New River's History

In 1849, the same year of California's gold rush and Louisiana's own Zachary Taylor was elected President, God planted a church on a small river in south Louisiana. Here is a brief history of what the Lord has done at New River Baptist Church!

Antebellum Beginnings

New River Baptist Church began as a home church in Gonzales when 22 people decided to organize into a church on December 22, 1849. For the first seven years, New River would meet in homes, shops, and anywhere else they were able to gather. 

In 1856, one acre of land, six miles east of Gonzales, was donated to the church and the first sanctuary was built that same year. Indicative of the time, most of the material for the building was moved by flatboat up Black Bayou to the Stringer Bridge landing and then moved by ox wagon to the site on New River. 

Building into the 20th Century

The church enjoyed the sanctuary until it was destroyed in 1890 when the Mississippi River overflowed. In rebuilding the sanctuary, New River entered into an agreement with the Methodists to share the same building. A "union church" dedication took place in 1897. The two churches continued sharing the building until 1920, when the Methodists built their own house of worship. 

In 1950, New River began a mission in the town of Sorrento, which later became Sorrento Baptist Church. In 1972, the property across the New River Bayou was purchased, with a new sanctuary being built in 1977, education building in 1984, and gym in 1996.

Equipping the 21st Century Saints

Entering our third century of ministry, New River is in a unique position to greatly appreciate the past and be genuinely excited about the future. 

By partnering with ministries and missionaries in at home, around our state, across North America, and all around the world, we are blessed to see God do incredible things in and through our church.

172 years after the Lord started this church, New River still humbly confesses that "unless the Lord builds the house, the workers labor in vain."