The state of Louisiana is often characterized as being shaped like a “boot.” That being the case, the Diocese of Western Louisiana occupies the body of the boot, less the toe, which makes up the Diocese of Louisiana.
The Diocese of Western Louisiana came into being in 1979, when the Diocese of Louisiana, meeting in Convention, accepted the challenge to “Divide to Multiply.” The configuration of the two dioceses resulted from an equitable population and income split of the congregations then a part of the Diocese of Louisiana.
Roughly equal in these two categories at the time of the division, both have grown substantially and remained healthy, proving the validity of the challenge to “Divide to Multiply.”
Western Louisiana is culturally diverse, with the Acadian French Culture in place in the southern portion of the diocese, below Alexandria. North Louisiana’s culture is more like that of East Texas.
The cathedral of the diocese is St. Mark’s in Shreveport, the largest metropolitan area in the diocese.
The Rt. Rev. Jacob W. Owensby is the fourth bishop of the diocese. He was installed as diocesan on July 21, 2012. The founding bishop of the diocese was the Rt. Rev. Willis R. Henton, who was succeeded by the Rt. Rev. Robert J. Hargrove, Jr., who was followed by the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson.
The Wider Church
Western Louisiana is a member of Province VII of the Episcopal Church with the other ten dioceses of the province situated in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and New Mexico.