Church Point, Louisiana
Church Point, Louisiana
"Buggy Capital U.S.A."
Location of Church Point in Acadia Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
|• Type||Town Hall|
|• Mayor||Ryan "Spanky" Meche (elected 2019) (Republican)|
|• Total||2.90 sq mi (7.50 km2)|
|• Land||2.90 sq mi (7.50 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||46 ft (14 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,552.68/sq mi (599.59/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Church Point (French: Pointe-à-l'Église) is a town in Acadia Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 4,560 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Crowley Micropolitan Statistical Area. Church Point is known as the Buggy Capital of the World as it used to be host to the annual Buggy Festival which has since gone defunct.
In the late 18th century, French settlers from Nova Scotia (Acadie) Canada, created clearings by burning the underbrush, leaving what they called a brûlé, or "burn", much as the Native Americans in the area had created a "burn" to promote new grass to attract bison and other grazing and browsing animals.
One of these clearings was created on a slough off Bayou Mermentau, near where the slough came to a point. This new clearing became known as Plaquemine Brûlé in 1843 when Etienne d'Aigle III, a descendant of immigrants from Quebec, became the first settler in the area, which at that time was in the middle of Opelousas Parish (later St. Landry Parish), which stretched from the Atchafalaya River to the Sabine River.
Plaquemine is an Atakapa word for the native Louisiana persimmon. The French term Plaquemine Brûlé is translated into English as "Burnt Persimmon" - a result of the burning of the brush and other woody growth, which apparently contained persimmon trees, during the widening of a slough off Bayou Mermentau to accommodate barge travel for local farmers.
As more families were attracted to the area, Jesuit missionaries fulfilled their spiritual needs by establishing a chapel in 1848 on land donated by the d'Aigle brothers Etienne (III) and Joseph ("José"). The church was known as La Chapelle de la pointe de Plaquemine Brûlé (in English, "The Church at the point of Burnt Persimmon"). The English term was later shortened to "Church Point" to refer to the spire on top of the church which could be seen, and traversed to, for miles in this frontier area, and translated back into French as La Pointe de l'Eglise.
"Plaquemine Brûlé was considered part of the frontier for the next several decades, as there were no railroads and the swampy terrain made overland travel difficult. Early pioneers to the area requested land grants along the bayou only large enough to satisfy their families' immediate needs. Many families raised cattle, which roamed freely on the open range of the prairie." 
The town's first school was established in 1856, providing encouragement for the community to grow further. The first post office for the town of "Church Point" was established in the area on September 29, 1873, marking the settlement's first official recognition as a community. Thirteen years later, residents of the town voted with those of surrounding communities to form a new parish known as Acadia.
Church Point is located at (30.404592, -92.216893).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.9 square miles (7.5 km2), all land.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,756 people, 1,720 households, and 1,202 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,726.5 people per square mile (667.7/km²). There were 1,863 housing units at an average density of 676.3 per square mile (261.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.47% White, 31.54% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 0.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.58% of the population.
There were 1,720 households out of which 38.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.4% were married couples living together, 18.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the town, the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $20,365, and the median income for a family was $27,037. Males had a median income of $26,563 versus $15,833 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,176. About 28.9% of families and 30.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.0% of those under age 18 and 37.0% of those age 65 or over.
As Interstate 10 and Interstate 49 are less than 15 miles (24 km) from town, many of the people who live in Church Point work in larger surrounding communities. Many of those who work in the area are farmers, growing rice, soybeans, corn, milo, sugarcane or crawfish. The largest private employer in the area is Church Point Wholesale Grocery.
Arts and culture
Since 1981, the Acadia St. Landry Medical Foundation, which supports the Acadia St. Landry Hospital, has organized an annual Buggy Festival held in Church Point on the first weekend in June. The town was chosen because residents had used buggies as their main means of transportation until the early 1950s, earning Church Point the nickname "Buggy Capital of the world" in 1927. In its first 25 years, the festival earned over $440,000 in profits, which were distributed among the hospital, the parks department of the city of Church Point, and various civic organizations. Two scholarships are also awarded annually. The festival, which includes a Sunday parade, gives visitors the opportunity to explore various horse-drawn vehicles. Cajun musicians perform throughout the weekend, while Cajun cuisine is featured. The festival also often includes a French speaking contest and a Cajun French accordion contest. Each year the town holds a Courir de Mardi Gras.
In 1987 Church Point established a relationship with Church Point, Nova Scotia, bringing about a revival of interest in its French culture. The town now proudly calls itself the "Cajun Music Capital of the World", based on "having the greatest number of professional Cajun musicians of any place on earth". A different Cajun musician is honored each year on Cajun Day, the second Sunday in November.
Among the many professional musicians, Church Point is also the origin of the multi-media recording artist, musician, and composer Fabian Thibodeaux (professionally known as "Isadar") and his oldest brother, organist Dexter Thibodeaux. Isadar's award-winning music covers a wide range of genres and styles including Pop, Dance, Adult Contemporary, Solo Piano, New Age, Classical, and Jazz. He has also produced Cajun music in the past and comes from a family with a rich musical lineage reaching back two generations of Church Point residents.
Iry LeJeune Born in Church Point, October 28, 1929. One of the most popular Cajun musicians in the mid to late 1940s into the early 1950s.
Boozoo Chavis Born in Church Point, October 23, 1930. Accordion player, singer, songwriter and bandleader. Boozoo Chavis was one of the pioneers of zydeco music.
Rosie Ledet Born Mary Roszela Bellard, in Church Point, October 25, 1971. An American Creole, Zydeco According player and singer. She is currently playing with her band, The Zydeco Playboys.
Church Point is organized under the Louisiana Lawrason Act and is governed by an elected mayor and five members of the Board of Aldermen. These officials are responsible for implementing and carrying out laws for the advancement of interest, welfare, health, comfort, safety, and convenience of the community and its citizens. Elections are held every four years, with candidates taking office on the first day of July following the election and remaining in power for the next four years.
- Church Point High School (9-12)
- Church Point Middle School (6-8)
- Church Point Elementary (PK-5)
- Our Mother of Peace Elementary (PK4-8)
History of Our Mother of Peace Elementary
Our Mother of Peace, known athletically as "OMP", has been serving students in grades Pre-K to 8th Grade for over 100 years. Founded as Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic School, known commonly as "The Convent" as it was also the nun's residence, this school has stood the test of time. The original school building now serves as the school's cafeteria. In the 1970's, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Catholic School and Our Mother of Mercy Catholic School, merged to create Our Mother of Peace, a named picked in a time where all that was needed was peace. The new school building was built later in the 1970s. The newest addition to Our Mother of Peace is the gymnasium, built in 2007.
The town of Church Point has one high school, which fields these sports:
Church Point High School
- Men's Football (Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Freshman)
- Men's Baseball (Varsity)
- Men's Basketball (Varsity)
- Men's Wrestling (Varsity)
- Men's Powerlifting (Varsity)
- Women's Softball (Varsity)
- Women's Basketball (Varsity)
- Women's Volleyball (Varsity, Junior Varsity)
- Men's and Women's Track and Field
(Not including club sports)
NFL Wide Receiver Mark Carrier was born in Church Point, October 28, 1965. Mark was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the third round of the 1987 NFL Draft, 57th overall. He was a 3 sport athlete at Church Point High School, playing football, basketball and track. Carrier went on to play college football at Nicholls State University.
Nicholls Colonels baseball head coach Seth Thibodeaux is originally from Church Point. He has been the head coach at Nicholls since 2011. He has a overall carrer record of 229-220-1 and has reached the Southland Conference baseball tournament four times since he has coached.
- "Church Point, Louisiana". Church Point, Louisiana. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 2, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Church Point town, Louisiana". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- "History of Church Point". Acadia Parish Tourist Commission. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-02-02. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Church Point". Louisiana State University - Eunice. Archived from the original on 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- "Church Point Buggy Festival". The Church Point Buggy Festival. 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- Guillot, Jerry (February 2004). "The Lawrason Act" (PDF). Church Point, Louisiana. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-19.