Edith Schaeffer, co-founder of L’Abri Fellowship and widow of theologian-philosopher Francis Schaeffer, died on Friday at age 98.
Schaeffer was born in Wenzhou, China to missionaries who were serving with the China Inland Mission. In addition to her English name, her parents gave her the Chinese name Mei Fuh, meaning “beautiful happiness”.
On June 26th, 1932, Edith attended a meeting in her liberal Presbyterian church where a Unitarian minister delivered an address on “How I know that Jesus is Not the Son of God,” and “How I Know that the Bible is not the Word of God.” She was prepared to offer a rebuttal when a young man stood up and said, “My name is Francis Schaeffer and I want to say that I know Jesus is the Son of God, and He is also my Savior.” After Francis delivered his testimony, Edith added a brief apologetic for the truth of the Bible. The two began dating that night and married three years later.
To put her husband Francis through seminary, Edith tailored men’s suits and made gowns and wedding dresses for private clients. After three years serving in active parish ministries in the United States, the Schaeffers moved their family to Switzerland in 1948 to help churches in their efforts to resist both liberalism in theology and existentialism in the culture after World War II.
L’Abri Fellowship began in Switzerland in 1955 when Francis and Edith decided in faith to open their home to be a place where people might find satisfying answers to their questions and practical demonstration of Christian care. It was called L’Abri, the French word for “shelter,” because they sought to provide a shelter from the pressures of a relentlessly secular 20th century.
REAL JESUS MINISTRIES