December 12, 2004
The Dow Chemical Company – Louisiana Operations
LA 988 (River Road) at Buckley Street; West Baton Rouge / Iberville Parish Line
On March 13, 1889, Rev. Robert Morrison established the Nazarene Baptist Church one and one half miles north of this site on Australia Point where the community of Morrisonville developed. Due to levee setbacks in 1921 residents relocated to Graceville, named after the land seller, and in 1931 moved to Mayflower Plantation. Dow Chemical relocated the community to Morrisonville Estates in Iberville Parish and Morrisonville Acres in West Baton Rouge Parish in 1990. Today, only the cemeteries remain.
Unveiling the Marker
On Sunday, December 12th, Morrisonville residents and guests united to dedicate the new State Historic Marker honoring the Community of Morrisonville. Over 100 folks were on hand in the beautiful weather as Rev. Lawrence Philson of the Nazarene Baptist Church opened the ceremony with the invocation. After a fellowship song and Pledge of Allegiance, Claudia James recounted the history of the Morrisonville community.
Oran and Chrysta Hines, 7th generation descendants of Reverend Robert Morrison, were on hand to unveil the marker as Rosa Martin read the words of the marker.
Donna Carville, representing marker sponsor Dow Chemical, made comments to the group. These comments were followed by remarks from the following:
- Brusly Councilwoman Joanne Bourgeois
- Parish Councilman Keith Washington Sr.
- Port Allen Mayor-Elect Derek Lewis
- Sheriff Mike Cazes
- West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley “Pee Wee” Berthelot
Dedication After Party
After the benediction by Reverend Philson, the group adjourned to the Nazarene Baptist Church Fellowship Hall for refreshments. The program was co-sponsored by the West Baton Rouge Historical Association and the Nazarene Baptist Church. Marker committee representatives included Morrisonville residents Katherine Lewis and Bruce Billups and West Baton Rouge Historical Association members Joanne Bourgeois and Genie Hendry.
Read the following books and resources to find more information:
- The Advocate, December 1, 2004
Along the River Roadby Mary Ann Sternberg, pages 209
- Artist rendering of first church built (pen and ink drawing)
- Nazarene Baptist Church Bulletin, dated June 24, 2004
- Nazarene Baptist Church PowerPoint presentation of church founders; 8 pages of text & photos
- Program dedication December 12, 2004
- Reference files at the West Baton Rouge Museum and Library
- Rosa L. Martin, “United in History” Morrisonville and Nazarene Baptist Church, Post/South, Thursday, February 25, 1988, page 8 B
- State Historic marker files at the West Baton Rouge Museum
- Video tape
Morrisonville…a Community Legacy; produced by Dow Chemical, 2004, captures oral and visual histories (available at West Baton Rouge Museum)
- West Bank Shopper, December 20, 2004
- West Side Journal Volume 69, Number 21, Thursday, December 16, 2004
- Mr. and Mrs. Jack Martin and Nazarene Church members,
The History of Nazarene Baptist Church Year 2004, 5 pages of text written in early 1970’s (available in Museum file)