Annunciation has the same effect on everyone who worships or visits here. There is a sense of warm hospitality and welcoming which draws people back. Its members are all ages, with young families to seniors, and are a wonderful mixture of New Orleanians, transplants, people of all races, including Belizians who were welcomed to Annunciation in the late 1970’s.
Founded in 1844, Annunciation finally settled in the Broadmoor neighborhood in 1924. It is also known as The Free Church of the Annunciation because pew rents were abolished in 1856, making sure all were truly welcome.
Annunciation lost everything but some silver altar pieces and two crosses that were rescued during the flood post-Katrina. Instead of closing, the church decided to use its empty parish hall and hallways as a warehouse for supplies which poured in from all over the world, and gave them to anyone in need. Over time, the Annunciation Relief Center converted the upstairs classrooms to dormitories offering beds, showers, and good meals to the 17,750 volunteers who helped rebuild 110 houses in Broadmoor and Gentilly from 2005-2018. We worshipped in a tent in the parking lot for a few months. Annunciation believes in living its faith.
Our worship services are enhanced by our very talented musicians; Jessica, our cantor, and Steve, a master guitarist. The music is traditional, contemporary, jazz, and blues as the liturgical calendar dictates.
Annunciation has been growing and thriving, celebrating every aspect of life and the church calendar every month of the year. The Free Little Food Pantry, a much-needed ministry, and Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless, offering coats and a good meal plus a backpack full of fruit, socks, and a blanket, are good outreach. The Annual Arts Festival in November features work from church members and neighbors, with music and a food truck. The Christmas Feast is for any family of one or two people, plus anyone else who wants to come in. Young families enjoy Godly Play on Sundays, and doing a beautiful Christmas Pageant on Christmas Eve.
The Mardi Gras Rex Parade Party, followed by Lenten study, Palms and Ponies on Palm Sunday, and the Stations of the Cross, and on Holy Saturday a Crawfish Boil inviting the neighborhood. The children do the Flowering of the Cross on Easter Sunday.
Our buildings house several non-profits, and a preschool, and we have a technology team to help us livestream on our YouTube channel for those staying safe from Covid at home, and Zoom is used for meetings and Bible study groups. Annunciation has recently read Be the Bridge about racial reconciliation, and followed up with a brainstorming session to determine out next steps. We initiated working with a multiracial neighborhood church until Covid hit.
There are some challenges and many opportunities ahead. And Annunciation is looking forward and ready.