Church History
France: Chronology

“France: Chronology,” Global Histories: France (2018)

“France: Chronology,” Global Histories: France

France: Chronology

1840s • Liverpool, EnglandThe British Mission began sending missionaries to preach to English-speaking people in France.

August 14, 1848 • LiverpoolWilliam Howells, a Welsh convert, was called to preach the gospel in France during a conference of the British Mission.

July 30, 1849 • Le Havre, FranceAugustus Saint d’Anna, the first known convert to the Church in France, was baptized.

April 6, 1850 • Boulogne-sur-Mer, FranceWilliam Howells organized the first branch of the Church in France at Boulogne-sur-Mer.

June 18, 1850 • Boulogne-sur-MerJohn Taylor of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Curtis E. Bolton, and John Pack arrived in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Their arrival marked the official opening of the French Mission.

June 26, 1850 • Boulogne-sur-MerOn a beach north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, John Taylor dedicated France for the preaching of the gospel.

Louis Bertrand

December 1, 1850 • Paris, France

The first baptisms in Paris were performed. Among the converts was Louis A. Bertrand (pictured above), who later translated the Book of Mormon and served as president of the French Mission.

May 1851 • ParisThe first edition of L’Étoile du Déséret, a Latter-day Saint French periodical, was published with John Taylor as the editor.

December 1851 • ParisLouis-Napoléon Bonaparte staged a coup d’état and ultimately dissolved the National Assembly.

December 1851 • FranceJohn Taylor, accused of political dissidence, was forced to flee the country.

1852 • LiverpoolThe first French translation of the Book of Mormon was published.

1853 • Isle of JerseyFrench Mission headquarters were transferred to Jersey and Andrew Lamoreaux was called as mission president. Louis Bertrand, his counselor, met with author Victor Hugo in Jersey.

November 1855 • FranceAll missionaries were instructed to leave France due to increasing restrictions put on missionaries by the French government.

September 18, 1859 • Salt Lake City, UtahLouis Bertrand was called and set apart to reopen the French Mission.

1862 • ParisLouis Bertrand’s Mémoires d’un Mormon was published.

June 1864 • Salt Lake CityLouis Bertrand returned to Utah, marking the closure of the French Mission for the next 48 years.

1890–93 • ParisLorus Pratt, John Hafen, John B. Fairbanks, Edwin Evans, and Herman Haag were called as art missionaries and sent to study at l’Académie Julian.

December 9, 1905 • ParisFrance’s Chamber of Deputies passed a law guaranteeing religious freedom.

1908 • Lille, Lyon, Nîmes, and ParisMissionaries from the Netherlands, Swiss, and German Missions preached in France.

October 15, 1912 • ParisRudger Clawson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reorganized the French Mission.

August 1914 • EuropeAs World War I began, the French Mission was absorbed into the Swiss and Netherlands Missions, and all missionaries left France.

February 25, 1924 • Geneva, SwitzerlandThe French Mission was reorganized with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

November 3, 1926 • LyonVenus Rossiter, wife of mission president Ernest Rossiter, organized the first Relief Society in France.

November 1928 • ParisL’Étoile, a newsletter to provide better communication among the members in the French Mission, was first published.

1929 • FranceThe Mutual Improvement Association, Sunday School, and Primary organizations were created in the branches throughout France.

1930 • FranceThe visiting teaching and home teaching programs were officially organized in France.

1939 • FranceTension in Europe caused the evacuation of all North American missionaries in France. Gaston and Flore Chappuis were appointed to remain as the only missionaries in France.

August 1940 • FranceGaston and Flore Chappuis left France.

1940–45 • FranceLéon Fargier was the sole priesthood leader in France.

May 1946 • ParisJames L. Barker was called to reopen the French Mission.

July 1952 • ParisDavid O. McKay visited the Saints in Paris. He was the first President of the Church to visit France.

September 1952 • ParisThe Church was granted recognition by the French government as “une association étrangère” (a foreign society).

September 1955 • Zollikofen, SwitzerlandDavid O. McKay, President of the Church, dedicated the Swiss Temple, where the first temple ceremonies in French were performed.

September 17, 1955 • ParisThe Mormon Tabernacle Choir held a concert at the Palais de Chaillot, near the Eiffel Tower.

1958 • FranceThe Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price were published in French.

1960–62 • FranceThe French Mission experienced unprecedented growth under President Edgar Brossard; more than 3,000 people were baptized during his tenure.

1965–66 • FranceSeveral chapels were built and dedicated: Bordeaux in 1965 and Marseille, Nice, and Versailles in 1966.

1966 • Liège, BelgiumA Church distribution center opened in Liège, Belgium, providing French-speaking members in Europe with direct access to Church materials such as handbooks and lesson manuals.

November 16, 1975 • ParisThe first stake in France was organized with Gérard Giraud-Carrier as president.

1975–2000 • France and AfricaFrench Latter-day Saints helped establish the Church in Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic.

1998 • FranceA new edition of the scriptures in French was issued.

December 14, 2003 • FranceWith the creation of the Angers France Stake, all members in France resided within the boundaries of stakes.

April 5, 2008 • Salt Lake CityGérald Caussé was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, making him the first General Authority from France.

October 1, 2011 • Salt Lake CityThomas S. Monson, President of the Church, announced the construction of the Paris France Temple.

October 3, 2015 • Salt Lake CityGérald Caussé was called as the Presiding Bishop of the Church. Bishop Caussé was the first Presiding Bishop for whom English was his second language.

Paris France Temple

May 21, 2017 • Le Chesnay, France

The Paris France Temple, in Le Chesnay, near Versailles, was dedicated.