Creole Festival honors founder

Singer Austin Gatlin and pianist Wilfred Delphin practice the musical programming for St. Augustine’s Saturday evening service while music from the Creole Festival plays outside. Nathan Wilson

Nathan Wilson

St. Augustine Church, its annual Creole Festival, and now the stretch of Highway 494 nearby are named after Augustin Metoyer. The Oct. 7-9 festival coincided with a dedication ceremony officially designating the roadway as the Augustin Metoyer Memorial Parkway.
Metoyer was the eldest son of a French merchant and African slave during a time when their relationship was strictly proscribed.

Shad Jones enjoys the St. Augustine Creole Festival with his son, Josiah Emmanuel Jones. Jones moved to Natchitoches after being stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City.

Though Augustin Metoyer began his life enslaved, he took advantage of his father’s generosity, his mother’s shrewd politicking and the bountiful harvests that came from his hard work to elevate his family and founded the St. Augustine Catholic Church that forms the heart of Isle Brevelle and the Cane River Creole community.