A Brief History  

Our Faith

At the beginning of the 20th century, alongside the Evangelical Free churches and the Methodist churches, there were two large Protestant denominations in France that had come directly out of the 16th century Reformation:

  • the Reformed Church, with around one hundred and fifty local churches,

  • the Evangelical Reformed Church with approximately four hundred and fifty churches.

The First World War (1914-1918) was characterized both by a terrible human slaughter and by a chaplaincy corps that worked together. This experience marked a turning point in denominational attitudes.

In the years that followed the War there was a renewed interest in theology and in ecumenical contacts, along with a series of economic crises. Many felt the necessity of unity in the church at such a time.

Thus in 1938, resulting from discussions started in the early 1930’s, a large number of local churches from several denominations decided to unite to create the Reformed Church of France (ERF).

However, some churches, in spite of their desire to demonstrate the unity of the Body of Christ, decided mainly for doctrinal reasons not to join this new church organization. They desired to affirm their belief, with no restrictions, in the Declaration of Faith of 1872, which underlines, in agreement with the declarations of various Reformation churches, "the sovereign authority of the Holy Scriptures in matters of faith, and salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, only Son of God, crucified for our sins and raised from the dead for our justification."

 These churches gave birth to the Independent Evangelical Reformed Churches (EREI). This is the origin of the present denominational.

A more detailed description of these events can be found in the brochure :

Eglises Réformées Evangéliques (English edition), Price : 2 euros.

This brochure can be ordered from : Nuance Publications, 74 rue Henri Revoil, 30900 Nîmes France.


- The adjective "Independent" does not carry great importance. It indicates that the EREI churches are not part of the ERF. It was added 60 years ago to distinguish the new Evangelical Reformed Churches from those of the previous denomination of that name that ceased to exist in 1938;

- The adjective "Evangelical" is used in the way that this term was understood, first in England then in France, in the 19th century, that is, a branch of Protestantism that puts an emphasis on the authority of the Bible and a type of spirituality that teaches the necessity of being "converted" to Jesus Christ by a personal decision;

- The term "Reformed" indicates the historical and theological tie that these churches maintain with the original Reformation movement in France. This is shown particularly through the rediscovery of the thinking of the reformer John Calvin (especially through the Theological Seminary in Aix-en-Provence), and also the importance of the Confession of Faith of La Rochelle in the Church Discipline and the life of the EREI denomination.


Our Faith

God is the source of all existence.

The whole universe announces God’s existence and declares his glory.

For this reason, the question of God must be faced by the human conscience,

but mankind is incapable by his own efforts of having true knowledge of his Creator.

Only God can speak the truth about Himself.

Without a revelation "from above", all theology is only useless speculation.

We believe that God decided to speak to mankind in a historical process that he Himself initiated.

This word of God, finished and offered to our world, is the Bible.

What the Bible says concerning:







  1. God is the unique Being who precedes and has dominion over every other being. He has neither beginning nor end.

  2. God is all powerful. That doesn’t mean that He does anything and whatever. His power serves His will, which is reflected particularly in the laws that govern the universe.

  3. God, the creator of the human person, cannot be an impersonal reality. Rather, He is a free will, giving meaning and basis to moral values. God is "holy", which means He is:

·         always true in what He says;

·         always just in what He does;

·         always good in His intentions.

There is total absence in Him of any untruth, any injustice, and any form of evil.

4.       God is not part of the universe (he is transcendent) and yet, He is in relationship with it. This personal God thus wants to have a personal relationship with mankind … and with each man.

5.       God is as much the source of unity as of diversity. God is ONE, but he is not solitary: He is "Father", "Son", and "Holy Spirit". In Him, diversity finds harmony through communion.

6.       God is not only the creator of humanity, He also wants to be the Savior of a world broken by sin. God, in His Son, Jesus Christ, came to live among men in order to live out in human experience those acts which inaugurate a new era in which evil and death will no longer exist.

The future of the world is found in Jesus Christ. He is the solid foundation of hope.

7.       The Holy Spirit, the third person of the "Trinity", is the breath of life. From the beginning, He has been working in the history of the world. Today, He comes to spread throughout the earth the benefits of the salvation that Jesus Christ acquired for humanity.

He is the one that brings forth faith. By Him, I can recognize the authority of biblical revelation and discover God as Father.



  1. The universe had a definite beginning. Matter/energy is not eternal. It was created from nothing by the will of God, who alone can determine existence.

  2. Having depended on God for its origin, the universe continues to remain dependent on Him for its existence. Anything that happens, the predictable as well as the unpredictable, cannot escape His sovereign direction, which remains total and permanent.

  3. This means that the future of the world is not limited by a cold determinism but is open to the personal will of the living God.

  4. A description of the universe is incomplete if it is limited to only its physical or quantitative measures. The world is also beautiful and good, reflecting the innate values of its Creator.

  5. Thus, the great importance of mankind in the universe flows from the fact that he possesses a high degree of resemblance to the divine Person. God made man his privileged partner in the midst of His immense creation.

  6. For reasons that we cannot fully comprehend, the perfect good will of the Creator was ignored by the human creature when he chose to adhere to the illusionary language of the forces of evil. In this way, evil entered the world, with its long cortege of suffering which affects all of creation to some extent and especially humanity.

  7. God still remains sovereign, even over the forces of evil, so that we can still perceive the perfection of the world that God created and so that the joy of life can still be enjoyed by humanity. Evil is limited in time, and it is in the midst of this mixture we now live, where beauty and horror exist side by side, that the divine work of restoring the world has begun.



  1. The last to appear in the creation of the universe, mankind inherited a special place. He is the only one said to be made "in the image of God". This special position implies a special being within creation, along with special privileges and responsibilities.

  2. Mankind as "God’s image" was made to live in personal relationship with God. This conscious, trusting relationship guaranteed him a plentiful life and an unlimited future.

  3. Unfortunately, human history began with the rupture of this trusting relationship. As it was, man used his privileged position within creation to try to build his life and his own future in a way that would leave him independent and autonomous from God. What appeared to him to be a summit to attain was in reality a bottomless chasm in which he lost his footing.

  4. This defining event at the beginning of his history had incalculable consequences. Humanity being thus morally (or spiritually) cut off from God, profound changes affected every level of his being. Beginning with this original choice, all that we call "evil" (whether suffered or caused) became a part of human existence.

  5. It is in this double origin (created as "image of God" but then rejecting God) that we find the characteristics of all human experience:

·         Nostalgia (flight into the past) as well as the irresistible search for a better life (flight toward the future) lead mankind to feel a constant lack of satisfaction with his present condition. Man knows that he is someone who is called to a life that is better, fuller, richer that what he lives day by day.

·         The progress of knowledge and technical prowess is a perfect expression of the mandate to dominate the earth that God gave mankind from the beginning. At the same time, man puts too much hope in this progress, hoping to find in it a way to escape his fundamental dissatisfaction.

·         Man is this being that needs love, communion with others and personal recognition from them. Fundamentally, he has the need to be linked by love more than any other creature in the world. And yet, man ends up being particularly anti-social. The hatred he can feel for his fellowman and the violence it inspires never cease to surprise him.

·         In reality, man has the desire to do good, but he then realizes that he is too weak to resist his own negative instincts as well as to bear the pressure of circumstances beyond his control. He must admit that even his good intentions are not durable.

·         Thoughts of eternity and a thirst for absolutes only reveal his need of God, but then he manifests these in his numerous religions, ideologies, humanistic beliefs, and superstitions.  He is continually inventing false gods for himself in order to not have to listen to the voice of the one true God, whose fatherly authority he is constantly fleeing.

6.       The human condition is thus both exciting and tragic. The "memory" of his exceptional dignity awakes in each person extraordinary desires for life, purity, and love. But sin (that is, the conscious or unconscious refusal of the true God) that lives in the human heart pushes him to refuse all of these values. As a result of this, life is lived out in the shadow of God’s judgment, which means living all the time under a real threat of failure, of conflict, of disappointment, of suffering, and of death.  

7.       Today’s man is no more able than those of past ages to change this state of things. History cannot be undone. The real salvation of humanity can only come from a kind and generous initiative from the Creator Himself.



  1. In spite of the deliberate choice that mankind made to break the contract of trust that God originally set up with him, the Sovereign Creator did not abandon humanity to the inevitable consequences of his offense.

  2. Even more, the perspective of God’s just and holy judgment, which would have implied the total disappearance of mankind from the earth, was canceled. Time was given to reveal, in the history of mankind, a special story, a time and a place where God would intervene in a new way for the salvation of many.

  3. This special story began in the Middle East around 2000 years before Jesus Christ when God called Abraham to follow Him. This call included the promise of a blessing for Abraham and his descendents, and by their intermediary for all nations. Abraham heard this call from the one true God and he believed. The faith of Abraham thus became a sign of the possible restoration of communion between God and mankind.

  4. The descendents of Abraham (that is, the Jews) continued to follow God, sometimes well and sometimes not so well, receiving throughout their history, from Moses and the prophets, many of God’s words. In this way, Israel learned to know the one true God, discovered His moral laws, and could thus get ready for the event that would reconcile heaven and earth, and open wide the doors of hope.

  5. Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, the descendent of Abraham by whom all nations were to be blessed, Jesus the Son of man and the Son of God appeared in Israel during the period of Roman occupation. By his life and his teaching he fully revealed the face of God. And, when he died, being crucified by the wickedness of men, he had fulfilled the whole mission of salvation: he, in the name of humanity, erased the original conflict between man and God, and by his total obedience he honored the contract of trust with the heavenly Father. He opened the door of the "Kingdom of Heaven", of the world to come, to whomever would come to him and trust him.

  6. His resurrection from the dead completed his victory in the battle that he fought for us. From now on, hope has meaning and is based on a solid foundation. In Jesus Christ, our communion with God is reestablished. In this way, anyone who comes to Christ by faith receives the seed of a new life right now. The Spirit of God works everywhere on earth, but it is in the Church, the people brought together by the call of Christ, that this power of renewal is shared and communicated to others.

  7. This present age in which the power of the resurrection lives alongside the power of death will soon come to an end. God has set a "day" when the final accounting of human history will take place. Each one will answer for how he managed the gift of life that he received. A final judgment is to be feared by those who have ignored the call of the Savior of mankind. It is only later, after divine justice has finally penalized the wrongs of this age, that the new morning for humanity will begin, a day of light and joy, a day of eternity.