The Work Begins
The first Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting held in Louisiana was at Alexandria July 13-20, 1898. Attendance was good, with five families coming more than 100 miles by team (Evans, 1898). Camp meeting was again held in Alexandria July 21-31, 1910. People were encouraged to come since it would be “much cooler camping out than living in a house” (Maxwell, 1910). Following a canvassers’ institute in February 1913, two canvassers, Luther Miller and Ernest Waters, came to work in Alexandria (Wilson, 1913). In 1913, a two-week camp meeting was again held in Alexandria, followed by four weeks of tent meetings. When those meetings ended August 17, the tent was moved to a location eight blocks southwest and another series of meetings started (Parmele, 1913).
Alexandria Church Organized in 1915
Following the meetings in 1913, Frances Goodwyn, a Bible worker, organized a Sabbath school in Alexandria (Parmele, 1914) and in 1914 reported three to four new members with hopes of developing a church (Goodwyn, 1914a). By June, the Sabbath school had grown enough that they had to hold three classes to accommodate the attendance (Goodwyn, 1914b). The Alexandria church was organized on August 21, 1915, with eleven members and three more expected to transfer their membership from the conference church (Parmele, 1915).
Alexandria Church Reorganized in 1930
By 1929, the church had disbanded and consisted of a Sabbath school of twenty-five women who were meeting in the Whorton home each week, hoping for someone to come hold meetings in this area (Worker, 1929). In May 1929, Elder F. H. DeVinney held a series of tent meetings and on April 26, 1930, he organized a church of sixteen members (Wilson, 1930).
A New Church in 1976
On October 2, 1976, the Alexandria Church at 6410 Masonic Drive, was dedicated (Record, 1976).
A New Church in 1980
A new church was built on some land in Pineville, which is located across the Red River from Alexandria. The brand-new facilities of the Alexandria Church were officially opened on July 19, 1980. Sitting atop a rolling hill, the beautiful brick church was built largely by the donated labor and gifts of the 122 members and the help of the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference Business and Professional Association and its president, Dr. Jack Lucas, of Baton Rouge. Supervising the work was Glen Payne, conference builder (Hancock, 1980).
Central Louisiana Church
At the constituency meeting on March 10, 1985, it was voted to change the name of the church from Alexandria Church to Central Louisiana Church (Minutes, 1985). On March 19, 1988, the new church just off of the busy Pineville Expressway, was dedicated. Frances Scott, who had been a member for forty-three years, presented a history of the church (Bloomfield, 1988). In 2003 lightning struck the church causing a fire which gutted the sanctuary and did some damage to the fellowship hall. The members were able to make the repairs on the fellowship hall and hold worship services there until the sanctuary could be renovated (Shafter, 2003).
Central Louisiana Church on Mary Hill Road in Pineville near Alexandria, Louisiana.
(1913, Aug. 9). Adventist Meeting Ends. The Madison Journal, p. 1.
(1929, Mar. 13). Southern Union Worker, p. 2.
(1976, Sep. 25). Southwestern Union Record, p. 7.
(1985, Mar. 10). Executive Committee Minutes. Shreveport, LA: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of SDA.
Bloomfield, Dilys. (1988, Jun. 10). Ibid., p. 8.
Evans, J. E. (1898, Aug. 23). Review and Herald, p. 542.
Goodwyn, Frances. (1914a, Feb. 26). Southern Union Worker, p. 68.
Ibid. (1914b, Jun. 4). p. 180.
Hancock, J. Wayne. (1980, Aug. 21). Southwestern Union Record, p. 12G.
Maxwell, E. L. (1910, Jun. 30). Southern Union Worker, p. 153.
Parmele, R. W. (1913, Aug. 14). Ibid., p. 261.
Ibid. (1914, Apr. 30). p. 141.
Ibid. (1915, Sep. 2). p. 281.
Shafter, Dennis. (2003, Jul. 1). Newsletter, Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, p. 3.
Wilson, M. L. (1930, May 21). Southern Union Worker, p. 3.
Wilson, Mark. (1913, Apr. 17). Ibid., pp. 130, 131.