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Schaeffer, Edith



  • Existence: 1914-2013

Biographical Statement

Born November 3, 1914 to missionary parents serving with Hudson Taylor and his China Inland Mission, Edith Rachel Merritt Seville attended Beaver College in Germantown, Pennsylvania. On June 26, 1932 she met her future husband, Francis A. Schaeffer, who had finished his first year at Hampden-Sydney College and had returned home to work for the summer. They were married July 6, 1935 and after Francis attended seminary at Westminster Theological Seminary and gained ministry experience they were sent in 1948 to Switzerland by the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions.

Schaeffer, with her late husband, Dr. Francis Schaeffer, co-founded the well-known Christian evangelism and retreat community in Switzerland, L'Abri Fellowship. The work of L'Abri began when their family was young in 1955 in the village of Huémoz, Switzerland. Today L'Abri has six branches around the world - one each in Switzerland, England, Holland and Sweden and two in the United States. During the years of their marriage, Edith was an intellectual equal to her husband. During their early years together it was Edith who helped direct his reading list.

Edith is the author of seventeen books on a variety of topics and is a speaker and counselor in the United States and abroad. Affliction (1978) was written during and just prior to times of significant difficulties. She wrote Tapestry (1981) as a chronicle of their lives together.

She is the mother of four children. Priscilla, their first child, was born on June 18, 1937 while in Delaware. On May 28, 1941, Edith gave birth to their second daughter, Susan while they were living in Grove City, Pennsylvania. During a pastorate in St. Louis, Deborah Ann Schaeffer was born, May 3, 1945. It was during the Schaeffers’ early years in Switzerland that Francis August Schaeffer V, or Franky, was born, August 3, 1952.

The Schaeffers returned to the United States permanently in 1978 so Francis could undergo cancer treatments at the Mayo Clinic. She has lived in Minnesota since his death in 1984. Since her husband’s death, Mrs. Schaeffer resided for a while in Rochester, Minnesota, but returned to Switzerland to live nearer to her family.

Found in 10 Collections and/or Records:

Affliction, part 1

 Digital Record
Identifier: sc62-208d

Affliction, part 2

 Digital Record
Identifier: sc62-209d

Francis and Edith Schaeffer Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SC-062
Scope and Contents The Francis and Edith Schaeffer papers are organized into two major series, one for each individual. One sub-series that is found under each author is Book Manuscripts. Lectures is a sub-series under Francis Schaeffer, as is Media and Publications. Secondary Material is a third series in the collection.  The manuscripts sections of both major series contain the holographic and typescript versions of three books, Hidden Art, True Spirituality, and a book on Ecology. The lectures of Francis...
Dates: Created: 1968-2012; Other: Majority of material found in 1968-1969; Other: Date acquired: 1993

Free to be a Woman

 Digital Record
Identifier: sc62-210d

The Art of Prayer, part 1

 Digital Record
Identifier: sc62-213d

The Art of Prayer, part 2

 Digital Record
Identifier: sc62-214d

The Christian Artist and Modern Techniques

 Digital Record
Identifier: sc62-215d

The L'Abri Story, part 1

 Digital Record
Identifier: sc62-211d

The L'Abri Story, part 2

 Digital Record
Identifier: sc62-212d

True Spirituality

 Digital Record
Identifier: Digital Object ID ##3yb73r