St. Augustine Catholic Church

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Many Sundays the Balthazars down there, they used to live right up the road from my daddy's house, and when we'd see them coming, we'd all get right on out and meet them. We'd all walk to church together...the church has always been the center of attraction down here in this community. Always has. Everything was centered around the church.


Nicolas Augustin Metoyer, eldest son of Marie Thérèse "Coin Coin" and Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer, donated the land on which St. Augustine Catholic Church stands today. He and his brother, Louis Metoyer, who established Melrose Plantation, provided the funds for the original chapel, which was built in 1803. The present church structure was built in 1916. St. Augustine was the first Catholic church in America founded, independently financed, and built by free people of color. St. Augustine is the spiritual and social center of the Cane River Creole community on Isle Brevelle in Natchitoches Parish.

My mama belonged to a Catholic society - they had their hall on the river bank...Mama and them would come on Sunday evening and I can remember they had a band from Alexandria that would come and play. Mama and them would be all in white and would march behind. The band would be in a wagon and Mama and those would march behind that wagon to church...It was horse and buggy, you know. I was so proud of my mama. They was all in white and they was following the band to the church...and they had a big mass when they got to the church.

Badin-Roque HouseLewis Jones House