Dessignet, Claude (d. 1909)

By Pablo E. Ceballos

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Pablo E. Ceballos

Claude Dessignet; his wife, Antoinette S. de Dessignet; and his children, Juan Claudio and Ana, were the first Adventists in Chile and probably in South America as well.1

Conversion (1877–1885)

There is a lack of information about the birth of Claude Dessignet. Antoinette S. de Dessignet was born in France in 1848 and got married to Claude Dessignet in 1870.2 The Dessignet family met the Adventism through the missionary Daniel T. Bourdeau (1835–1905), the second missionary to arrive in Europe, in 1875.3 Bourdeau studied the truth about Christ’s return with them, God’s law and the Sabbath, so they accepted the Adventist faith in Lyon, France, close to 1877.4 Seven years later D. T. Bourdeau visited the family, discovering they had kept the faith.5

Settling in South America and Missionary Work

In December 1885 the Dessignet family arrived in the south of Chile, becoming, therefore, the first baptized Adventists in South America.6 They settled in the northern part of the American continent, in the Araucanía sector, along with Estero Chanco, close to the path from Traiguén that leads to Quino, also close to Púa, in the Malleco province, where they received lands from the government.7 They were the only Adventists in Chile until the arrival of the publication missionaries.8

The influence of the Dessignet family was seen, first, through its missionary work with the French settlers in the area. Over time some neighbors became convinced of the Adventist message; they began to keep the Sabbath as a day of rest and were baptized years later when Adventist pastors came to the area. That was the case of Pedro Maitrê and his wife, Rosalía Camus, who were baptized in 1897 on a visit from Granville Henderson Baber (1852–1936) and Enrique Balada.9

Last Days

During the last days of his life, Claude Dessignet continued to keep the Sabbath as the day of rest, but he was not in harmony with other Adventist doctrines. He passed away on May 6, 1909. Antoinette S. de Dessignet kept faithful to the church until her death on October 7, 1918.10

Descendants

Juan Claudio Dessignet was baptized by his father, who at the beginning of the century was an Adventist missionary.11 He also accompanied and helped his father in the cultivation of the land until his father died.12 He studied in Pua Training School, Chile.13 Given his experience in cultivating, he was invited to the Chillan Training School to take care of the Agriculture Department during 1927; later he was part of the executive committee in the school (1929–1934).14 He got married to Olga Thomann in 1908, sister of Eduardo and Víctor Thomann. The couple had no children, but adopted 18 children of humble origin as their own and helped spread the gospel with diligence. Juan Claudio Dessignet passed away on January 1, 1963.15

Ana Dessignet, born on October 10, 1873, in Lyon, France, got married to Carlos E. Krieghoff (1870–1969) in 1899, one of the newly converted Adventists in the area, who later became an Adventist pastor and administrator in Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina.16

Sources

Andross, E. E. “Providential Leadings in South America.” ARH 114, no. 23 (June 1937): 19, 20.

Bourdeau, Daniel T. “France.” ARH 61, no. 37 (September 1884).

Brown, Walton J. “The Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Austral South America, 1785–1912.” Ph.D. dissertation: University of Southern California, 1953.

Greenleaf, Floyd. Tierra de esperanza: El crecimiento de la Iglesia Adventista Sudamericana [A Land of Hope: The Growth of Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America]. Translated by Claudia Blath. Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 2011.

“In Remembrance—Carlos Enrique Krieghoff.” ARH 146, no. 41 (October 1969).

Kuntz, Frank. “Chile Union Organized.” ARH 143, no. 35 (July 1966).

Lundquist, H. B. “How Adventists Came to Chile—Moving of Providence.” ARH 149, no. 34 (August 1972).

“Our Work in Chile.” ARH 114, no. 25 (June 1937).

Peverini, Héctor J. En las huellas de la Providencia [In the Footsteps of Providence]. Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1988.

Plenc, Daniel Oscar. “Entre el Pacífico y el Atlántico” [Between the Atlantic and the Pacific]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review] 117, no. 6 (June 2017).

Riffel Weiss, José. “Necrología—Juan Claudio Dessignet” [Obituary—Juan Claudio Dessignet]. La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review] 219, no. 6 (June 1963).

Schwarz, Richard W., and Floyd Greenleaf. Light Bearers: A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Translated by Rolando A. Itin, Tulio N. Peverini. Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 2002.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1912, 1913, and 1927.

Wearner, Robert G. “A Happy Ending.” ARH 166, no. 36 (September 1989).

Zambra Ríos, Leopoldo. No con ejército, no con fuerza, sino con su Espíritu [Not by Might, nor by Power, but by His Spirit]. Santiago, Chile: Adventist Book Center, 1994.

Notes

  1. Leopoldo Zambra Ríos, No con ejército, no con fuerza, sino con su Espíritu [Not by Might, nor by Power, but by His Spirit] (Santiago, Chile: Adventist Book Center, 1994), 25, 26.

  2. Ibid., 26.

  3. Héctor J. Peverini, En las huellas de la Providencia [In the Footsteps of Providence] (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1988), 39; cf. Richard W. Schwarz and Floyd Greenleaf, Light Bearers: A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, translated by Rolando A. Itin, Tulio N. Peverini (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 2002), 141, 142, 220. See also: Walton J. Brown, “The Foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Austral South America, 1785-1912” (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Southern California, 1953), 32–34; Floyd Greenleaf, Land of Hope: The Growth of Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America, translated by Claudia Blath (Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House, 2011), 22; Ríos, 26.

  4. There is not much information about the date of their conversion to the Adventism, but it is deduced by this article, in which D. T. Bourdeau mentions having visited them “seven years later,” after their conversion.

  5. D. T. Bourdeau, “France,” ARH 61, no. 37 (September 1884): 587. Cf. Frank Kuntz, “Chile Union Organized,” ARH143, no. 35 (July 1966): 17; H. B. Lundquist, “How Adventists Came to Chile—Moving of Providence,” ARH 149, no 34 (August 1972): 15, 16. See also: Schwarz and Greenleaf, 220.

  6. E. E. Andross, “Providential Leadings in South America,” ARH 114, no. 23 (June 1937): 19, 20; cf. “Our Work in Chile,” ARH 114, no. 25 (June 1937): 19, 20; Frank Kuntz, “Chile Union Organized,” ARH 143, no. 35 (July 1966): 17; cf. Lundquist, 15-16; cf. Leopoldo Zambra Ríos.

  7. Peverini, 39; cf. Ríos, 25, 26.

  8. Leopoldo Zambra Ríos, 140.

  9. Peverini, 39.

  10. Ríos, 26, 27.

  11. José Riffel Weiss, “Necrología—Juan Claudio Dessignet” [Obituary—Juan Claudio Dessignet], La Revista Adventista [Adventist Review] 219, no 6 (June 1963): 19.

  12. Ríos, 27.

  13. Weiss, “Necrología – Juan Claudio Dessignet.” The manager reunion was also there. See: H. E. Rogers, in Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1912), 170; cf. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1913), 165.

  14. Ríos, 27. H. E. Rogers, in Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1927), 240.

  15. Ríos, 27; Weiss, “Necrología – Juan Claudio Dessignet.”

  16. Ríos, 26; Andross, 19-20; cf. “Our Work in Chile”; Kuntz, 17; H. B. Lundquist, 15, 16; “In Remembrance—Carlos Enrique Krieghoff,” ARH 146, no. 41 (October 1969): 24; cf. Robert G. Wearner, “A Happy Ending,” ARH 166, no 36 (September 1989): 19. Carlos Krieghoff’s obituary says that they got married in 1898 instead of 1899. See: Daniel Oscar Plenc, “Entre el Pacífico y el Atlántico” [Between the Atlantic and the Pacific], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review] 117, no 6 (June 2017): 9.

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Ceballos, Pablo E. "Dessignet, Claude (d. 1909)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 23, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9GHO.

Ceballos, Pablo E. "Dessignet, Claude (d. 1909)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 23, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9GHO.

Ceballos, Pablo E. (2021, April 28). Dessignet, Claude (d. 1909). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 23, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=9GHO.