Woman's Auxiliary President, Greater Louisiana Baptist Convention
Gloria Dureseau Crayton, native of Melville, is the daughter of the late Leonard and Lillie Hicks Dureseau. Some of her fondest memories are of her childhood days spent with one brother, now deceased, and two younger sisters.
Gloria grew up and attended St. Landry Parish Colored School in Melville through 10th grade, the highest level for Negro youth at that time. Her last two years of high school were spent at McDonogh #35 High School in New Orleans where she graduated at the top of her class. From there she went to Southern University, Baton Rouge, where she received her B.A. Degree in Secondary Education on the Accelerated Program. After graduating from Southern University, she attended New York University, Louisiana State University and University of Southwest Louisiana. Library Science, American History and Black Studies were her areas of concentration.
For the first 30 years of her teaching career, Crayton was employed by the St. Landry Parish School System as Teacher/Librarian and served on the Writing Team that helped to develop the Black Studies Program for the public schools of that parish. Upon “retiring” from St. Landry Parish, she worked one year in the Lafayette Catholic Diocese, followed by employment with the Lafayette Public School System. Before her “final” retirement, she was called upon to set up the library at St. Landry Parish Charter School.
For as far back as she can remember, Crayton was active in the Church. She was baptized at eleven years of age by Dr. J. G. Frank at the Emma Zion Baptist Church of Melville. She began singing and reciting poetry in Church and school when very young and continued using her voice in her high school Speech Choir and Music Chorus. She became a member of the University Choir as a freshman and remained until she graduated.
In 1968 Gloria was married to Mack Earl Crayton, Jr. A few years later he became an ordained minister. She was always active in the churches where he served as pastor. She was widowed in 2005, but has remained active in Christian service. Presently, she is a member of Mt. Bethel Baptist Church of Lafayette where Rev. Mason T. Jack is her pastor. She is a member of the Deaconess Ministry, the Women’s Missionary Society, Sunday School and Vacation Bible School Teacher.
Crayton is Past President of the Women’s Auxiliary of Seventh District Baptist Association, President of the Women’s Auxiliary of Greater Louisiana Baptist Convention, Dr. Leo Cyrus, President. Having been certified as a Christian Instructor by the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc, she teaches on District, State and National levels. She is also widely known as a Public Speaker, and has addressed Women’s Groups across the state as well as the State Presidents Banquet of the National Baptist Convention in 2016. The many awards she has received are reminders that you should not wait for the “one big thing” to attach yourself to, just do something whenever you have the opportunity.
Although the Craytons had no biological children, they opened their home to 40+ young people over the years to help them stay in school in Lafayette.
She’s widely traveled, enjoys cooking- especially baking, and is forever humming a song.
She loves the Lord, embraces family, and teaches whenever given the opportunity. She just wants “to help somebody.” She knows God’s work must truly be our own.