Our Church History

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     The first church at Cheniere was held at the Cheniere Creek water’s edge on July 31, 1921, with 21 people present. It was not really a baptist church at this time, but rather a gathering of all faiths assembled together to worship the Lord. The first pastor of our family was Rev. John L. Dodge. Services were quickly reorganized to be held at the old Cheniere School (which is now the location of Nelson & Sons Inc.). The School building was later moved across the road and turned into a general store by A.V. Pendarvis. The church gatherings continued in this building for many years, and pastors were paid from $2.50 – $6.96 per month to preach at the services. 
      In 1932, the church was reorganized as a Southern Baptist Church. The first official building  was erected after a lot was donated by Mr. Harvey Benoit. It is believed that the Benoit family are the ones from whom the name Cheniere derived. The Benoit’s were from south Louisiana, and were of french descent. The word “Cheniere” is a french word which means, “High ground of trees that rise out of water.
      we strive to adopt the meaning of Cheniere (High Ground) as what we want to be for the world. God has assembled this church family at Cheniere to be a haven, a safe place on high ground. We want to bring them to the security that is found in Jesus Christ our Lord. We have seen many brothers and sisters in Christ come and go over the years, as well as many structural changes; but no matter our look, or tactic, the message of the Gospel is unchanging!

Our Core Beliefs

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      We believe that God is Creator, Sustainer, Mediator, and OrdainerThis is explained in understanding that Scripture reveals God to be the creator of all things(Isaiah 40:28). God did not create because He was lonely; because he has always had perfect fellowship within the “Trinity”.  The Trinity is the oneness of God bound up in three parts of equal power: The Father, The Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14).  God created because His creation gives him great joy when it worships Him. He is not only worthy of Worship because He created us, but also because he sustains us. Every breath we breathe is a gift from God, and so every day we live on earth is reminder that He is sustaining us (1 Corinthians 8:6).
    The problem with Humanity is that we think we can earn God’s favor. We believe that in all aspects of life that if we work hard enough we will reap a just reward; but the problem is that the only reward we deserve is Hell (Romans 3:10-12). We are born sinful. No one has to teach a toddler how to be selfish, or steal. Because of the Fall of man (Genesis 3) we are born with an inherited Sin nature that results in us having to bear a physical death (Romans 3:23). Because of that nature we live life with a desire to pursue ourselves over God. Sin is interwoven in selfish desire. We cannot fight this battle on our own. Bearing our sin alone leads to not only death, but eternal punishment from God. We could stop right there and be depressed, or we can continue in the abundant hope in knowing that Jesus was sent to bear the weight of our sin so that we can be made worthy in the sight of God, which is something we could never earn. He came to save us from ourselves, and give us part of his inheritance as a child of God. He mediates to God on our behalf (1 Timothy 2:5). He came so that we may have true life (1 John 5:12).
      Jesus came to save man. He accomplished this by dying on the cross to bear the weight of all of our sins (John 3:16). Though he payed the price for all, only those who surrender their lives to Jesus may receive the saving grace that He pours out. How can one be saved you ask? It is actually  not as complicated as many people make it. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God sent to earth to die for you, because you are a sinner in need of a savior; and then you ask the Lord (Romans 10:9) to forgive you of your sin, and fill you with His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) then you will be saved. The Holy Spirit is what makes us capable of choosing God over our sin in the day to day walk. Every day after is a day to day fight with our fleshly bodies, but we must continue to choose to live for Christ. Repentance is needed quit often, but a blood sacrifice will never again be required for those who Choose Christ, because they are forever atoned for. 
Acts 2:38  – “38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
     It is also evident through scripture that Baptism is a very important act in our spiritual walk. It is a step of obedience. We can even see in scripture that Jesus Was baptized (Matthew 3:13-17). We believe that baptism (By Immersion) should happen if possible, but it is not crucial to ones salvation. Baptism is a symbolic act of the decision to follow Christ. It is a symbolic gesture of the washing away of our sin. The book of Acts shows that the crucial Baptism is the immersing of the Holy Spirit. We are baptized in the Spirit once we believe in Jesus as our Lord, and we should unashamedly follow in believers baptism to show our fellow believers of the inner change that has occurred. This is why babies should not be baptized, because they are incapable of understanding their need for salvation. 
     It is also important to note that “Speaking in Tongues” is not necessary to affirm ones salvation. We as a church do not believe that the gift of tongues has fully ceased, but we do believe that it happens in a much rarer form today than in the book of Acts. What we saw at Pentecost in the book of acts was people speaking known languages that they have never learned. We believe God Still does this at times on the mission field. The tongues spoken in Corinthians is an “Angelic Language” which is spoken as worship to God. Paul gives instructions on speaking in tongues in Corinthians that would expose much of what we see in churches today to be false practice (1 Corinthians 14:26-28). 
      As a church We believe that the Bible contains the perfect word of God. The Bible is written by men, but men who were under the divine guidance of God. The bible is God’s written word to give man what they need in order to understand their need for God, and how to live for God. Though the bible does not give us everything there is to know about God; God has given us everything we need to know about Him through his word. The word of God reveals the need to trust in the one who scripture claims to be the living Word, Jesus (John 1:1-10). The word of God gives us hope in knowing that those who have trusted in Jesus will one day spend eternity with him in Heaven (John 14:2-3).  We should commit to the public reading, and studying of scripture (1 Timothy 4:13). We must memorize and meditate on scripture so that we can be better prepared to resist Sin (Psalm 119:11).

Vision & Mission

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Vision Statement
To Create A Spiritually Connected Community Of Committed Discples
Our Mission
Our mission to serve Jesus comes down to three words: Worship, Walk, Welcome



        Worship is more than a set of songs performed, but worship is a lifestyle. Romans 12:1 reveals that it is the sacrifice of ourselves that escalates to the true worship of God. Before we can do anything else, we must seek to worship Christ with every aspect of our lives. The reason we commit our lives to the betterment of His church is because we understand that our lives are about His worship. As a church we seek to bring honor to God with the worship of our lives. We commit to worship Him as a church family because God desires that we worship Him as one family. Our goal at Cheniere is that everything we do would be out of worship. 



        We are called to more than a superficial relationship; but to walk with Christ daily. We desire to pursue Christ intimately so that we may both know and serve Him better. As the disciples walked with Christ to prepare for their future ministry, we walk with Christ so that we may be better equipped to disciple others around us. As Ephesians 4:1 says, We are striving to walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling that Christ has given us. By dying to ourselves, He gives us the opportunity to walk in Him. As a church we seek to Walk in Christ so that He may show us how to lead a life of righteousness.  When we are submitting to walk with Christ daily; we are making it less about us, and more about Him. Our Goal at Cheniere is to walk in Christ so that we may never lose sight of His vision.


         We have a desire to welcome others into our lives so that they may be exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Matthew 25:40 reveals that Christ has called us to serve the least of these; and that by doing so we are serving Him. As a church, we seek to welcome others out of love; understanding that  it is Christ’s love for us that enables us to love others. Under the Lord’s guidance, we use all that He has blessed us with to bless those who need to know Him. The Holy Spirit uses us to Usher people to the feet of Jesus, so that He may cleanse them. Our goal is that God would not only use us to help bring them in; but would also use us to help disciple them to the point that they begin to: “Worship, Walk, & Welcome.”

Staff & Ministry Team Leaders

“Senior Pastor”
Zach Anderson
Zach became the pastor of Cheniere Baptist Church in March of 2014. He has been married for 6 years to his wife Kristin and they have been blessed with two beautiful little girls and a handsome little boy. Zach was born and raised in Martin, LA, and was reared in the faith at Martin Baptist Church. He surrendered to the ministy in 2008 and has been faithfully serving ever since. 
     In 2012, as the Student Pastor of Cherry Ridge Baptist,He was ordained as a minister of the Gospel.  He graduated in 2011 with his bachelors from Northwestern State University; and in 2014 completed his Masters at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Music Minister”
Brent Avara
      Brent was born and raised locally in West Monroe, LA. He has had a passion for music for most of his life. He was saved at the age of 13 and has been obedient to God’s calling to lead worship ever since. His simple desire is to be able to lead people in encountering God’s presence.
   Brent is a realtor for Coldwell Banker, as well as an aspiring Christan song-writer. He is a graduate of West Monroe High School. Currently  he is pursuing his Bachelors in Music Ministry at Louisiana Baptist University.
“Youth Minister”
Open Position
Children’s Minister
Alex Hawkins