Our Church History
The Asia Baptist Church was organized in the year of 1923 under the leadership of the late Rev. Adolph Smith at 3723 Jumonville Street. Rev. Smith served as pastor from 1923 until 1925. In 1925, the late Rev. Arthur Moore was elected as the second pastor and served until his "call to glory" in 1934. In 1934, the late Rev. Edward Madison was elected and installed as the third pastor of the church. In 1938, Rev. Madison with the aid of a few members, purchased a lot and built the new church at 3507 Gibson Street. Rev. Madison served as a loyal and dedicated minister until January of 1961, when he was called from labor to reward.
On March 17, 1961, the congregation held an election and the Rev. Zebadee Bridges, Sr. was elected as the fourth pastor of the church. Rev. Bridges has been and still is a most faithful and competent leader. Under his leadership, the church has made great progress both spiritually and financially, and the membership has continued to increase.
In 1963, the old church was remodeled and furniture was purchased. In September of 1968, a lot was purchased at the corner of Duplessis and Sere Streets. On June 18, 1973, construction of the new building was begun and was completed in December of 1973. On Sunday, January 13, 1974, at approximately 3:00 PM, we marched into our present edifice. On the fourth Sunday in August 1974, a special service was held and the corner stone was placed on the building.
The day care center was opened and has been a great asset to the church and the community. In 1977, Rev. Bridges saw the need to increase the size of the Day Care Center and the building at 1468 Sere Street was purchased and renovated.
In 1978, two lots were purchased and in 1981, a house and lot on Lafreniere Street was also puchased, both have been cleared, rebuilt and is being used for low income housing. In 1982, office equipment was purchased. In 1984, the church was re-carpeted, the pews re-upholstered and back cushions were added.
Through the Christian Education Department, teaching and membership has developed into the Christian's personal growth. Each year the church sponsors a delegation to participate in the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., the Sunday School Congress and the Louisiana Baptist State Convention.
Through the administration of the minister of the church, many persons have been baptized, many marriages performed, many babies blessed and many persons funeralized.
The Asia Baptist Church is a member of the First District Missionary Baptist Association, the Louisiana Baptist State Convention and the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. The church is a supporter of the Union Baptist Theological Seminary, Home and Foreign Missions and all worthwhile community programs.
In 1986-87, Youth Counseling and Drug prevention programs were added to the outreach program. In 1988, property was purchased on St. Bernard Avenue, which was the U-Haul site and at times used for various businesses, but is now being used as the church's parking lot.
With the blessing from God and the foresight of Pastor Bridges, Asia was one of the leading churches in supporting the purchase of the old Nelson School site for the expansion of the Union Baptist Theological Seminary.
In 1990, Asia opened its doors to the community for its Mid-Week Morning Worship and Teaching services. In November, 1995, the church became debt free.
In 1999, the church organized the Edward Madison Community Development Corporation and received a 501c3, non-profit status to build affordable housing for low-income families. Since that time, we have built and purchased 18 units of rental houses at a cost of $1.5 million. The Edward Madison Community Development Corporation is owned and operated by The Asia Baptist Church Board of Directors.
The church is in the process of building a multipurpose building at an approximate cost of $1.2 million, that will house The Asia Baptist Church Day Care Center and other community programs.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina swept through the city of New Orleans causing major damage to numerous homes and businesses, including The Asia Baptist Church, which was inundated with six feet of water for two weeks. On the third Sunday in November 2005, The Asia Baptist Church held its first Post-Katrina worship service at the St. Mark's Fourth Baptist Church, pastored by Dr. Robert Turner, Sr.
In December 2005, the renovation process started and was completed in April 2006. On April 30, 2006, four months after the rebuilding process began, by the grace of God and all glory to God, we held the first post-Katrina worship service in our own sanctuary at 1400 Sere Street.
Since our return, we have opened our doors to two local church congregations to hold their worship services. Many other churches have been welcomed to use the sanctuary for funerals and the fellowship hall for repass activities and various meetings.
On July 23, 2006, a new chapter of our story began as Rev. Bridges announced his retirement from the ministry and preached his final sermon as the pastor of Asia. Asia elected Rev. Kenneth G. Thibodeaux as it's fifth Pastor.
The Asia Baptist Church has been one of the leading churches in the City of New Orleans, the State of Louisiana, and the United States of America.
The rest of our story is yet to be told, but we know the best is yet to come.
Haggai 2:9, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." KJV