Louisiana One Call
Table of Contents
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“Brothers and sisters, I want to tell
you this. The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in
your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in
your houses.” (Farmer giving witness in a rural Tennessee church in
the early 1940’s)In 1936 Congress approved the Rural Electrification Administrative
Act. This was born out of the need to provide electricity to the
many families who lived in rural America. Many of these people lived
in sight of the towns and could see the city lights. Rural life was
a grim struggle and had few rewards and little conveniences.
You can now pay online! Just go to PaymentUS.com/Concordia.
Or call us at 855-288-5241.
Concordia Electric had its beginning shortly after the passage of
the REA Act of 1936. It was the vision of the community leaders,
County Agents, the Extension Service, Farm Bureaus and individuals
that began the hard work to what they had long dreamed of.
Families were told all across America, from local power companies,
that rural electrification would never be profitable or practical.
So they turned to REA and with their help began holding meetings to
organize home-owned, non-profit cooperative.
Some of the local pioneers of Concordia Electric included Country
Agent C. P. Seab, L. F. Marks, S. L. Winston, Jr., Maybel M. Denham,
John Dale, Jr. and Sam Calvert. They worked long, hard hours getting
Concordia Electric established under Louisiana laws on July 24,
At this point, it was little more than a dream and a pioneer spirit
to see the lights turned on. They had no office or equipment and
worked hours to obtain the members needed. These organizers paid
their own expenses and often paid or loaned the $5.00 membership fee
needed to assure the three members per mile that REA required.
The first REA loan was received on April 11, 1941 for $120,000.00
for the construction of 140 miles to serve 344 members in the Black
River and Lake St. John communities. One of the most historic events
in northeast Louisiana followed when the first lines were energized
serving 205 members. On hand for the celebration were board members,
S. L. Winston, Jr., President; L. R. Alwood, Vice-President; Sam
Calvert, Secretary; Cliff B. Godbold, Treasurer; Edwin Ford, Warren
P. Cross, Sam E. Dale, Mrs. Lucille Otey Godbold, and Mrs. H. W.
Moreland. Today Concordia Electric has 2,496 miles of line, 8,690
Members and more than 12,000 meters. Concordia Electric Cooperative,
Inc. territory covers part of 8 parishes. They are Caldwell,
Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides and Tensas
The first manager was Elton Barnette. Along with Mr. Barnette there
were two employees, Clara Rabb and E. M. Stanley. There was one
point of delivery or substation at Clayton and one service vehicle.
Today there are 60 employees and 33 vehicles and four points of
delivery and ten sub-stations. That first year the members used an
average of 53.9-kilowatt hours per month…today an average bill is
1000 kWh for a single residence. But where our early members used
only 53.9 kWh per month, now we sometimes use more than that in one
day. It was considered a luxury to have electricity in the 40’s,
50’s and in some areas in the early 60’s. Today, electricity is a
commodity necessary for our everyday living.
In the early years Concordia Electric operated its main office in
Ferriday, LA, later opening a branch office in Jonesville and Jena.
The office in Jena was closed in the early 1990’s and in 1993 the
headquarters was moved from Ferriday to Jonesville. This placed the
office in the center of its service area and all of the operations
under one roof.
Ownership and control of Concordia Electric is still in the hands of
its membership. It is the members who vote for the nine board of
directors, who in turn pass the policies that govern most of the
everyday procedures at the cooperative. The Board of Directors then
hires the CEO and General Manager to take care of the everyday
operation of the co-op.
There have been 10 General Managers from the beginning of the
Cooperative to present date. The CEO and General Manager today is
Billy D. Harris.