A history of African American churches in Terrebonne Parish

First row, from left: the Revs. Clarence Flemming, James Allen. S.H. Darsey, Albert Terry and Ernest Jackson. Second row: James Robinson, Corneoulas Granger, Albert Carr, unknown. Third row: J. H. Thompson, James Brown, W. J. Picou, David Hyde and A. Alcorn.

Another treasure from a 1972 edition of “The Houma Daily Courier:”


This church has its root in the days of slavery. The original structure no longer exists.

The church’s founder, Isaiah Lawson, was unusual in that he was a slave who knew how to read and write. He preached at the church for 12 years before becoming a missionary. In his time, he drew people who would walk through the rain and mud to attend services.


At first glance, Mount Pilgrim looks very much like New Zion Baptist Church.

Originally, the church was on Live Oak, a farm owned by the Gibson family. The Gibsons were the namesake for the town of Gibson, where Mount Pilgrim is now located. They were from North Carolina and brought 49 slaves with them when they came to Louisiana. The slaves included Bob Gates, Nellie Taylor, Charles Taylor and Cye Gates.

The farm church was St. Mark Baptist Church. At the church’s Sabbath School, children were taught reading and writing. St. Mark came down in 1904. The church was rebuilt in a different spot and renamed Mount Pilgrim.





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