The Life & Works Francis Schaeffer Timeline
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DateEvent
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1912Francis August Schaeffer was born January 30 in Germantown, Pennsylvania. He was the only child of Francis August Schaeffer III and Bessie Williamson Schaeffer.
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1914Edith Rachel Merritt Seville (Francis Schaeffer's future wife) was born in China on November 3. She was the fourth child of George Hugh Seville and Jessie Maude Merritt Seville.
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1930Schaeffer became a Christian at the age of eighteen after reading the Bible, beginning with Genesis, for about six months.
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1932Met his future wife on June 26 at the First Presbyterian Church in Germantown, Pennsylvania.
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1935Graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in June. Schaeffer was second in his senior class and graduated magna cum laude.
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1935Married Edith Seville on July 6.
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1935Entered Westminster Theological Seminary in September.
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1937Schaeffer's first daughter , Precilla, was born on June 18.
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1937Schaeffer leaves Westminster Theological seminary during the church split between the Presbyterian Church of America (now the Orthodox Presbyterian Church) and the Bible Presbyterian Church. Schaeffer would be instrumental in the founding of the new seminary.
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1938Graduated from Faith Theological Seminary.
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1938Ordained as the first pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church denomination.
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1938Began serving as pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Grove City, Pennsylvania.
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1941Elected moderator of the Great Lakes Presbytery of the Bible Presbyterian Church.
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1941Began serving as associate pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church in Chester, Pennsylvania.
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1941The Schaeffers' second daughter, Susan, was born on May 28.
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1943Began Serving as the pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri.
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1943Several months after arrival, the Schaeffers founded Children For Christ which in a very short time would develop into an international ministry.
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1945The Schaeffers' third daughter, Deborah, was born on May 3.
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1947Traveled throughout Europe for three months to evaluate the state of the church in Europe as a representative of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions and as the American Secretary for the Foreign Relations Department of the American Council of Christian Churches. His observations would inspire a lot of the future content for the book and film series How Should We Then Live nearly 30 years later.
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1948Moved to Lausanne, Switzerland with Edith and their three daughters to be missionaries to Europe. Their primary work involved their Children for Christ ministry, and helping with the formation of the International Council of Christian Churches.
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1949Moved to Chalet des Frenes in the mountain village of Champery, Switzerland.
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1950Schaeffer accompanied four other theologians (Young, Buswell, Bennet, Stam) to a meeting with Karl Barth. in August
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1950Fran delivers an address to the International Council of Christian Churches on Barth and the new modernism. He sends a copy to Barth for further discourse, however Barth responds rather harshly to Schaeffer and Buswell's papers. He received a paper from Buswell the same day.
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1951Went through a spiritual crisis in the winter months. During this time, Schaeffer recognized that something was deeply wrong and he carefully reconsidered his Christian commitment and the priorities of life. Schaeffer emerged from this experience with a new certainty about his faith, a new emphasis on sanctification and the work of Holy Spirit, and a new direction in his life which would unfold over the next four years. This crisis will be the catalyst for the for the studies he writes for lectures in 1953-54, which will later be the basis for his book True Spirituality.
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1952Francis August Schaeffer IV was born in August 3.
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1953Returned to the US with family on furlong.
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1953-1954Traveled across the country speaking 246 times during 515 days about the deeper spiritual life. During this time Schaeffer first presented the talks which grew out of his spiritual crisis and later became the basis for his book True Spirituality.
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1954Awarded honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in May by Highland College in Long Beach, California.
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1954Returned to Champery, Switzerland in September. Franky Schaeffer contracted polio on the boat en route to Switzerland.
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1955Received notice from the Swiss government on February 14 that they must leave Switzerland permanently within six weeks.
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1955The Schaeffers moved into Chalet ls Melezes in Huemoz, Switzerland on April 1 after receiving the money needed to purchase les Melezes through a series of miraculous circumstances.
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1955Resigned from the Independent Board of Presbyterian Foreign Missions on June 4, marking the informal beginning of the L'Abri Fellowship.
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1958English L'Abri founded after Schaeffer gave lectures at Oxford and elsewhere in England. Schaeffer's lectures at Swanwick, England would prompt British Inter-Varsity to request that they could be published as a book. The lecture transcript would be organized into a book and sent to him.
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1959?The Schaeffers meet a young doctor that would later become the Surgeon General of the United States, when he diagnosed their daughter Priscilla with a rare ailment that he specialized in. They would later collaborate on Whatever Happened to the Human Race?
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1965Lectures given at Wheaton College, originally titled, "Speaking Historic Christianity into the Twentieth Century World." These lectures would later become the basis of The God Who Is There.
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1968The God Who Is There is Published.
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1969Edith publishes her first book, L'Abri.
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1969Death in the City is published.
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1970Pollution And The Death Of Man is published.
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1970The Church At The End Of The Twentieth Century is published.
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1970The Mark Of A Christian is published.
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1971Edith publishes The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life.
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1971The Church Before The Watching World is published.
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1971True Spirituality is Published.
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1971Received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in June from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. "The degree D.Litt. is awarded to candidates whose record of published work and research shows conspicuous ability and originality and constitutes a distinguished and sustained achievement. " (definition from wikipedia).
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1972Back To Freedom and Dignity is Published.
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1972Basic Bible Studies is published.
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1972Genesis In Space And Time
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1972He Is There And He Is Not Silent
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1972The New Super Spirituality
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1973Art And The Bible
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1973Edith publishes Everybody Can Know
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1974No Little People is published
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1974Two Contents Two Realities is published.
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1974Began work on the book and film from How Shall We Then Live? with Franky Schaeffer.
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1975Ash Heap Lives is published.
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1975Edith publishes Christianity is Jewish.
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1975Joshua and the Flow of Biblical History is published.
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1975No Final Conflict is published.
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1975Edith publishes What is a Family
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1976How Shall We Then Live? is published.
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1977Began a twenty-two-city seminar and speaking tour in January for the film series How Shall We Then Live?
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1977Helped to found the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy.
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1977Edith publishes A Way of Seeing
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1977Began work on the film series Whatever Happened to the Human Race? with C. Everett Koop and Franky Schaeffer.
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1977Edith publishes Lifelines.
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1977Edit publishes Affliction.
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1978Diagnosed as having lymphoma in October, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
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1978Whatever Happened To The Human Race is published.
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1979Began a national seminar and speaking tour in September for the film series Whatever Happened to the Human Race?
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1979The American headquarters for L'Abri was established in Rochester, Minnesota.
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1981A Christian Manifesto is published.
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1981Edith publishes The Tapestry
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1982Publication of the Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer.
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1983Edith publishes Common Sense Christian Living.
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1983Received honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law.
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1983Schaeffer is a contributor on a book, Who Is For Peace.
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1983Was flown in critical condition from Switzerland to Mayo Clinic in December.
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1984The Great Evangelical Disaster is published.
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1984Schaeffer is a contributor on a book, Who Is for Life.
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1984Went on a seminar tour to ten Christian colleges during March and April in connection with his last book The Great Evangelical Desaster.
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1984Passed away in his home in Rochester, Minnesota on May 15.
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1985The Letters of Francis Schaeffer are published.
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1986Edith publishes Forever Music.
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1988Edith Publishes With Love, Edith. The L'Abri Family Letters 1948-1960
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1989Edith Publishes Dear Family. The L'Abri Family Letters 1961-1986
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Note: Some of the more specific dates are not included in this spreadsheet. For the complete time line consult the class lecture notes.
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