"From Humble Beginnings"
In 1951, a group of families began to meet in various homes under the leadership of Mr. Joe Bourgeois for informal bible studies with the intent of reaching the community in which they lived. Evidently, the group began recognizing itself as a church under the name the "Bourgeois Baptist Memorial Church". Soon the house groups began meeting together under a tent which led to the first official record of the church on November 15, 1951. During this gathering the church had its first business meeting and called their first pastor, Rev. C.F. McClure, a previous member of Westwego Baptist Church. It was also during this meeting that the church took on the name "Sunrise Baptist Church". On November 25, 1951, the church voted that Mr. Joe Bourgeois become their first deacon. The total membership of the Sunrise Baptist Church for the year of 1951 was reported to be 31. On January 9, 1952. the church bought its first property on the corner of Sunrise Drive and Christiana Drive for $1200. The cost of the building was $6500. The church was officially constituted on January 15, 1952.
There were many firsts in these early years of the Sunrise Baptist Church. The first women's organization of the church started on June 9, 1952 called the Sunrise Circle Meeting. This group was designed to meet the needs of the misfortunate and needy in the church. The first Lord's Supper took place on the night of June 13, 1952. Later that year, the church requested membership into the New Orleans Baptist Association, sponsored by Westwego Baptist Church up to this point. The first revival meeting took place on November 16, 1952. The first Vacation Bible School took place on June 22-26, 1953 at 8:30-noon. The literature was borrowed from Gretna Baptist Church. The church had its first licensing of a member to preach on December 5, 1954, his name was Bro. David Johnson who later that year become the church's first associate pastor. The first deacon ordination service was held on September 24, 1955. And the original church building was paid off and celebrated with a note-burning service in April of 1956. The first parsonage was bought in conjunction with the calling of Sunrise's second pastor Rev. W. F. Counselman on October 10, 1959. The property was located at 2657 Barataria Blvd.
"Growth and Relocation and Growth"
During the tenure of Sunrise's fourth pastor Rev. R. David Terry, called as pastor in March of 1966, the growing church began the process of relocating and building a new church. It would not be under his leadership but two pastor's later that the church would complete the transition to the new property under the leadership of Rev. Truman Parker and the new building was dedicated on December 14, 1969. This property is the same property the church is located on today at 3233 Ames Blvd.
In the years following, and under different pastors, the church experienced more growth in the new building. During the serving of Rev. Dennis Bacque, the church adopted a constitution and bylaws in December of 1973 and in April of 1974, a children's worship service had begun. Two morning services had to be held to accommodate the people during this time. Under Rev. Bacque, the church began building on an additional education space to the property which would later be completed under the leadership of Rev. George Shade in 1975.
Rev. George shade was called as the first full-time pastor in several years. It was under his directing that the church name be changed from Sunrise Baptist Church to "Sunrise Acres Baptist Church" to avoid confusion with another local church. The official name change took place in February of 1975 shortly after Rev. Shade had been called as pastor. Years later under another pastor, Rev. Ron Pate, the church voted to change the name again to reflect the street at which the church's address was located- "Ames Boulevard Baptist Church". The name change took place in July of 1980 and continues to be the name today.
"Children become Parents"
In April of 1988 under the leadership of Rev. Ed Masterson, Ames Blvd. began its first sponsorship of a church. The Marrero Filipino Mission began meeting with Bro. Ed Moncada serving as pastor under the sponsorship of Ames Boulevard Baptist Church. Bro. Moncada was ordained to the Gospel Ministry January 22, 1989.
"Other Things Worth Noting"
The sanctuary at that time was remodeled in the spring of 1990, about 21 years following its original construction. In June of 1990 as well, Ames Boulevard had its first Homecoming Celebration. Many of the many former pastors and other ministers and members attended the festivities.
Under the leadership of Rev. Ed Crawley, the church began a building campaign for a new worship center. The current sanctuary at the time had long since been overgrown. The new Worship Center was finished during the week of April 15, 2002. The first event held in the new building was the wedding of Valerie Michelle Babcock and Michael Anthony Loolara on April 20, 2002 with the Dedication Service for the new building occurring the next day on April 21, 2002.
"Being a Host to Others"
It's worth noting that on October 30th, 2006, a little more than a year after the devastating Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Ames Boulevard Baptist Church hosted its first BAGNO (Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans) Meeting. This was the 82nd annual fall meeting of the association.
Hurricane Katrina has left her scars on our city and in New Orleans and the greater Gulf Coast. Families were displaced, work environments changed, and neighborhoods were devastated. The makeup of the entire area has shifted in so many regards. During the turbulent time in the aftermath of 2005, Ames was on the front lines supporting families and providing help in whatever way we could. Countless mission groups and helping individuals have come and taking shelter in our facilities during the night and then go off to help others during the day. In fact, to this day some 10 years later, we are still a host to many mission groups who feel God's leading to minister to us and our community. We also feel so blessed to be used by God in such a meaningful way and look forward to hosting many more in years to come.
We have been so blessed by God in recent years. We have seen our Women's Crop and Craft Ministry grow and serve many of our community's families as well as pave a way to pay our our church's final debt. We are fastly approaching the 60th anniversary of our church and pray for another 60 blessed years to come! [Need to add more to this section.]