France covers a geographical area slightly smaller than the state of Texas, yet serves as home to nearly 61 million people, compared to Texas’s 23½ million.
Though at least 50 percent of present-day French still classify themselves under the umbrella of Catholicism, a recent survey has categorized only 8 percent as “practicing” (attending mass at least once per month). The traditions of Catholicism and its “saints” are ever-present, but the country’s population is becoming increasingly secular. Only 2 percent claim the designation “Protestant” (compared to 30 percent in Europe generally), a label which includes Lutherans, Pentecostals, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Evangelicals of all stripes. There are three times as many Muslims as Protestants in the nation. A 1995 commission on cult activities led to the labeling of several Protestant groups as cults, though generally they have been classified as “non-dangerous.”
Scroll down to see our missionaries in France.
Tim & Ruth Bixby
Tim and Ruth were both born into Christian families, and both accepted Christ as Savior at an early age. Both also graduated from homeschools before attending college. Tim was born in the Central African Republic where his parents were missionaries. Several years later, the family moved to the field of Bordeaux, France, where Tim’s parents ministered for 25 years. Ruth grew up outside of Raleigh, NC.
As college students at Bob Jones University, Tim and Ruth became close friends while traveling several summers with the BJU Musical Mission Team to Europe. They were married in September 2000.
Tim received a Bachelor of Arts in Bible in 2000 and a Master of Arts in Bible from the BJU Seminary in 2003. Ruth earned a Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism in 1998 and a Master of Music in Church Music in 2000. Tim was the pastor of Cleveland Park Bible Church for 5 years before becoming a missionary to France. They moved to France in June 2009.
Tim and Ruth have five children: Micaiah, Miriam, Zacharie, Gabriel, and Siméon.
If you would like to know more about the Bixbys and their ministry, contact the Home Office and request to receive their update letters.
Michael & Liz Cole
Michael and Liz both made professions of faith at the age of 5 years old. However, while working at Northland Camp in Wisconsin, Liz realized her doubts of salvation were well founded. It was then that she truly put her trust in Christ.
Raised in Georgia and North Carolina, Michael returned to the city of his birth, Greenville, SC, to attend college. He and Liz, who is from Indiana, met during graduate studies at Bob Jones University and were married in 2003. They joined Cleveland Park Bible Church in Spartanburg, SC, where they became a vital part of the ministry.
Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Missions in 1999, a Master of Arts in Theology in 2001, and completed his PhD in Theology in 2008. Liz received a Bachelor of Science in English Education in 2000 from Maranatha Baptist Bible College and a Master of Science in Biblical Counseling from BJU in 2002.
The Coles moved to France to begin their ministry there in December 2011.
The Coles have four children: Viviane, Adeline, Mathieu, and Thomas.
If you would like to know more about the Coles and their ministry, contact the Home Office and request to receive their update letters.