other churches in Acadiana as we all follow Jesus together. What makes The Bayou Church unique, we think, is our focus on Christ-centered relationships. When Jesus is at the center of our relationships with our family, our co-workers, our neighbors, and our community, life is just better. So, everything we do is viewed through the filter of placing Jesus at the center of all of our relationships.
3. What are you most proud of?
There are 3 things we're the proudest of. First, we're honored that we get to be a part of people coming to know God and His plan for their lives. It happens every week, but it never gets old. Second, we love that people who feel disconnected can find a place to belong. We find community together—supporting and encouraging each other no matter what life throws at us. Third, we’re humbled that we’ve been able to make a difference in Acadiana in practical ways. Over the last 5 years, members of The Bayou Church have donated thousands of hours of service and over $1,000,000 to organizations in Acadiana and around the world that serve those in need.
4. Where do you see your organization in 10 years? What are your plans for the future?
At The Bayou Church, we often say, “The best is ahead!” That’s not just a catch phrase … we really believe it! We’re making plans even now to make significant improvements to our campus (especially since one of our buildings was damaged in 2020 by Hurricane Delta). But our building is just a tool we use to accomplish what we believe God is calling us to do. We will continue to worship and gather, both on Sundays and throughout the week, focusing on how we can each apply Jesus’ teachings to our daily lives. We’ll guide kids and students to follow Jesus, shaping the next generation of Acadiana. Finally, we plan to expand our impact in Acadiana primarily through the relationships we’ve developed with non-profit community service organizations. We believe God has placed us in Acadiana for a purpose—to be a tangible reflection of the love of Jesus that changes people’s lives for the better in ways that last.
5. 1A is making an impact as we take an active role in improving the community we live in. Our members are making an impact, too! - What does impact mean to you? How is your company making an impact?
Impact, from our perspective, is the result of the love and message of Jesus coming into direct contact with people’s lives to make things better. As mentioned above, one of the primary ways we do that is through our partnerships with other great community service organizations in Acadiana. We’ve also served as a resource center after hurricanes and floods and our members have volunteered across Louisiana during those seasons as well. Our weekly program for people struggling with addictions, called Celebrate Recovery, provides help and healing on a regular basis. Several of our members serve individual residents in Acadiana by providing labor and handyman services to people who, for many different reasons, can’t manage those things on their own.
We’re making a difference outside of Acadiana as well. Through ongoing partnerships with sister churches and organizations in Haiti, Guatemala, and Alaska, we provide both financial resources and short-term volunteer teams that share the message of Jesus and provide for practical needs in drastically underserved communities.
None of those things would be possible for The Bayou Church without Jesus being at the center. It’s His love and sacrifice for us that drives us to love and sacrifice for the people around us. In our Sunday services and as we gather weekly in homes throughout Acadiana, we’re learning more and more of who Jesus is and how we can best follow Him in everything we do. That means one of the ways we make the most significant impact as a church is simply by following Jesus wherever we are, scattered throughout Acadiana. It might be as a stay-at-home mom, a teacher, an oil-rig worker, a healthcare professional, or a small business owner. We want whatever we do on a day-to-day basis to be a reflection of who God is in the world. That will ultimately have the greatest impact of all.