*** A Tribute to Jean-Claude Guillaume ***

Jean-Claude and Rakel Guillaume

Thursday, January 13, 2011, just before his 82nd birthday, the Lord took home the man who was the president of Top Chrétien for many years. He was also a counselor, a brother, and a friend. Seeing him go will leave us a great void, but through this blog, it is also with a heart full of hope that I honor the memory of this man of God. Over 60 years of ministry gave him exceptional wisdom and credibility.

His last contribution on Top Chrétien was September 26, 2010. I find that it represents him very well. Here’s what he wrote:

“How wonderful it is in the evening of life to find ourselves even more attached to each other after more than sixty-one years of life together! For us who are faced with the uncertainties of old age, the time of seduction is over, but we still have a pure love and profound gratitude to God for the great gift he gave us by giving us to each other! “

Jean-Claude was responding to a blog posted by Samuel Foucart entitled: “Blog Strongly Recommended to Men.” Jean-Claude loved Samuel, and he loved Top Chrétien and its entire team. He joined the Top team in November 2003, very shortly after the establishment of the full-time team. I asked Jean-Claude if he would join the team after receiving direction from God in a prophetic word given at Philadelphia Church. From 2004 to 2008, he also became President of the French-Speaking Top Chrétien Association. On the Top, Jean-Claude published more than 400 messages, to which many Internet users responded (over 200), and also messages of wisdom addressed to Pastors called “Heart to Heart” (over 100). Find all his posts here.

I would like to defer to a few Top teammates who knew him in recent years:

Sharmion Foucault: Jean-Claude and I had a special kind of complicity! It was his message on the occasion of  “5 years of the Top” that inspired me and incited me to make the verse he quoted (Psalm 127.1) in calligraphy for your desktop, Eric! We have always had the same concern for the Top: never to forget who the Great Webmaster of this beautiful work is, our Lord and Savior, Jesus! Success sometimes can have adverse effects, and we shared this concern whenever we met. We lost a sentinel. I send my affection, Eric … even though we are happy for him … how difficult it is  to lose a loved one!

Didier Biava: I enjoyed Jean-Claude’s humor and as Samuel Taylor said “The essence of humor is sensibility.” Jean-Claude was a sensitive man, it was his sense of humor that characterized him so well.

Muriel Celerier: Although already advanced in years, Jean-Claude was passionate about the Internet and, in particular, Top Chrétien for which he was available from the beginning. Always ready to answer Internet users’ difficult questions, he was a great help for us. Whenever there was a storm, with his Olympian calm, he always had his sense of humor to make us smile. Also, when Rakel accompanied him, I noticed the deep love that united them and the kindness he had for his wife; they were beautiful to watch, both of them, arm in arm …

David Nolent: I will remember Jean-Claude as a big brother, truly humble before God and always ready to serve others. I will particularly remember his excellent sense of humor, which I admit was far superior to mine. :) You helped me really want to be more like Jesus, Jean-Claude, and I’ll miss you on this earth!

Carolle Wright: I will always remember Jean-Claude as gentle, humble, as one who loved the Word of God with his little touch of appropriate humor. He greatly assisted me in the management of the Thought of the Day, and his comments were always relevant and non-judgmental. I loved him very much and I will miss him. Nevertheless, I am glad he is now joyful and without suffering in heaven with God. For me, he was a true servant!

Nathalie Almont: The very first time that my path and Jean-Claude’s crossed was at church. I was very young in the faith, and I saw this white-haired man with a white beard go up on the platform and enthusiastically share the message of the Bible. My first words in listening to him were: “Wow, he looks like Abraham!” Jean-Claude touched me with the wisdom that he emanated, the place he gave the Word of God in his life, and his firm faith in Jesus.

Stephan Piauger: His humor and creativity will leave on my life an imprint  colored with good humor, music, wisdom, and passion for God. After so many years of dedicated service to our Lord, he is now with him for eternity. For me, he remains an example, a friend and a brother.

Nathalie Texier: If I had to remember just one thing about Jean-Claude, it would be the example of his great wisdom and humorous insight! For me, he was a model of open-mindedness and of loyalty in his commitment with us at the Top. He taught me that sometimes wisdom rimes with boldness and that what matters most is to be consistent with God’s will even against all odds! Jean-Claude taught me to always keep looking up at our Daddy and to never doubt his help! His departure makes me sad, but he is better where he is now, at least he no longer suffers and we will see him again in great shape!

Michael Foucault: Three words come to mind when I think of Jean-Claude: Sentinel,  French, and Humor. Jean-Claude was present at moments when the enemy tried to destabilize us. His mastery of the French language allowed us to offer a number of corrected texts that have blessed thousands of Internet readers. His oral and written contributions were always imbued with a joyful sense of humor, even during periods when he was very ill. At all times, he showed us the grace of God in his attitude.

Yes, Jean-Claude will be missed. But one day we will be together again with the one we love and serve: Jesus Christ. See you soon, dear friend.

Together for changed lives,

Eric Célérier

PS: The funeral service will be held Tuesday, January 18 at 2:30 p.m. at the Evangelical Church “Peace Alliance”, 16 rue Charlemagne – 02200 Soissons, France. All our condolences to the family and friends.