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de l'Église Évangélique Libre de Bergerac


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Pasteur Intérimaire:
Lucie Bardiau


Président du Conseil:
Lilian Bachellerie

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Part 2 : History of the Church in Bergerac

The Free Evangelical Church of Bergerac is a member of the Union of Free Evangelical churches, and an heir of the Reformed Evangelical Church of Bergerac, who used to be a professing Church.

People can be of catholic or protestant confession without truly believing.

Those who ‘profess’ their faith are those who have personally accepted the Lord and are not church goers because of tradition.

The Church, as a body, must publicly confess or profess (declare) its faith.

Several professing Reformed churches, including Bergerac, separated from the official Reformed Church and in 1849 created the Union of Free Evangelical Churches. 

This union is clearly in favour of the Church separating from the world, and also from State influence. Hence the adjective ‘free’.

Several churches such as Orthez or Ste Foy had already previously chosen their independence.

In 1868 the Free Evangelical Church of Bergerac organised the 11th synod and remained an active member of the Union until 1938 when the Church rejoined the Reformed Church of France.

From 1938 till 1978 the Evangelical movement in Dordogne had only two churches, the Assemblies of God in Périgueux and the gipsy church ‘Life and Light’ in Bergerac.

In 1979 the Free Evangelical Church of Bergerac had a new beginning.

How it happened.

The presence in Périgueux of a few families who previously belonged to the- free evangelical churches convinced the Union to create a pioneer post, and sent Pastor Jacques Lauzet to plant a church.

In Bergerac other evangelical families were discovered who had no church to attend.

In 1980 one of the families opened their home to have a Sunday worship service. Soon, several evangelical Christians without a church joined them and thus began the Free Evangelical Church of Bergerac.

In 1981, another family who owned a place near the centre of town, offered their place for the church to hold meetings, which gave the church more visibility.

That same year Bergerac and Périgueux together became the Free Evangelical Church of Périgueux-Bergerac and would continue together until 2005.

In the year 2000, the Union offered financial help for the acquisition of the building we’re still using today in Bergerac. After the hard work of several parishioners of Bergerac, we started having our meetings here.

Both church communities, two towns but only one church, have known a different evolution, and Bergerac became a major church, separate from Perigueux.

They kept meeting together however for Christmas, for baptisms, for out of church activities in common, such as the meeting of Free Evangelical Churches of Aquitaine.

Some families had several children, and a Sunday school was created by Mme Lauzet in Bergerac; during the following years an evangelical Scout group also started, led by Douglas Wedel.

This later became the group of youngsters who met each Saturday evening either in Bergerac or in Périgueux.

In September 1996 the Church finally had a second pastor to serve in Bergerac.

This enabled Bergerac to create its own legal structure and become an ‘Eglise Majeure’, distinct from the Périgueux church who remained, and still is, a ‘poste d’évangélisation’ (both expressions to be explained further during Lucie’s talk later).

The Church in Bergerac reached an area far wider than the Communauté d’Agglomération Bergeracoise. Its members come from all over the Dordogne valley and beyond, the four corners of our area being Mussidan, Le Bugue, Villeréal and Duras in Lot-et-Garonne.

Some activities of the Bergerac Church community since its beginnings :

Several evangelistic campaigns were organised, receiving a team from Opération Mobilisation or evangelists such as André Adoul, René Verd, Yves Perrier.

At different occasions in the town of Bergerac, Bibles and tracts have been distributed.

The Church in Bergerac is open to all, welcomes all, but has its own distinct identity.

Since 2000 our Church has seen the arrival of different English speaking members who participate actively in Church activities, bringing along extra energy.

Those recent developments give the Church new hope to reach the Dordogne valley with evangelistic outreach.

A lot of work ahead, but with more people available, the job will be easier.

The Vitality journey which we started this year, 2017, will surely contribute.

How all of this will be operating in this 2017-2018 ‘bridge’ year will be detailed later by Lucie.