Since 1986, Europresse has been active in many areas of that field and, while still being a small organisation, has become a reference for Gospel presentation in French. The Lord has blessed in making the good news of His salvation in Christ a blessing to many souls and in raising fine preachers and Christians in many a place.
Of course, the publication of literature is the main and most visible part of this ministry. Since its inception, Europresse has published some 170 titles which have been and are distributed all over the French-speaking world. Most of the books are translated from English and include such classics as A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God”, or Charles Spurgeon’s Daily Readings.
These actually started before Europresse, but were incorporated later. Called “Échos de la Vérité” (Echoes of Truth), they are short 15 minute studies seeking to answer people’s questions from the Bible. The speaker at the beginning was rev. Bill Clark, founder of Europresse, and then was succeeded by pastor Paul NGoran, of Ivory Coast. These programmes are then broadcast by some 30 radio stations throughout the French-speaking world, many in Africa, some in Haiti and a few in France. At the end of each programme, listeners are asked to write back. When they do so, we send them a CD with more of the Gospel to spread!
As time passed and contacts developed, it became clear that God was raising men to shepherd His people. But these had often no training nor opportunities to train. So a “Preachers’ Course” by correspondence was set up to give these men a grounding in biblical truth. The Course is a thorough study of Romans (doctrine), Hebrews (OT with NT perspective) and 1 Corinthians for applications in Church life. The Course is very similar to what Charles Spurgeon was doing with his Pastoral School. One of the advantages is that the men are still in their family and church situations while studying. Several hundreds of men have joined the Course and many have completed it, and have manifested a real deepening in their lives and ministries.
Conferences & visits
Stemming from the Course, conferences were set up in order to yearly meet with the students. This has now evolved into “Grace Conferences” where many non students can also come and benefit from the ministry given by a combination of African and western preachers. The Europresse team is also involved in fulfilling invitations by various churches or groups to come and teach or preach. This has led to very strong and close ties with a number of brethren all over Africa and in Haiti and, in a few instances, in Europe too.
In the West, the area covered and catered for comprises France, Switzerland and Belgium, to which Quebec, in Canada, can be added. The initial work outside of Europe was centred in Ivory Coast, where Europresse opened an office in the late 80s. Then a Benin office was created in 1998 to cater for Benin & Togo, 2 small countries sandwiched between English-speaking Ghana and Nigeria. In 2000, through providential circumstances, operations started in Cameroon, where a colleague was able to travel through the country with the books, then others came into being in Congo Brazzaville, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic and Gabon, all situated in Central Africa. The work in Haiti was slower to start with, but a bookshop was opened in Port-au-Prince, the capital. This was just a few weeks before a major earthquake flattened most of the city (but not the bookshop). Since then, the books have been distributed in Port-au-Prince and, recently, wider afield as a fine young man has taken on the role of colporteur to do that. There are also perspectives to develop contacts with churches and leaders in the North-West province.
A team of workers and agents
France – Jean-Claude Souillot, with the voluntary help of Philip Hynes and secretarial skills of Pat Goodrich (in England) Ivory Coast – Paul NGoran, now in the capacity of administrator, and Vincent Dua as manager Benin – Julien Naka Cameroon – Our former colleague, Jean Katla, has now retired and his replacement is being put in place and will be managed by Noël Tanekeu, in Douala. Congo Brazzaville – The Europresse agent is Gildas Nkou Democratic Republic of Congo – Emmanuel NGoy Kakudji distributes the books in Lubumbashi, in the south east of the country, and neighbouring areas. Central African Republic – The Europresse agent, Firmin NGatoua, helped by Abel NGouloumanda, was distributing the books until the civil war started in the country in March 2014. Operations are put on hold there at the moment. Gabon – The Europresse agent is Matthieu Hanto, originally from Benin and a fine preacher who pastors a small church in Libreville. Also a major Christian bookshop in the city carries the Europresse books in its inventory. Haiti – Moïse Fleuris has started recently to take the Europresse books around and visit churches and conventions. Jean Matthieu Chériné is the manager of the bookshop where most of the Europresse books are on sale. A very busy man, he is a good help too.