The Apostolic Church of Lafayette

The Founders

During his teenage years, a transformative event occurred in Bishop Broussard’s life when his “Tante” (Aunt -in French) asked him to drive her to a tent revival. He never forgot what he experienced that night, but it would be many years before he would surrender to God’s calling and receive the Holy Ghost in Texas under the ministry of Bro. Dees. Upon hearing the word of God preached, Bishop John H. Broussard and his wife, Sis. Helen Broussard, were filled with a deep sense of responsibility. From that day forward, he always sought someone to talk to about God. There were times when he followed God’s direction to change buses and sit by someone God led him to, and once he began to share the gospel, the person would confess they had just asked God to send someone to them.

Just two years after receiving the Holy Ghost, Sis. Broussard’s burden became so intense that she made a life-altering decision. She left her job, opting for a humble bag lunch, and spent her days knocking on doors, sharing the message of God’s love. In a mere six weeks, Sis. Broussard and her door-knocking partner had welcomed 120 visitors to their church. Her unwavering belief in God’s guidance was confirmed one night when an evangelist proclaimed, ‘The LORD is telling someone to give Him your hands and feet, and He will put the words in your mouth.’

The Broussards embarked on a remarkable journey of faith, contributing to the establishment of a church in Texas before moving on to work under the guidance of Bro. Upton in Atlanta, Georgia. Pastor Upton recognized God’s calling in Bro. Broussard and allowed him to serve in the ministry. A year later, as the Broussards sought further direction, their Pastor instructed them to head to Warner Robins, Georgia. That very night, Sis. Broussard received a dream from the Lord, guiding them to a specific street. On that same street, they discovered the building that would become their home and church, a testament to their unwavering faith and determination.

Starting the home missions church in Warner Robin, Georgia, was the beginning of their peanut brittle church fundraising, for which they would later have articles written about these tasty treats in the local newspapers. During church times, the recliner became a pulpit. Mattresses were flipped up, which turned bedrooms into Sunday school rooms and the kitchen into a nursery. Sis. Broussard tells of how they saw God work in unexplainable ways during a time of no cellphones or pagers; if there was a need for communication, then she and their daughter would pray, and Bro. Broussard would call home asking, “What did they need?”

This faith and dedication didn’t go unnoticed by God, and two years later, He made a way for a church to be purchased. The new sanctuary was beautiful, even complete with wooden pews, but it lacked a baptismal tank, so the Baptist church down the road kindly let Bro. Broussard use their tank — however, Bro. Broussard brought in so many souls to be baptized that this door was quickly closed, giving God the room to work. An accountant who had just received the Holy Ghost purchased the church’s baptism tank. After two years, the church in Georgia had grown immensely, but Bro. Broussard felt the burden so strong to come to his French-speaking people in Louisiana, where his father had once been a sugar cane farmer in St. Martinville. Under guidance from Evangelist Verbal Bean, Bishop Broussard knew it was time to follow where God was calling him next.

Leaving the church in Georgia under another minister, they packed all their belongings and headed down to Lafayette. Perhaps this is why he would always smile and say, “Allons ‘a Lafayette” (Let’s go to Lafayette-in French). They were unprepared for the storm as they drove into Lafayette late that night in September of 1971, but it would be the first of many storms that God would bring them through. Once again, the Broussards hit the streets, witnessing, selling peanut brittle, and delivering newspapers to build a church from the ground up. A building was purchased on Lana Dr. that would serve as their residence and church. They would pray, fast, sell peanut brittle, and then buy a pulpit, and the process was repeated until the church in Lafayette that had started with one 13-year-old boy had grown to full capacity even with the new addition of sq. footage.

Their goal was for God to build a church where all races could come together to worship, just like in the early New Testament church, and they saw God’s blessing in the efforts put forth. Property was purchased on Doc Duhon, where the initial sanctuary was formed from old horse stables, then a second larger sanctuary was built until finally, a third sanctuary and Sunday school rooms, totaling eighteen thousand square feet. Bishop Broussard served the people of south Louisiana for 28 years. Not only establishing a church that remains strong in the faith and serving the Lafayette area to this day but also putting out churches to nearby towns scattered across South Louisiana.

He fully believed that the harvest was plenteous, but the laborers are few. In his lifetime, Bro. Broussard trained many ministers and, in total, started 14 churches. Understanding the need for children to have a God-centered education, the Broussards also started a school in November of 1993, which is still in operation today. It is impossible to know the countless lives that have been touched in some way by this pioneer couple. The hand of God was so evident in their lives, and myriad testimonies are told. Miracles and signs followed this couple’s life, such as when the city tried to shut the church down, and the governor stepped in. The church was brought to court, and while awaiting trial, the electricity was shut down, and all cases were dismissed.

Truly, this couple’s life displays that when you give everything to God, you have everything you need. Bishop Broussard came to South Louisiana to get a church ready for that day when Jesus returns. How could one life make such a difference in so many people…. is your life on track to make a difference?