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St. Charles is a diverse, welcoming congregation in Uptown New Orleans celebrating God's grace on the Avenue for more than 115 years. We are as varied as our historic city, and yet we value gathering together for community, worship, and sharing the life of faith.


What does it mean to be a Baptist church?

We get this question a lot along with “Why are you Baptist?” and “What kind of Baptist are you?” St. Charles is an ecumenical congregation in the Baptist tradition. This means our members come from many backgrounds, and our worship often reflects traditions across denominational lines. We hold onto our Baptist tradition in a couple of ways that we feel are very important.

The first has to do with each individual’s journey of faith. We believe each person is free to approach God without a priest or pastor in the middle. We believe persons are free to make their own personal decisions on matters of faith and be responsible for them. We are free to study the Bible as individuals and exercise scholarly interpretation of Scripture, as led by God's spirit. We may not agree on every conclusion we draw, and we value those differences dearly.

The second has to do with governance. As far as national governments and religious traditions go, we believe in the separation of church and state. Similarly, we understand the local church to exist freely, under the authority of Jesus Christ, to shape its own life and mission through the congregational contributions and decisions of its members.

Learn more about our Denominational Partners here:

Alliance of Baptists
American Baptist Churches USA
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

Alliance of Baptists
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship

The History of St. Charles

After gathering for 14 years as a mission of Coliseum Baptist Church, twenty-six charter members created the Carrollton Baptist Church at the corner of Maple and Cherokee Streets on November 16, 1898. Three years later, the city of Carrollton was annexed by the city of New Orleans. The small congregation of Carrollton Baptist Church then purchased property on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Hillary Street and changed the church name to Saint Charles Avenue Baptist Church. The lot on the corner of St. Charles Avenue and Audubon Street was purchased in 1924, and in 1926 the church moved to its present location.

Throughout the 20th Century, St. Charles proved instrumental in the development of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the Southern Baptist Hospital and every other Baptist Home Mission agency in New Orleans. The church has always fostered a strong emphasis and interest in community engagement.

Saint Charles has long been known for its progressive stances, innovative ideas, and creative leadership. In 1971, Saint Charles became the first Baptist church in Louisiana to ordain women as deacons. In 1980, the church became the first Baptist church in Louisiana to ordain a woman to the Gospel ministry. In 2013, the church called its first female pastor, also a first in Louisiana among congregations of similar denominational affiliation.

While a vital part of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 19th and 20th centuries, the church terminated that affiliation at the turn of the 21st century due to significant doctrinal and theological differences. Today, St. Charles enjoys a range of denominational partnerships. Striving to be a prophetic voice of faith in New Orleans and beyond, Saint Charles maintains an attitude of openness, a spirit of acceptance, and a commitment to living out the way of Christ’s love.

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