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Contributing Writer

Photograph: Carola Lillie Hartley Collection

After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, in 1805, people from other areas of the United States came to Opelousas. Elisha Bowman was one of the men who arrived in Opelousas in 1806. He organized a Methodist Society and accepted seventeen members into the new church, the first Methodist church founded west of the Mississippi River. That church today is known as the Louisiana Memorial United Methodist Church. The new church building erected on the corner of Lombard and Bellevue streets in 1907 is pictured here in this 1909 postcard produced by Jacobs News Depot.