First Baptism

The French began exploring the Gulf Coast. It was here that Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and his brother, Jean Baptiste de Bienville, established the first settlement in Mississippi in 1699 near today’s Ocean Springs, known as Old Biloxi. Among the clergy with d’Iberville were Recollect Father Anastase Douay and Father Bordenave, probably the first priest to officiate at Mass for a colony of white settlers in Mississippi. Father Paul du Ru was also present in Old Biloxi and built a house of worship among the Houma Indians in 1700. There Father Jacques Gravier baptized an infant, probably the first baptism in Mississippi.