Church History
France: Church Chronology
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France: Church Chronology

1840s • Liverpool, England

The British Mission began sending missionaries to preach to English-speaking people in France.

August 14, 1848 • Liverpool

William Howells, a Welsh convert, was called to preach the gospel in France during a conference of the British Mission.

July 30, 1849 • Le Havre, France

Augustus Saint d’Anna, the first known convert to the Church in France, was baptized.

April 6, 1850 • Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

William Howells organized the first branch of the Church in France at Boulogne-sur-Mer.

June 18, 1850 • Boulogne-sur-Mer

John 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-Mer

On a beach north of Boulogne-sur-Mer, John Taylor dedicated France for the preaching of the gospel.

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 • Paris

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

December 1851 • Paris

Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte staged a coup d’état and ultimately dissolved the National Assembly.

December 1851 • France

John Taylor, accused of political dissidence, was forced to flee the country.

1852 • Liverpool

The first French translation of the Book of Mormon was published.

1853 • Isle of Jersey

French 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 • France

All missionaries were instructed to leave France due to increasing restrictions put on missionaries by the French government.

September 18, 1859 • Salt Lake City, Utah

Louis Bertrand was called and set apart to reopen the French Mission.

1862 • Paris

Louis Bertrand’s Mémoires d’un Mormon was published.

June 1864 • Salt Lake City

Louis Bertrand returned to Utah, marking the closure of the French Mission for the next 48 years.

1890–93 • Paris

Lorus 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 • Paris

France’s Chamber of Deputies passed a law guaranteeing religious freedom.

1908 • Lille, Lyon, Nîmes, and Paris

Missionaries from the Netherlands, Swiss, and German Missions preached in France.

October 15, 1912 • Paris

Rudger Clawson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reorganized the French Mission.

August 1914 • Europe

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

February 25, 1924 • Geneva, Switzerland

The French Mission was reorganized with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

November 3, 1926 • Lyon

Venus Rossiter, wife of mission president Ernest Rossiter, organized the first Relief Society in France.

November 1928 • Paris

L’Étoile, a newsletter to provide better communication among the members in the French Mission, was first published.

1929 • France

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

1930 • France

The visiting teaching and home teaching programs were officially organized in France.

1939 • France

Tension 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 • France

Gaston and Flore Chappuis left France.

1940–45 • France

Léon Fargier was the sole priesthood leader in France.

May 1946 • Paris

James L. Barker was called to reopen the French Mission.

July 1952 • Paris

David O. McKay visited the Saints in Paris. He was the first President of the Church to visit France.

September 1952 • Paris

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

September 1955 • Zollikofen, Switzerland

David O. McKay, President of the Church, dedicated the Swiss Temple, where the first temple ceremonies in French were performed.

September 17, 1955 • Paris

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir held a concert at the Palais de Chaillot, near the Eiffel Tower.

1958 • France

The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price were published in French.

1960–62 • France

The French Mission experienced unprecedented growth under President Edgar Brossard; more than 3,000 people were baptized during his tenure.

1965–66 • France

Several chapels were built and dedicated: Bordeaux in 1965 and Marseille, Nice, and Versailles in 1966.

1966 • Liège, Belgium

A 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 • Paris

The first stake in France was organized with Gérard Giraud-Carrier as president.

1975–2000 • France and Africa

French Latter-day Saints helped establish the Church in Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic.

1998 • France

A new edition of the scriptures in French was issued.

December 14, 2003 • France

With the creation of the Angers France Stake, all members in France resided within the boundaries of stakes.

April 5, 2008 • Salt Lake City

Gérald Caussé was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy, making him the first General Authority from France.

October 1, 2011 • Salt Lake City

Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, announced the construction of the Paris France Temple.

October 3, 2015 • Salt Lake City

Gérald Caussé was called as the Presiding Bishop of the Church. Bishop Caussé was the first Presiding Bishop for whom English was his second language.

May 21, 2017 • Le Chesnay, France

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