STRASBOURG, France (BNC) by Barry Baggott — After my family’s years in Côte d’Ivoire (1987- 2003), I began working with Jerrel Rowden in the production of literature for the churches. In order to facilitate getting materials to all those who might need it, I began compiling and keeping up a directory of French-speaking churches around the world.
I have not found a copy of the very first list, but by 2005 I was able to identify 297 congregations in 31 countries (including 4 non-French-speaking countries) and would guess about another 150 in Haiti but did not have specifics.
Six years later (2011), that number had climbed to 418 congregations in 34 countries (6 non-French-speaking), plus another 224 identified by name in Haiti, for a total of 641 congregations in 35 countries.
My latest figures (2015) include 742 congregations in 35 countries. This includes over 40 congregations in places where the vast majority of the population is Muslim. (That makes a tenfold increase in the number of French-speaking churches in the past 30 years.)
Some of these have as few as 3 or 4 members, but others have over 400.
At this point, I would not attempt to estimate the number of faithful members worldwide.
Barry’s overview was taken from Daniel Frerot’s Autumn 2015 mission report. Daniel works in Strasbourg.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He sometimes writes “7 Points.” http://randal.us