John Calvin 1509-1564
John Calvin, a French scholar who became a leading preacher and
dominant force in the Reformation of the 16th Century, studied at the
University of Paris and at the University of Orleans. He became
dissatisfied with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and allied
himself with the cause of the Protestant Reformation in 1532.
Founder of Calvinism
When the king of France decided to settle the religious question in
his country in favor of the Catholics, Calvin fled to Geneva, Switzerland,
where his writings and lectures made Geneva the Rome of Protestantism.
His institutes of the Christian religion became the basis for the
Presbyterian way of thought and church life. Calvinism is the main doctrine
of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches.
He was so intolerant of other beliefs that he once had a man named Michael hanged for disagreeing with him. The execution was carried out while Calvin was preaching a sermon in a nearby church.