When the first child was baptized in Avoyelles Parish in 1796, George Washington was president of the United States and the young country was about to hold its first real election. The baptism in the predecessor of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Mansura was held in a church built of split logs and was conducted in Spanish, making it the last parish established under the Spanish regime.
Named Nuestra Senora del Carmen, it was the second church to be established in the Alexandria Diocese. The church was called Our Lady of Mount Carmel when a second church replaced the first in 1824 and the name was later changed to St. Paul the Apostle. The fifth and present church building was built in 1950.