Sunday, July 15, 2018

History of St. Tammany Churches

Several church histories were part of the St. Tammany Farmer special edition on Sept. 4, 1926. Here are the items, some with photographs and some with links to more detailed church histories. This listing is by no means comprehensive of all churches. As more information comes in on other churches, they may be added to this posting. 

Click on the images below to enlarge the view of the pictures and text articles.

Bayou Vincent Catholic Church

First Baptist Church, Covington 

In 1909 the First Baptist Church bought this building at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and 23rd Avenue from Charles Diel. It was used for many years as the main church building. The church eventually built a brick church, pictured below, and then built a larger building across 23rd Avenue. That structure was grown, however, and after the church moved out to a larger site at Hwy. 21 and La. 1085 southwest of Covington, the city bought the downtown church and is using it as a city hall and public auditorium.  

Aerial View of Covington First Baptist Church in 2020 (Source: Google Earth)



Lutheran Churches

Covington Methodist Church

Methodist Churches

Bonfouca Mission


Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Slidell


Saint Teresa Church, Mandeville, LA


Above, the chapel at Chinchuba Deaf-Mute Institute

Pine Grove Presbyterian Church


Slidell Episcopal Church

Slidell Presbyterian Church


St. Francis Xavier Church, Madisonville

Eagle Eye Baptist Church, Houltonville 

 Shown above is the church that sits on Fairway drive in Houltonville (near Fairview-Riverside State Park). Built in 1906 when Houlton brothers had their saw mill, it was one of three churches serving the community of Houltonville. It was originally called "Eagle Eye Baptist Church." It was later called "Love and Charity Baptist Church". The last name the church served the community under was "Magnolia Baptist Church".The Sheridan Family played a big role in the history of this church as pastors. The Reverend Frank Sheridan passed away and his wife is currently trying to get it on the National Historic Registry.

The cemetery across the street from the church is called "Helping Hands"

Red Bluff Baptist Church


Sacred Heart Church, Slidell, LA


St. Peters Church, Covington

St. Peter and St Paul's Church, Pearl River

The Mission at Lacombe

Sandhill Baptist Church

The Sandhill Baptist Church was also known as Live Oak Missionary Baptist Church, located under the big oaks halfway between Goodbee and Bennett Bridge Road. Illustration from Facebook post by Judy Dutruch

The story of Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church on West Causeway Approach in Mandeville began on June 18, 1988, when Archbishop Philip M. Hannan created the newest parish in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and named it Mary, Queen of Peace, a Catholic community set among the pretty pines of Mandeville.

The first pastor was the Rev. William O’Donnell. Originally the church began to worship at Rouquette Lodge and before long moved to a space in the Turtle Creek Shopping Center on Highway 22.

The Rev. Ronald L. Calkins was appointed as the second pastor in July 1995. Not long after his arrival, the congregation moved into a new building on West Causeway Approach. The building included worship space, offices and classrooms. The church, which seated about 500 people, was blessed in January 1996 by Archbishop Francis B. Schulte.

School Opens

It was announced in the spring of 1996 that Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic School would open that fall to grades Kindergarten through second. With Mrs. Rhonda Parenton as its first principal, the school started in the church building with about 30 students. In 1998, the new school building opened to grades pre-K through fourth with a new principal, Dr. Thomas Spranley.

With Dr. Jan Daniel Lancaster as principal, the school continued to blossom, and plans were made for a new classroom building to replace the modular classrooms that were added after Katrina. Under the leadership of Principal Sybil Skansi, the new classroom building was blessed by Archbishop Gregory Aymond on September 5, 2012.

Hurricane Katrina is, of course, a big part of the church's story. The storm that hit on August 29, 2005, left the church building unscathed. On the Saturday after Katrina, in a church building without power but filled with prayer, a small congregation gathered to celebrate Mass. By the following weekend, hundreds came to Mary, Queen of Peace, many of them seeking refuge from the devastated areas of St. Bernard and New Orleans. The church, known for its warm welcome, embraced them all, those who came to stay and those who needed a temporary place to call home. They were offered places to live;  “Mary’s Market” was opened to provide necessities; and the church offered dispersed congregations from St. Bernard a chance to celebrate Mass here; and mostly, "we offered love and hope, fed by our faith."

Many of these new families were looking for a Catholic school for their children. With the dedication and support of our principal, faculty, staff and parents, the school more than doubled in size in one year.

With a growing congregation, Mary, Queen of Peace moved into our beautiful new church building, which was dedicated by Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes on October 5, 2008; the Parish Center, which formerly housed the church, now is home to a parish hall, offices, classrooms, a child-care room and a youth room.

On June 23, 2013, Mary, Queen of Peace kicked off a yearlong celebration of our 25th anniversary of Living the Good News, and in July 2014, Fr. John-Nhan Tran became the third pastor of Mary, Queen of Peace. In the same year, Fr. Ian Bozant was appointed parochial vicar - a first for our parish. He was followed by Fr. Jared Rodrigue in 2017 and Fr. Edward Kofi Owusu-Ansah in 2020. Information source: the church website.