Bill was raised in a Roman Catholic family in Columbus, MS and was saved in college (Mississippi State University) through a student-led Bible study at the KA fraternity house. He then joined a Baptist church where he became active and later served as associate pastor. Bill got his Th.M. at Dallas Theological Seminary in 1980. He served as pastor of a Southern Baptist church in Sturgis, MS before going to France. We were called to the mission field through a DTS mission conference. Barbara (Bobbie) was raised in a Baptist church in Atlanta, Ga. and received Christ at 14 years old. Three weeks later in a Christian camp she dedicated her life to serving the Lord.
Leaving Dallas Seminary, we joined TEAM. Since 1983 we have been doing church planting in southern Paris suburbs with a team of other TEAM missionaries plus national pastors. We have began a new church in Guyancourt, a town of 32,000 in the southwest suburbs of Paris.
Bobbie and I have been married 35 years and we have three boys, two of whom are recently married, and all living in New York City. We also have a (totally spoiled) West Highland White Terrier.
Brian and Melina, Bradlee and Alexandra, Benjamin
Bill- Main ministry: Church planting in Guyancourt in the southwestern suburbs of Paris.
Population of the target area: 32,000
Role: Church-planter of the Evangelical Protestant Church of Guyancourt - preaching, evangelism, visitation, administration, leadership training, vision casting, discipleship, etc.
Other ministries: Ministry Area leader for TEAM France
Bobbie - Ministry: Assisting in church work, corresponding with supporters, teaching conversational English, budding quilting ministry, mother, organizing TEAM's annual conference
Role: Pastor's wife, organization, hospitality, recruiting
We are planting a church in Guyancourt, a town of 32,000 in population with one small Catholic church and our very small (average attendance 35) Protestant church. This vividly demonstrates the great need here in France. In fact, only one percent of the French population even claim to be evangelical Protestant. According to the Gideons, most French people have never seen the inside of a Bible. And 34,000 towns in France have no evangelical church at all! The French mind-set is anti-supernatural. In general, the French are fairly prosperous, and therefore, do not sense their need for God. And they have a hard time grasping that they are sinners in need of a Savior. Working with the typical non-practicing Catholic over here is difficult. Not only is it difficult to bring them to see their lostness, but also, once they are saved, it is difficult to bring them to make a commitment to the local church. But we love them and serve them, and God has blessed our efforts over the years.
Primary Prayer Request:
Current prayer requests:
Fruit for our labor: converts and church growth.
Development of leaders for the Guyancourt church.
A suitable meeting place for the church. We have been meeting in a hotel for the past three years.
That God would help us overcome the difficulties of ministry in France:
Resistance to the things of God in general on the part of the French people
Suspicion of all religion that is not Roman Catholic
Lack of French pastors
High cost of living and ministering
Difficulty in finding a public places in which to meet.