In Louisiana, St. Mary Parish is located on the Southern, coastal edge of the state. Much of its economy is derived from fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and from the oil industry. Many energy companies have operations in the waters south of the Parish. The Parish seat is located in Franklin, a charming medium-sized town. The population of St. Mary Parish is estimated at 54,650 people, with a population density of 98 people per square mile. The Parish is unusual because about fifty percent of its total area is water.
St. Mary Parish was established in 1811. By the time the Census established a population count for the Parish in 1830, the population of the Parish was almost 6,500. St. Mary Parish experienced a population boom, with its total population increasing by 36%, between 1950 and 1960. The population leveled off by 1970, and has seen its population decline steadily from 1980 to 2000. The most recent census, in 2010, showed a 2.1% increase from its 2000 population. The largest cities in the Parish are Morgan City, Franklin, and Patterson. William Joseph Seymour, considered by many the most influential African American minister of the twentieth century and pastor of the Azusa Street Revival, is from St. Mary Parish.
Barry Dufrene is from Morgan City in St. Mary Parish and worked in the Parish Sales and Use Tax Department for 32 years before accepting a position as the CFO of Yellow Fin Marine Services near his home in Morgan City.