Merci, Monsieur Farel!

Posted by Kelly.Staples on April 4, 2017

Guillaume Farel
Collegiale of Neuchatel where Farel preached, unveiled in 1876.

William Farel is perhaps best known for his mealtime prayer, “Dear 6lb, 8oz baby Jesus….”  Wait, wait, wrong guy. That was Will Farrell. I’m supposed to write about William (Guillaume) Farel, the preeminent French speaking Protestant theologian.

Farel lived in Geneva, and as Chief Minister there, he brought Protestantism and reform to the city. When John Calvin passed through town in 1536, Farel convinced him that he needed to stay and lead the city to further reform. He went as far as to say that God would curse him if Calvin didn’t stay and help the city.

They served as spiritual leaders of Geneva until 1538 when a particularly passionate argument about communion got them banished. Farel moved to the city of Neuchatel and worked there as a pastor for the rest of his days.

Farel is heavily credited with bringing the Reformation to France. He wrote the first French Reformation tract, the first statement on Reformed doctrine to be published in French, and the first French Reformed Liturgy for worship.

Despite his working relationship with Calvin, Farel’s theology leaned more toward the Lutheran tradition. He had a passion for training missionary preachers who could go out into the world and spread the Reformation.

Merci, Monsieur Farel!

Rev. Kelly Staples is Associate Pastor and Director of Youth Ministries for NorthPark Presbyterian. She grew up a member of First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport, received her Bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State University and her Masters of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.


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