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Gone With the Sinned: Swaggart Bible College Dorm

The HQ for Jimmy Swaggart Ministries is in Baton Rouge.


It is still occupado. However, not all the buildings on its campus are. This never-completed dorm for the Jimmy Swaggart Bible College has a fence around it, so because I am a law-abiding citizen, these like, other guys named Cosh and Jo supplied me with photos.



Good one, Cosh and Jo, I totally would have taken a picture of that graffiti, too.
Apparently the place has been cleared out recently, and it's a lot cleaner there than you might expect.


The unfinished dorm rooms have robotic faces.


And some afford views of the scenic Mall of Louisiana.


There are holes through the floors where plumbing and heating were supposed to go.



And muy dangeroso elevator shafts with mosquito hatcheries at the bottom.



The graffiti is the only sign of life--there was (according to our sources) only one beer can and several bottle caps on premises.


Other graffiti not pictured covered all the usual bases of illustrations of male genitalia, who to call for a good time, who was a fag , and who you could buy a gram from. One surprising trend in graffiti was references to alternative rock, like a quote attributed to Alice in Chains, the NIN logo, shout-outs to Superchunk as well as Bad Religion (take that, Jimmy S.) and this, from the roof:

Dsc01937 Riot Grrrl style! You go, urban explorer grrrl.

Also from the roof:





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That last graffiti face was TOTALLY made by Colleen Kane, don't listen to her attempt at innocence! I know "angry Asian face" when I see it.


Before the DEQ was in a building downtown, it was house in one of the buildings owned by Jimmy Swaggart Ministries. I was working as a temp there, briefly, during tha time. I don't really have to explain how fucked up that was, but let me just explain that parts of his ministry were still operational, and so on a daily basis I had to interact with people employed by Jimmy Swaggart. That shit was fuckin' weird.

jade b

yeah... when we "abided the law & viewed the place from afar" it was at like 3am & there was SHIT EVERYWHERE. hoses hanging down, pipes coming from every direction, lumber & metal & cinder blocks & a pepsi can from the 80s littered the "floor"... i wish i had access to those pictures i mentioned on the other blog. but then they'd show what big pussies we were ;)


When we were on vacation in SC there was an abandoned mansion that had been wreaked in Hurrican Hugo-and had never been restored...sat empty. I had such a desire to creep around inside it, but I was a big chicken about it and didn't go in. I regret it. I love these pictures. Cosh and Jo got some great ones. And does Buddha know about the Eternal Keg Stand-is that Buddha or Jimmy Swaggart that preached we would find peace there? Who ever it was...Amen-brother.


Why do I get the commie building feeling when I look at that dorm? It has the same austere concrete look. It also looks like a giant parking deck from the outside. No fun

Big Daddy

Great, now I have the pina colada song stuck in my head.

Those photos remind me of what Chernobyl looks like now.


The best graffiti ever on the Swaggart place used to be on the I-10 onramp right next to the World Ministry Headquarters which we all called Six Flags Over Jesus: Je$u$ $ave$.


The best graffiti ever on the Swaggart place used to be on the I-10 onramp right next to the World Ministry Headquarters which we all called Six Flags Over Jesus: Je$u$ $ave$.


Swaggart recently sold that building to a local developer. Last I heard they were planning on turning it into a hotel.

dinner roll

Hello, long time listener, first time caller. The sight was sold to a developer who has a deal to turn it into a Renaissance hotel (supposedly 4 star). Here's a photo of what's it's supposed to look like: (might have to cut and paste it)

Not sure what the status on it is, or if it's even still a go.


Didnt they want to put BRCC
there at one point?
I think they even had a
basketball team that made
the tournament one year?


The area itself isn't all that far from the spot where Pinnacle is going to build their casino/resort...and even before that, there'd been barking about the Bluebonnet/Perkins Rd. area becoming a "new downtown."

Well, certainly there's a lot of development just south of Swaggertville. Personally though, my hopes (and finances) are on the real downtown...


pina coladas . . . i love it!

and the goxxip were so awesome at the spanish moon a couple years ago!


pina coladas . . . i love it!

and the goxxip were so awesome at the spanish moon a couple years ago!

Abandoned life

I was at LSU in the early 80s when this was all being built. The Ministry was taking over Bluebonnet Road. Haven't been to BR in a while. What does Bluebonnet look like now?


This is to Abandoned Life. You would not recognize Bluebonnet now. There is a huge mall down the street from Swaggarts. There is also a development on Bluebonnet called Perkins Rowe. This place has condos for sale and is building a walking style neighborhood around the condos. Bluebonnet is 4-6 lanes now. It starts from Airline Hwy and ends at Nicholson. The road is just booming along.


I am a native and current resident of BR and lived in the Bluebonnet area growing up. The dorm is unfinished b/c good ole Jimmy got caught with the hooker and people decided not to give money to the prostitue loving preacher for awhile! Something about the fact that his house was ENORMOUS and supposedly had gold fixtures in his bathrooms was a bit unsettling to me! Ah, the men of God! My grandmother used to watch him religiously. She told me one time that if there is one thing I should always remember it is that Jimmy Swaggart was crazy! My response was, "But you ALWAYS watch him!" Hers, "Yeah, He's CRAZY!" She thought he was hilarious, my little Catholic Grandmother. Other posts are correct, it is suppose to be a hotel and the Brennan family of New Orleans (Commander's Palace, ie.)is suppose to be opening a restaurant on it.

paul Thomas

Hi Coleen
Thanks for an interesting blog I love the USA and its sad to see what has happened there. However I do love the photos. I have toured the USA on various occcasions but have never gone to Baton Rouge.

May I kindly ask if you have any photos of the area you would be interested in selling or exchanging for photos of Wales UK.

I am also a big fan of Jimmy Swaggart. (I must go there one day).

Thanks for the blog


Hi - I grew up in Baton Rouge in the 1960's-1970's. Back then, Bluebonnet Road was named Paulet Lane and was one lane wide and GRAVEL! The pastures for Kleinpeter's Farms Dairy were along it. I lived in Homewood subdivision nearby, and that was our old stomping grounds - spend the day out on our bikes playing with the cows and hanging around Dawson's Creek.

Last time I saw Bluebonnet Road, it was six lanes wide and absolute bedlam. What a change.


WOW, I just stumbled across these pics. I went to college at JSBC in the late 80's early 90's. We used to sneak out of the dorms at night and go up into those unfinished dorms...we called it "the castle". That brings back some long forgotten memories. Running around there at night, trying not to fall down elevator shafts was pretty fun...

The Anonymous Anonymous

I recall around the time of Swaggert's downfall, my dad drove me out to the complex so we could look at it while he drove by. It was big and unfinshed and white, and I-10 provided some great views of it both then and years later.
So Swaggertland still stands? And Bluebonnet has become the upscale residential/shopping area? WOW. That's not the Bluebonnet I knew. I remember it as a regular road (one lane each direction) that had been recently paved, before that it was gravel, and I recall it just leading the way through fields. Through the 80s and into the 90s, there was talk of developing that area (I left BR in '92) as industrial and professional offices/complexes, not as a residential and shopping area! Even as late as 1992, Swaggertland was surrounded by only fields, trees, and a city water treatement plant rhat was also in that area (I presume it still stands?). I must say I am stunned that that part of Bluebonnet has been turned into an upscale area! And the Mall of Louisiana being right across the street from Swaggertland itself just seems hilariously, hideously appropriate. I wonder how many shoppers appreciate that irony.


I saw this post yesterday and was so impressed with the graffiti that I put it to music and made a little video for it. Here it is on YouTube.


What beautiful art. lol. I've been wanting to go there. I see you got in ok to take those pictures.


great video above!


What happened there was very sad (I was there in the mid-late 80's), and you all who are making fun of it need to remember this:
You are still responsible to a Holy God, as was/is Jimmy.

One day you will have to give account for your blasphemies, and your unwillingness to turn to Christ like everyone else.
Please stop your mocking. The Lord is coming back soon: His Word has not changed, no matter how much this disgrace has changed the landscape of Baton Rouge.

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The more you fight something, the more anxious you become ---the more you're involved in a bad pattern, the more difficult it is to escape. Do you understand?


out with the old, in with the new, if you haven't noticed, we are fixing that hell hole into one of the nicest hotels BR will see

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Failure doesn't mean you are a failure,
It does mean you haven't succeeded yet.

Sister Bertha Bangers

Watch this $waggart tribute & laugh your ass off!

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I got inside as an insider and know how only the Swaggart family opened any mail because so many dumbasses sent cash in. Don't get me wrong- I respect him because he made (and continues to make after multiple serious trangressions)- a very good tax-free living off of losers. I do enjoy his Gospel music but know all about his bullshit- especially after being inside to document for him his inter-employee meetings.


Update on this: The building is currently under renovation, last I checked it's actually almost complete and has been turned into a nice hotel.


The dorms have been finished now but it's a really nice hotel! I was driving down the street and saw them start construction one day and what seems like just the next day(though it's more like 9 months) it has the lobby lights on and is ready for business. It's called the "renaissance" which I thought appropriate.

Andre Chavez

Can't go anywhere in this world without seeing JSMs 24 hour network, books, Bibles or hear their music. And the new generation are better musicians than he was. Looks like their getin' the last laugh.


This building has been re-opened as the Renaissance Hotel. Looks very nice compared to the concrete eye sore it was :) Awesome pics here!

Lynne Terrio

The old Dorm is now a fancy hotel ....


I just found this blog and have spent the morning goofing off at work clicking through. The abandoned Swaggart dorm is now a beautiful Renaissance hotel. Throws me for a loop every time I drive past.


Thanks everybody! I have seen the transformed dorm-now-hotel on its website, pretty crazy! We discussed this a bit on the ABR page on Facebook, if you want to like ABR over there.

Hal G.

This abandoned dormitory at Jimmy Swaggart Bible College was purchased, renovated, and is now a very luxurious and high-end hotel aptly named The Renaissance Hotel. I attended a two-day seminar on the property and am very impressed by how they turned a hulking concrete eyesore into something so top-of-the-line.
Check it out:


Bluebonnet road is still there and still small. This is on Bluebonnet Blvd. that is unbelievably one block east of the road. Not confusing at all is it?


CJ I don't really see any blasphemy against Jesus. I do see plenty of well-deserved attacks on Jimmy. I am no fan of those who use the Christ's church and the loyalty of followers as a means to enrich themselves. And buddy, I know very well how much Jimmy enriched himself.

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