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Bishop William J. Seymour

His Birth & Childhood


Welcome to Centerville, Louisiana the birth place of William Seymour. Cenerville is a sleepy little village on the Bayou Teche in St. Mary's Prish, Louisiana. The town is located south and west of New Orleans. Sugar continues to be a principle crop in the area as it was in Seymour's childhood. This is illustrated by these feilds of cane near the town's welcome sign.





This is a map of the sugar plantation owned by Adilard Carlin. The plantation is located near Centerville. William Seymour's mother was born on this plantation and worked here as a slave. She was married on the plantation and Seymour was born here on May 2, 1870 probably near the green arrow.





An early photograph of the Roman Catholic Church in Franklin, Louisiana where Seymour was baptized on September 4, 1870.





William Seymour's baptismal record. He was baptized by Father M. Harnais.




Centerville, Louisiana in a very rare sketch from Frank Leslie's Popular Magazine in 1881. Federal troops still occupy the village. Seymour was eleven years old when the sketch was drawn.



A Louisiana sugar plantation similar to one where Seymour was born. He was five years old when this engraving appeared in Harper's Weekly on October 30, 1875.




This one-room log cabin owned by a black family in the reconstruction south is very typical of the Seymour home. Like the Seymour cabin, the cooking is done outside the house.



This engraving from 1870 (the year of Seymour's birth) shows the racial prejudice and hardships that a black family faced in the Reconstruction South. The suffering family kneel over their new-born child. A caption on the sketch says, "Worse than slavery."



To learn more about Bishop Seymour and the Azusa Street revival read The Life and Ministry of William J. Seymour by Larry Martin, available from our online bookstore.(Click the title for ordering information). With 350 pages and over 100 illustrations, this is the most comprehensive book ever written on the great outpouring. 


Click here to return to the William J. Seymour Biography page.