A Brief History of St. Alma Baptist Church
Slavery was abolished in 1865. Nine years later, 1874, under the leadership of the founding pastor, Reverend Horace Jones, St. Alma Baptist Church was erected on the Alma Plantation. The Church was situated in the rural community of Lakeland which is in the southern part of the state in Pointe Coupee Parish. The original church was a white wooden church that had three rows of benches and a wood heater set in the middle of the church. The initial membership consisted of sixty-five persons who were mainly field workers. Jake Whitfield was the president of the Board of Deacons and William Watkins served as the senior deacon. In the early 1900s, St. Alma served as the community school for local elementary students. It was not until the late 50s that the school closed. The church continued its mission to educate the children of the area at The Saint Alma Elementary School until a school was built on the grounds of St. Alma Baptist Church. The school was then under the administration of Pointe Coupee Parish School Board. Rev. Horace Jones served until his death on June 8, 1920. The church was without a pastor until 1921.
During it 148 years of existence, God has fulfilled the pulpit with seven pastors. The first four preachers all died during their pastorate.
Rev. Horace Jones, the founding pastor, served until his death on June 8, 1920.
Rev. Steven Johnson elected pastor in 1921, served until his death in 1928.
Rev. Sidney Davis served faithfully until his death in 1950.
Rev. Cenas Jones served St. Alma for 43 years until his death in 1973.
Rev. James Allen Terrance was installed as pastor on February 6, 1994. The Reverend James A. Terrance resigned from his pastoral position on February 28, 2003 to become the pastor of Friendship Baptist Church located in Kansas City, Missouri.
Rev. Davis Thomas, Jr. was installed as the sixth pastor on March 28, 2004. On March 8, 2007, Reverend David Thomas, Jr. submitted his resignation as pastor.
Rev. Dr. Mary Moss was installed as its seventh pastor, February 17, 2008. Rev. Moss’ election as the seventh pastor St Alma Baptist Church of Lakeland, Louisiana was a historic moment in the life of the 134 year old Baptist Church. She became the first female elected to the position of pastor of this traditional Baptist Church and the first female ever installed by the 133 year old Fourth District Baptist Association.
Many ministries have been birthed out of St Alma Baptist Church, a church committed to its mission, which were designed to meet the present needs of its members and the local community. In this post-pandemic time, the Church remains faithful to intergenerational ministry, producing strong young leaders and helping its members to find their fit for ministry. Over 15 new members were added to the Church. Significant to its outreach ministry is our radio broadcast which is aired on WXOK in Baton Rouge and KCLF in New Roads. St. Alma now sets her sight toward the building of our new sanctuary which will be located at 3736 Rougon Road. We can testify along with the Psalmist, Psalm 118:23, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”
What We Believe
We believe Christ is the Head of the Church.
We believe in living responsibly in our relationship with Christ Jesus.
We believe the Church is made up of people who belong to it by faith in Jesus Christ.
We believe that the Church is a living organism and recognizes it needs for nurture, growth, and care.
Our mission is to fulfill the Great Commission through teaching people to worship, serving humankind through ministry, publicizing the Gospel through evangelism, and developing disciples for Christ by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.