205 No. Fourth Street | Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70801 | 225-387-5141 | church @ stjamesbr.org |                

175th Anniversary Resolution

On March 25, 1844, the "Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana, in General Assembly convened,"

approved the charter for the corporate body by the "name, style and title of 'The Rector, Churchwardens and Vestrymen of the Church of St. James, in the Parish of East Baton Rouge, in Communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America."

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, St. James Episcopal Church was honored with Senate recogntion of the 175th anniversary of our original state charter:

The Rev. Chris Duncan was invited to give the invocation at the start of the legislative day. His prayer was: 

Almighty God, you have made all the peoples of the earth for your glory, to serve you in freedom and in peace. As you are the Giver of all good things: we thank you for the majesty and beauty of this land and the great resources you have given us. We pray that we might use them properly. We thank you for the men and women who have made this place strong through their labor, service, and sacrifice. We pray for the strength to do our part in our generation to ensure all people of our state know true freedom. We thank you for the faith we have inherited in all its rich variety. We pray for eyes to see all people as created in the image of God.

O Lord, we now ask your blessing upon all the peoples of our state that we may know your peace and be a blessing to others. We ask your blessing on our lawmakers and legislators that they will have the courage, wisdom, and foresight to faithfully serve in their offices to promote the well-being of all people. Gracious God, we pray all of this in your holy Name: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.


Text of the 2019 Resolution:

WHEREAS, in 1819 two years after the incorporation of Baton Rouge a group of local inhabitants felt the need to establish an Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge and began meeting in the area; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 1820 they became incorporated and met from place to place including on what is currently these State Capitol grounds thanks to the resilient efforts of a number including Margaret “Peggy” Smith Taylor who sought the permission of her soldier husband, the Garrison Commander Col. Zachary Taylor who granted space at what is now known to us as the Pentagon Barracks to for a chapel; and

WHEREAS, on March 25, 1844 by Act 97 of the Louisiana Legislature,  St. James Episcopal Church was granted a charter to operate as a body and to worship under the laws of the state and in communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United Sates of America and subject to the Ecclesiastical government and decisions of the Bishops and Convention of the Diocese of Louisiana; and 

WHEREAS, they did purchase the property at the corner of Convention Street and Church now 4th Street in Baton Rouge where they constructed a church consecrated by Bishop Leonidas Polk and have continued worship there for 175 years; and

WHEREAS, the men and women who are aiding in the molding of the church’s reputation today can look to the trials and triumphs of the church’s past in order to chart its future; and

WHEREAS, a church that has sustained itself through fires and yellow fever epidemics, the Civil War and Reconstruction, national economic depression, segregation, and the evolution of the surrounding world is a welcoming congregation; and

WHEREAS, being established itself to be more than a community of the faithful, but a community of faith; and

NOW, THEREFORE, The Senate of Louisiana, does recognize St. James Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge on the occasion of 175 years of worship. 


Images of the original act (No. 97), approved March 25, 1844 (click each image for a larger view):

1844 Resolution pg 1
Let the celebrations begin!






  St. James Episcopal Church

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St. James Episcopal Church
Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA