Thank you for visiting our website and taking the time to learn more about what we believe God has prepared for our family in France beginning in August 2019. Yes, Paris is the most visited city in the world (and for good reason). But there is also a great need for Gospel ministry in France. Needless to say, we are both excited and overwhelmed at the opportunity before us!
Below you can read our story, learn more about missions in France, and find out how to strategically partner with us. We would love to have your prayerful support as we begin raising funds for our monthly needs and work through the logistics of moving our family to France. We believe that the Lord will provide all that we need. But we also believe that we cannot do it without you.
And so we want to acknowledge the great love and encouragement of our family and community throughout the last four years in Jackson, as well as the five years before that in New Jersey (and before that through our college years). We are looking forward to continuing to share this journey with you as we move forward. À bientôt!
- Paul, Abby, Silas, Ollie, and Lewis
Learn More: Faith in France
The statistics suggest that 1-2% of the population in France are active in their faith as believers in Christ, and Paris as a global city does not have near enough Bible-believing churches to serve and witness to the 12 million residents in the metro region. There is a great need for new churches in Paris!
The important thing to know is that most of Europe, and Paris specifically, has indeed become "post-Christian". This means there is a great opportunity for the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be shared with those who have not really understood or heard it or seen it lived out. Interested in learning more? Click here for a helpful overview of faith in France.
Why France? Our Story...
Paul grew up in rural Indiana and began to study French in junior high through his sophomore year of college. It was there at Indiana University that he heard God's call to pastoral ministry and felt a desire to do ministry in France. Toward the end of college, he looked into short-term mission opportunities there but ultimately joined a team to help plant a church in New Jersey that would become Jacob's Well.
Our family is thankful for that decision to move to New Jersey, because (A) Paul wouldn't have met Abby, and (B) Silas, Ollie, and Lewis wouldn't be with us today! Abby and Paul met when she moved there to be a nanny for her nephew Jack after graduating from Union University in 2010. We were married a year later on a farm in Neshanic Station, NJ, and our honeymoon gift from our pastor and several friends was the chance to take our first trip to France to spend a week in Paris and Normandy.
During that first trip to France, we drove through picturesque fields of sunflowers in the French countryside. Abby got to take an important family picture at Normandy Beach, and we ate in small cafés and majestic chateaus... but one thing was clear. Paul was feeling increasingly drawn to live and do ministry in France and Abby (though she really enjoyed it!) was not. And so we moved to Abby's hometown in Jackson, TN, and began to serve in full-time ministry there while starting seminary at the SBTS Extension Center in Jackson.
We took our second trip to France in April 2017 nearly six years after our honeymoon in 2011. Thanks to a missions scholarship from West Jackson (where Paul currently serves as a minister) we were able to spend a week without the kids in Paris and around Versailles... (Read the rest of the story...)
Emmanuel International Church in Rueil Malmaison (EIC Rueil) was planted in the 1960s by mostly American military families. It has evolved over the years to become a church firmly rooted in the Paris metro region with a heart to reach the many English-speakers in the area. The church has members from dozens of different ethnic and national backgrounds--notice the potential to reach the nations in a city like Paris! Paul will use his experience in worship leadership to help grow volunteer teams at EIC Rueil on Sunday mornings and assist with other projects when we first arrive.
Emmanuel International Church has recently started a new church plant (EIC Ternes) which meets in the 17th arrondisement of the city. As of Easter 2018, they have begun weekly worship gatherings in the city. Our family will invest in this young church plant through worship, preaching and teaching, small groups, and more. The church shares space with Eglise Des Ternes; the two churches have already hosted joint fellowships and we look forward to those relationships to grow. As this new church is established at Ternes, EIC's hope is to plant additional churches throughout the city.
One more key (and important!) opportunity that God has provided is for Paul to pursue a doctoral thesis part-time at a local seminary, Faculté Libré de Théologie Évangelique. His research will be done in French and English and provide plenty of practice for Paul in writing and speaking French. His thesis advisor, Dr. Henri Blocher, is a world-class theologian who held a prominent chair at Wheaton Graduate College and has recently taught alongside Tim Keller and D.A. Carson. We believe this study in theology of biblical worship will also open the door for potential French-language ministry in the future.
Following Our Journey: Connect With Us Today
The practical and spiritual difficulties of doing ministry in a global city like Paris are not something we can do on our own. And so we are looking to gather a team of supporters to pray for us consistently and financially support our ministry in Paris. Would you consider supporting this vision through prayer, financial, and other forms of support? Connect with us today to start receiving monthly updates and learn more about our vision by using the form below!