Baptist Association, East Carroll (updated 2/24/16)
In 1896, the East Carroll Baptist Association was organized in Lake Providence, LA. Two years later, the Association started a school called the East Carroll Normal and Industrial Institute. According to " History of Louisiana Negro Baptists from 1804-1914. by William Hicks, page 209, the school was founded by Bishop J. E. Brunswick and was comprised of three buildings at the time this book was written. The principal was Professor Emmett Louis Washburn, B. A.
There were three other Associations in the neighboring parishes--Madison Association, Tensas Association, and Concordia Association. Together they formed the North Louisiana Baptist Association which was also known as the 9th District Baptist Association. They raised about $4000 for the purpose of building a school. After working together for awhile, they had a great split and a lawsuit. The money they had on hand was divided between the four parishes. In 1908, with the $800 that was their share of funds after the split, the East Carroll Baptist Association purchased 60 acres of land south of Lake Providence. The Association was chartered and the members built a building that housed their meeting space and their school that went through the ninth grade.
Rev. G. W. Owens (b.1866-d.1951) was the first president (see funeral program below), followed by Rev. Samuel G. Gaither (b. 1861) who served until his death in 1926 when Rev. Owens was elected president again. Rev. Owens served until 1946 when Rev. John H. Scott was elected after an incident when the community felt that their ministers had failed to stand up for them in a racial situation. Rev. Scott was not even a pastor at the time of his election although this was a position of leadership over other pastors & congregations (See Pages 122 - 123, Witness to the Truth). Rev. Scott served until his death in 1981.
In 1964, the Baptist Center was burned to the ground during a period of church burnings in East Carroll. The building was being used for organizational meetings and as a place to teach people how to past the citizenship test required to register to vote. The community came together and rebuilt the Baptist Center.
The Baptist Association still owns the 60 acres originally acquired in 1908.