History of Southside Bible Chapel
In 1936, America was still in the Great Depression and the Olympic Games were held in Berlin under the supervision of German Chancellor Adolf Hitler. Against the backdrop of these national and international events, Mr. A.P. Duchesneau left Montreal as a Plymouth Brethren missionary and traveled to the city of St. Martinville, Louisiana to begin evangelizing and discipling French-speaking people.
At first, the work was slow. Distribution of books, Bibles and tracks as well as help with literacy began to open doors. Some of the first to accept the Gospel were members of a family of expatriates who had fled from France in an earlier generation. A building was rented on the main street of St. Martinville where folks could meet.
In time, the Bible Chapel moved to the nearby city of Lafayette. During and after World War 2, Christian leaders from different places, servicemen and gifted young men from New Orleans served at the Chapel.
In 1969, a new building was constructed on Acadian Drive in Lafayette. In 1992, after a fire and insurance settlement, our current building, which had been a racquetball club on Congress Street in Lafayette, was purchased and renovated. This large facility, with its gym, many rooms and swimming pool, opened the door to ministries such as Awana and Bible conferences.
Every summer since 2013, we (in conjunction with assemblies in San Jose, CA and Lubbock, TX) have hosted as many as 60 young adults, teachers and staff from all over the world for 3-5 weeks of discipleship training with the Galilee Program.
In 2000, an unfortunate split occurred, and a number of members left to form a separate Bible Chapel in Lafayette. But after many years of prayer and vision, God and His miraculous grace led to the reconciliation and reunion of our 2 chapels into one congregation on March 4, 2018. Since then, God has blessed our reunited body of believers with new members, ministries and missionaries across the world.
Recent health, economic, social and political events have shaken our country and our world. But we at Southside Bible Chapel look forward to God’s continued blessings as we adapt to new and creative approaches to minister to people locally and worldwide. We still believe, obey, preach and teach the same Gospel and Word of God and worship the same Holy Triune God who have been with us from the beginning so many years ago.