Antoine Court & Francophone Evangelicalism

A close friend of mine, Stéphane Gagné, a Baptist pastor in Québec, went on a missions trip this past summer to Europe. A passionate student of history, Stéphane took time to visit key places associated with Francophone Evangelicalism. He was deeply moved by  being in Lausanne where the great French Calvinist Antoine Courtborn March 17, 1695, at Villeneuve-de-Berg in France, and died June 12, 1760, in Lausanne, Switzerland—founded a seminary. By God’s grace, Court played a central role in the restoration of the Reformed churches in France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) and after the devastation caused by the disorderliness of the French Prophets. The story of the French Reformed community is a both a thrilling one and one of profound sadness—the missionary zeal during the Reformation, the steadfastness under persecution, the destruction of Reformed communities under the French sovereigns of the 17th century, the recovery of many of these communities under Court, the falling away of many into liberalism in the late 18th century, and then Le réveil of the 19th century—all areas of rich instruction. Yet, much of it is terra incognita to the Evangelical worlds of Anglophones and even Francophones. How much there is for us to read in the story of the Church!