Friends of the Mission
These were organized in Supporting Committees of Missions (twelve in 1823, forty-one in 1833, six of which were in Switzerland, one in England, and one in Canada). In March 1835, the Women’s Supporting Committee of Paris was created.
First 1500 copies of a Bulletin were printed separately from the Archives of Christianity. The “Journal des Missions Evangéliques” was started in 1826. At first a quarterly of about 100 pages, it became, in 1830, a monthly with 40 pages.
The “Petit Messager des Missions Evangéliques“, edited for children,was started in 1849. Numerous brochures focused on specific aspects of the missionary work.
Missionary tours around Europe
Casalis undertook the first tour in 1850. The Friends of the Mission of Lesotho in Cape Town sent him to arouse the missionary conscience of the friends of the SMEP in Europe. He was the first missionary on furlough and was thus able to tell about the spreading of the Gospel in Africa.
The Missionary Training School
It provided future missionaries with a thorough theological training. These missionaries did not attend a theological faculty but were consecrated by the SMEP. Two hundred missionaries (excluding spouses), pastors, teachers, craftsmen and doctors were trained in this school and went overseas.
The SMEP (The Paris Society for Evangelical Missions among non-Christian populations)
It is an independent organization as, since in nineteenth century France, religious activities outside the established churches recognized by the Concordat and the Organic Articles were but merely tolerated. The SMEP relied only on its own financial means and did not benefit from funds dedicated to the Churches. But as it opened “branches” in countries where missions were started, the SMEP considered that the “mother” Churches of Europe were nurturing vocations and providing the missions with financial aid and spiritual support. As synod life was reorganized in the Protestant Churches (the foundation Synod of the Free Churches was held in 1849 and the unofficial Reformed Synod took place in 1872) the SMEP tried to get recognition and support from the Churches in a more official way. On such occasions, and likewise when the Swiss synod and the Synod of the Waldense Church of Italy were held, the Committee of the SMEP and the missionaries were sent to support such motions. As a result, a slow institutionalization of the relationships between Missions and the Churches took place at the end of the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century, the missionary commitments became a concrete part of Church projects in Europe.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the SMEP had missions in seven different countries : Lesotho (1833), Senegal (1863), Zambia (1885), Gabon (1888), the Loyalty Islands (1892), Madagascar (1896).
- BLANQUIS Jean, Les origines de la Société des missions évangéliques de Paris, 1822-1830, SMEP, Paris, Tome 3
- PIETRI Charles, VAUCHEZ André, VENARD Marc et MAYEUR Jean-Marie (dir.), Histoire du christianisme des origines à nos jours, Desclée, Paris, 1990-2001, Tome 14
- ZORN Jean-François, Le grand siècle d’une mission protestante. La mission de Paris de 1822 à 1914, Karthala/Les Bergers et les Mages, Paris, 1993
- GADILLE Jacques et ZORN Jean-François, "Le projet missionnaire", Libéralisme, industrialisation, expansion européenne (1830-1914), sous la dir. de GADILLE Jacques et MAYEUR Jean-Marie (1995), Histoire du christianisme des origines à nos jours, PIETRI Charles et Luce, VAUCHEZ André, VENARD Marc, MAYEUR Jean-Marie, Desclée, Paris, 1990-2001, Volume 11, p. 137-170
- GADILLE Jacques et ZORN Jean-François, "Théologie de la mission", Libéralisme, industrialisation, expansion européenne (1830-1914), sous la dir. de GADILLE Jacques et MAYEUR Jean-Marie (1995), Histoire du christianisme des origines à nos jours, PIETRI Charles et Luce, VAUCHEZ André, VENARD Marc, MAYEUR Jean-Marie, Desclée, Paris, 1990-2001, p. 992-1112
- GADILLE Jacques et ZORN Jean-François, "Les missions chrétiennes en Afrique, Asie, Australie et Océanie", Libéralisme, industrialisation, expansion européenne (1830-1914), sous la dir. de GADILLE Jacques et MAYEUR Jean-Marie (1995), Histoire du christianisme des origines à nos jours, PIETRI Charles et Luce, VAUCHEZ André, VENARD Marc, MAYEUR Jean-Marie, Desclée, Paris, 1990-2001, p. 427-440
- ZORN Jean-François, "Le combat anti-esclavagiste chrétien au XIXe siècle", Bulletin de la SHPF, SHPF, Paris, 1993, Tome 127, p. 635-652
The French Concordat
The Concordat with the Organic Articles, ruled the organisation of Protestant as well as Catholic churches. It did not comprise any restrictive measures, and pastors were to be paid by the State for the first time. But the Concordat only applied to « consistorial » churches comprising 6,000 members, and not to « local » churches, better suited to the scattered Protestant community. But foremost it ignored the national synod, the traditional central authority of the Protestant church, the only body which could settle problems.
The 19th century revival movement took shape within the context of romanticism. Its piety is of a more existential and sentimental nature, a piety « revived » when compared to a faith considered dull and routine-like.
Germaine de Staël (1766-1817)
Germaine de Staël was a major figure of the pre-romantic period and was herself already a true romantic in outlook. Due to her political standpoint she had to flee several times to her father’s manor in Coppet, near Geneva and to several other towns in Europe. One can find a historical account of the ideas influencing society between 1780 and 1817 in her works.
The missionary movement
The missionary fervour of the Protestant Church arose in the nineteenth century. The first mission was in a country under the British rule and later on in countries that were both under British and French rule. At the end of the nineteenth century, Protestant missionaries were active in seven different areas, in Africa and the Pacific.
The abolition of slavery
In the nineteenth century, slavery became incompatible with the major political (human rights), economic (legitimate trade) and theological (evangelization) currents. Slavery, even though re-established by Napoleon, it was permanently made illegal in 1848.
The history nineteenth century education is known for the profound changes in its government organization ; and these changes affected the influence it had. Fundamental laws went into effect and new teaching methods were implemented, many of which had been thought over in the eighteenth century. Protestants were involved in those changes as they had their own specific requirements with regards to education.
The faculties of theology in the 19th century
In 19th century France, Lutheran and Reformed pastors under the Concordat rule were trained in two State-recognized faculties of theology.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, which was born and created in England, settled in France in 1881. Its aims were to evangelize and to provide the lower classes with social help.