Connecting New Orleans with Jesus

Mardi Gras, great food, and the Saints equal New Orleans. It is one big city made up of unique and very diverse neighborhoods. It’s a city where only 11.6% of the population is evangelical Christian, said Ryan Rice, lead pastor of Connect Church of Algiers.

Rice, a church planter, spent his childhood in the Algiers neighborhood and in January 2009, returned to the neighborhood with his wife, Seane’. Here they are raising their 4 children: Ryan Jr., Brayden, Reagan, and Bailey. Reaching the residents and meeting their needs has required a “tailored approach.” The vision has been to find ways to proclaim a message of hope, healing, and restoration through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It began with family-centered outreaches such as movie nights, meeting at coffee shops, Easter events, and family nights at the park. Over time, trust has been built, allowing the Rices to work through the layers of beliefs that people have regarding what it means to know Jesus.

In 2014, Life Church New Orleans began to take root. The church’s name was later changed to Connect Church of Algiers. Then, through a series of events, the opportunity came in April 2017 to be united with Oak Park Baptist Church, resulting in a mutigenerational, multiethnic body of believers proclaiming the gospel.

Rice shared 4 specific ways to pray for his family and church:

  1. Pray for leaders within the church to have a willing heart to make disciples.
  2. Pray for gospel unity and vision as they press forward as a church body.
  3. Pray for the children and youth areas that they would continue to see volunteers serve new families.
  4. Pray for wisdom and protection for the Rice family as they serve in New Orleans.

If you feel that you or your church fits into God’s plan for New Orleans, then contact Rice at

Laura Leathers enjoys learning about how God weaves and works people’s lives together for His purposes. She may be reached at

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