The Bible Center Church in Luling is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a church in St. Charles Parish.
Before there was a Bible Center Church, several families in the Boutte-Luling area wanted a local, independent church. They started having Bible studies and prayer meetings in their homes in 1962.
The foundation members of the new church were the Gilberts, Mallorys and several other Luling families, while they continued to serve in the New Orleans Bible Church.
The name Bible Center Church was selected to show that the emphases would be on God’s Word and there would not be a denomination attached to the church.
In March of 1969, a group of 15 families met in the Mimosa School cafeteria and signed the charter for the church.
Jim Raiford began as pastor of the church on June 15, 1969 and started the process of building a firm foundation for the church.
On July 14, 1969, the church acquired 10 lots on Barton Avenue. A building committee was formed and to work on a floor plan for a 6,000 square-foot building.
By April of 1970, 26 new members helped to bring the membership to a total of 67.
The building was completed April 6, 1970.
The first Vacation Bible School was held in July of 1970. The Pioneer Girls and Christian Service Brigade Programs were started. Camp Pearl in Eunice, La., and Miracle Camp at Ringold, La., provided Christian summer camping programs for the youth.
The dedication service for the new building was held on Sept. 27, 1970. They now had a building, a full-time pastor and a missionary.
The church continued to grow, and pews were added, and a grand piano was purchased. In the course of six years, the facility had become inadequate for the growing needs of the church. It was back to the drawing board for plans for an additional building. A 5,600 square-foot activities building was planned to provide additional Sunday School rooms, a new nursery, a kitchen, and a multipurpose room. It was planned so that eventually, when needed, the multipurpose room section could be converted into two floors of Sunday School rooms and a third multipurpose building could be added on the south side of the Sunday School building.