Revival in France
1853 – The publication Progres de L’Oie of France gave an account of an exhumation that took place when Napoleon III was emperor, and the Roman Catholic cMlergy had full control over the government. The event took place in the little village of Chelles near the city of Campiegne where the well-to-do Andru family lived. J.B. Cretin, a Baptist pastor, witnessed to them and seeing the errors of Romanism they received Christ, which produced a small gathering every Lord’s Day for worship and study. The group increased and people began to come from neighboring villages to hear the gospel. This brought about the anger of the local priest who did all in his power to stop the meetings. The only child of the Andru family was driven from the school; and Mr. Andru couldn’t get reapers at harvest time, for the priest threatened excommunication to anyone who helped. When grandfather Andru died, who had also been saved, Pastor Cretin was asked to bury him. Permission was granted by the mayor, in that this was the first non-catholic to be buried there, and more than 400 came to the funeral where they heard the gospel preached. The priest was livid, so he hired town drunks to dig up the body and rebury it in an area with suicides. The Bishop came and cleansed the ground. The mayor found a loophole to allow it and was found some months later hanged at his home and was buried with the suicides, private scandals led another official who had helped in the cover-up to shoot himself, and the priest was convicted of immorality and had to leave the parish. Henri Andru was called to preach and a great Revival broke out in that area.
[.Dean R. Kirkwood, European Baptists: A Magnificent Minority (Valley Forge, Pa.: American Baptist Churches USA, 1981), p. 14. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 641-42.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon