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Paolo Geymonat

1827-1907. Waldensian* evangelist and scholar. Born at Villar Pellice (Waldensian Valleys), he graduated from the theological school in Geneva and was ordained pastor in 1850. His earnest desire to spread the Gospel in Italy led him to work as an evangelist in Rome, Florence, Turin, and Genoa. In 1855 he was invited with G.P. Revel to start a Waldensian school of theology at Torre Pellice, a task which he carried out with success amid many difficulties. After the unification of most of Italy in 1860, he supported strongly and successfully the removal of the school to Florence, where he lectured until 1902. He then retired and resumed his work as evangelist, founding an autonomous church in Florence. Author of several treatises and articles, his theology, missionary zeal, and piety are typical of Le Réveil,* by which he was greatly influenced. He had a more conciliatory attitude than most Waldensians; he tried throughout his life to solve the conflict between the Waldensian Church with its rigid organization and the other Italian denominations.