St. Augustine Catholic Church was built in 1803 with funds provided by Cane River Creole patriarch, Nicolas Augustine Metoyer, and his brother, Louis. St. Augustine is believed to be the first Catholic church in the United States that was built and supported by people of color. The church has been the hub of social and spiritual life for the Isle Brevelle community for two hundred years. It is here that the community holds annual homecomings and special events that draw family members back to Isle Brevelle from all across the country.
The present structure was erected in 1916, and recently underwent a major expansion and renovation. The church is home to a large portrait of Nicolas Augustine Metoyer that commemorates his dedication of the church to the Isle Brevelle community. The cemetery located behind the church is the burial ground for the Isle Brevelle community. Nicolas Augustine Metoyer and Carroll Jones are buried there, as is famed Louisiana primitive artist, Clementine Hunter.
St. Charles Catholic Church, located in the Bermuda community upriver from Isle Brevelle, was established as a mission church for the St. Augustine congregation in the early 1900s. St. Charles, which is no longer active, is owned by the St. Augustine Historical Society.
Photo by John Lees