Jean-Pierre Badaut was an important figure within the first generation of Seventh-day Adventists in France and significantly contributed to the development of the Adventist Church in the country.
Early Years, Early Career, and Baptism
Jean-Pierre Badaut was born in 1850 in Branges, Saône-et-Loire, France. He grew up in a Protestant environment. At the age of 29 he married Marie-Claudine Petitjean (1859-1929).1 They had five children. Two of them, Paul and Samuel, would become strong leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in France. The three others died of diphtheria at an early age.2
Badaut had no special training and mainly worked as a miller. Nevertheless, he was determined to deepen his knowledge of the Bible. This desire led him to investigate two issues of the magazine Les Signes des Temps (The Signs of the Times) that his guardian, Jean Gaulion, had received from Martin Devèvre3 at the end of 1880.4 After reading these two issues, Badaut contacted the publishing house L’Imprimerie Polyglotte in Basel, Switzerland, and became a regular subscriber of the paper. He carefully studied the Adventist teachings for several years and was baptized in September 1884 in Branges.5 He then became one of the founders of the Adventist congregation in this community.6
Ministry as Colporteur, Evangelist, and Pastor
After his baptism, Badaut offered a room in his house to hold spiritual meetings and started to work as a colporteur in Branges and its surroundings.7 Through his colporteur ministry he pioneered the Adventist work in Moussac and Brignon, two villages in southern France.8 He also supported the missionary work of Daniel T. Bourdeau and Léon-Paul Tièche.9
Badaut worked as a colporteur for about 15 years. In 1899 he served as a committee member of the Sabbath School Association for the French Mission. At the same time, he was chosen, along with six other people, to work as an evangelist.10 Badaut was first assigned to Valence in 1901, and then successively worked in Haute-Loire and Mazamet. In the middle of 1905, he returned to Valence and later was moved to Crest and then Montbéliard.
On August 29, 1908, during the first annual meeting of the French Conference, Badaut was ordained to the pastoral ministry.11 After his ordination he started the Adventist work in Lyon, along with H. H. Dexter and Jeanne Bourquin, and successively ministered in Montélimar, Lons-le-Saunier, and Lons. In 1913 he moved to Switzerland and worked for the Leman Conference.12 About three years later he returned to France and was again employed by the French Conference where he worked as a pastor until his retirement.13
In August 1918 the Badauts settled in Branges.14 He served about three additional years for the French Conference and retired about the year 1921.15 However, he remained active within the Adventist community in Branges. Twelve years following his retirement, Badaut peacefully died in his cottage in Branges. He passed away on May 30, 1933, when he was 83 years old.16
Jean-Pierre Badaut served the Adventist Church for more than three decades. He was an interesting figure at the beginning of Seventh-day Adventism in Europe. As one of the early colporteurs and evangelists of the Latin Union, he significantly contributed to the development of the Adventist Church in France and pioneered the Adventist work in several places in the southern part of the country.
Badaut, Jean-Pierre. “Deux ‘signes des temps’ font un voyage de 12000 km avant de toucher un cœur.” Revue Adventiste, January 1974.
________________. “L’origine de l’œuvre à Branges.” Revue Adventiste, January 1, 1930.
“Badaut, Samuel.” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996, second revised edition.
Bourdeau, Daniel T. “A Change of Fields.” ARH, September 13, 1887.
Bourdeau, Daniel T. “France.” ARH, May 24, 1887.
Bourdeau, Daniel T. “France and Italy.” ARH, January 11, 1887.
Dexter, H. H. “France.” ARH, October 15, 1908.
Evard, Henri. “J.-P. Badaut.” Revue Adventiste, July 1, 1933.
Holser, Henry P. “Italy and France.” ARH, April 5, 1898.
Le Messager, October 1, 1918.
Le Messager, September-October 1899.
Martin, Jean-Michel. “Les Origines et l’implantation du Mouvement Adventiste du Septième Jour en France: 1876-1925.” PhD dissertation, Institut Protestant de Théologie [Montpellier], 1980.
Noualy, Eunice. “Sœur Marie-Claudine Badaut.” Revue Adventiste, May 15, 1929.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association,1913, 1916, 1922.
Whitney, B. L. “Central Europe.” ARH, May 10, 1887.
See Jean-Pierre Badaut, “L’origine de l’œuvre à Branges,” Revue Adventiste, January 1, 1930, 5. This article was republished in the Revue Adventiste in January 1974. See Badaut, “Deux ‘signes des temps’ font un voyage de 12000 km avant de toucher un cœur,” Revue Adventiste, January 1974, 9-11. For the obituary of Jean-Pierre Badaut’s wife, see E. N. [Eunice Noualy], “Sœur Marie-Claudine Badaut,” Revue Adventiste, May 15, 1929, 15.↩
“Badaut, Samuel,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996, second revised edition), 116-117.↩
Martin Devèvre was a French citizen who emigrated in the United States of America in 1854. While there, he became a Seventh-day Adventist through the missionary work of Daniel T. Bourdeau in Kankakee, Illinois. After his baptism he strove to share the Adventist message with his home country. See Badaut, “L’origine de l’œuvre à Branges,” 5.↩
The Adventist congregation of Branges was the second to be organized in France. Badaut played an important role in the establishment of this local church. See Jean-Michel Martin, “Les Origines et l’implantation du Mouvement Adventiste du Septième Jour en France: 1876-1925” (PhD dissertation, Institut Protestant de Théologie [Montpellier], 1980), 161-164.↩
H. [Henri] Evard, “J.-P. Badaut,” Revue Adventiste, July 1, 1933, 14.↩
Daniel T. Bourdeau, “France and Italy,” ARH, January 11, 1887, 27.↩
B. L. Whitney, “Central Europe,” ARH, May 10, 1887, 300; Bourdeau, “France,” ARH, May 24, 1887, 331; Idem, “A Change of Fields,” ARH, September 13, 1887, 588; Henry P. Holser, “Italy and France,” ARH, April 5, 1898, 220.↩
See Le Messager, September-October 1899.↩
H. H. Dexter, “France,” ARH, October 15, 1908, 15.↩
The 1913 Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook listed Jean-Pierre Badaut as a minister of the Leman Conference. See “Leman Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1913), 108.↩
Badaut left Geneva at the beginning of June 1915 and returned to France. From 1916 onwards he is listed as a minister of the French Conference in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. See “French Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1916), 113.↩
See Le Messager, October 1, 1918.↩
From 1922 onwards Badaut is listed as an honorary minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. See “French Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1922), 92.↩