Paul Badaut pioneered the missionary work in Mauritius and later served as president of the South France Conference in the early 1900s.
Paul was born July 19, 1880, in Branges (Saône-et-Loire), France, to Jean-Pierre Badaut (1850-1933) and Marie-Claude Petitjean (1859-1929). He grew up in a French Seventh-day Adventist family. His father was one of the earliest Seventh-day Adventist colporteurs and evangelists in France.1 He had a younger brother, Samuel Badaut (1891-1927), who worked as a minister and a department director in the Latin Union Conference.2 From an early age, Paul Badaut took an active part in the work of the church and was baptized in 1897 at the age of 17.3
Education and Marriage
Three years after his baptism, Badaut went to the Institut Sanitaire (later Lake Geneva Sanitarium) in Basel, Switzerland, where he enrolled in a nursing course for two years. In 1902 he took a Bible course in Geneva.4 A year later, on October 16, 1903, he married Marthe Rosa Fontane (1880-1950). They had a daughter, Marthe Alice Badaut (1905-1982).5
Ministry as Evangelist and Missionary
After attending the Bible course in Geneva, Badaut worked as an evangelist in Charleroi, Belgium. He stayed there for two years and then moved with his wife to Mazamet, in Southern France.6 After some time in Mazamet, Badaut was sent to Switzerland, where he continued to work as an evangelist in several places, including Yverdon, Neuchatel, and Sainte-Croix.7 Afterwards, he returned to France and worked first in Paris, then in Lyon. He was ordained to the ministry in 1906.8
In 1909 Badaut left Europe and went to French North Africa, where he became one of the first Seventh-day Adventist pioneers in this area. Three years later he succeeded Ulysse Augsbourger as leader of the French North African missionary work and was elected to the Algerian Mission Committee.9 In 1914 a call for a minister came from Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.10 Badaut agreed to go to the island. In April 1914, accompanied by his wife and daughter, he sailed for Mauritius, and by the end of that year there was a church there of 28.11 Badaut and his family ministered in Mauritius for six years. The failing health of his wife forced him to return to his homeland in 1920.12
Back to Europe
Badaut worked as a minister in the French Conference from 1921 to 1923, then in the South France Conference from 1924 to 1945. He was president of the South France Conference after its organization in 1924,13 and later he occupied the same position from 1933 to 1937. In 1938 he served as the secretary for the Home Missionary and Religious Liberty Departments,14 and he returned from 1940 to 1945 as an executive committee member of the conference. He also served as executive committee member in the Latin Union Conference (1921, 1924) and the Franco-Belgian Union Conference (1933-1937).
Badaut spent the last years of his working life in Bordeaux, France. He retired in 1945 and moved to Anduze (Gard), France.15 However, Badaut continued to be active in missionary activities. He oversaw the groups located in the area of Gard. He regularly visited them and baptized around 30 people in his last three years. He died on September 13, 1948, from the effects of a cold he caught while visiting some relatives in Switzerland after attending a conference session at Collonges, France.16 He was then 68 years old. His wife Rosa died two years later. She passed away at the end of September 1950 after being hospitalized for several weeks at La Lignière (Lake Geneva Sanitarium), then at the hospital in Geneva, Switzerland.17
Paul Badaut left behind the legacy of a devoted minister and untiring missionary. He did evangelistic work in France, Switzerland, and North Africa, and was a pioneer missionary in Mauritius. His impact on the Mauritius mission was so deep that, for many years, Seventh-day Adventists were commonly called “Badauts” or “Badoss” on the island.18 In addition to his devotion for missionary activities, Badaut was also involved in administrative duties of the Adventist Church. For many years, he served in leadership positions in the South France Conference.
“Alice Bertalot.” Accessed November 20, 2018.
“Badaut, Paul.” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. vol 10. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996, second revised edition.
“Badaut, Samuel.” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. vol. 10. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996, second revised edition.
Beach, W. R. “France – A Future Home Base.” Missions Quarterly (Second Quarter, 1946).
General Conference Committee, General Conference Archives. Accessed November 26, 2018. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC19 12.pdf.
Guenin, J. C. “Derniers Pas.” Revue Adventiste, November 1948.
Guyot, A. “Derniers Pas.” Revue Adventiste, April 1948.
“It Is Our Duty…” Quarterly Review, December 1948.
Jayram, R. “Our Schools on Seychelles.” Canadian Union Messenger, September 6, 1944.
“Marthe Alice Bertalot (born Badaut).” Accessed November 20, 2018. https://www.myheritage.com/names/marthe bertalot.
Mathy, L. A. “Derniers Pas.” Revue Adventiste, November 1948.
Meyer, A. “Our Missions in the Indian Ocean.” Quarterly Review, September 1948.
Olsen, M. Ellsworth. A History of the Origin and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1926, second edition.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1924.
Spalding, Arthur Whitefield. Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists. vol. 4. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1962.
Special Note: Aside from the various sources listed here, a wider collection on Paul Badaut is available at the Archives for Seventh-day Adventist History in Collonges Salève Adventist University, Collonges-sous-Salève, Cedex, France. Inventory of the Collection of Paul Badaut. Accessed January 20, 2018. https://www.archivesadventistes.org/blog/2006/09/les-archives-de.html#more
“Badaut, Paul,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, vol. 10 (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996, second revised edition), 151.↩
Paul Badaut had four siblings. Before the birth of the youngest, Samuel, the three others died of diphtheria. For more details on Samuel Badaut, see “Badaut, Samuel,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 151-152.↩
“Badaut, Paul,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 151.↩
L. A. Mathy, “Derniers Pas,” Revue Adventiste, November 1948, 15.↩
Marthe Alice Badaut was born April 3, 1905. She married Enrico Bertalot, and they had two children. See “Marthe Alice Bertalot (born Badaut),” accessed November 20, 2018, https://www.myheritage.com/names/marthe_ bertalot; “Alice Bertalot,” accessed November 20, 2018, https://www.myheritage.com/research/record-10002-84288268/alice-bertalot-in-us-social-security-death-index-ssdi.↩
Ibid. See also “Badaut, Paul,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 151.↩
“Badaut, Paul,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 151.↩
See Arthur Whitefield Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, vol. 4 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1962), 93; General Conference Committee, European Division, August 14, 1912, 245, General Conference Archives, accessed November 26, 2018, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC19 12.pdf.↩
M. Ellsworth Olsen, A History of the Origin and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1926, second edition), 616.↩
W. R. Beach, “France—A Future Home Base,” Missions Quarterly (Second Quarter, 1946), 2. See also Olsen, 616.↩
“Badaut, Paul,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 151. See also Mathy, 15.↩
“South French Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1924), 100.↩
In those times, the conference president usually served as department secretary of Home Missionary and Religious Liberty.↩
See “Badaut, Paul,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 151; J. C. Guenin, “Derniers Pas,” Revue Adventiste, November 1948, 15; “It Is Our Duty…,” Quarterly Review, December 1948, 12. Quarterly Review was an organ of the Southern European Division of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.↩
A. Guyot, “Derniers Pas,” Revue Adventiste, April 1951, 15.↩
See R. Jayram, “Our Schools on Seychelles,” Canadian Union Messenger, September 6, 1944, 1; A. Meyer, “Our Missions in the Indian Ocean,” Quarterly Review, September 1948, 2.↩