Though born in 1998, our church’s history actually goes back thousands of years. Our spiritual roots reach back to the people of God mentioned in the Old and New Testaments. In a true sense we are heir to those movements which, in the course of history, have clearly been witness to the evangelical faith, often in difficult situations but always with great determination and courage.
The Protestant Reformation of the XVI century is an essential reference for the way in which it centred on the Gospel. In Ferrara the Reformation was favoured and even developed during the residence in the city of Renée of France (1510-1575). During that time, the Gospel spread to the Court and the city where some believers, in particular Fanino Fanni (who was burned at the stake in 1550), were persecuted by the Inquisition and paid with their lives their faithfulness to the Lord.
Evidence of the evangelical movement in Ferrara is lost for three centuries until the mid 1800’s when the city was visited by some “colportori” (door to door sellers of Bibles) and evangelists who formed a group of believers. In 1862 the Evangelist Carlo Zanini, from Piedmont, founded the “free church” and was later assisted by Vincenzo Manfredini. At the same time the Baptist Church was formed and this still stands today. During the first years of the 1900’s the “free church” gradually lost ground as a result of various events.
This history is our inheritance. Ours is the privilege of continuing the work of witnessing the Gospel, just as these others have done before us.