I was born in a small village on the Belgian and French border and given the name François Louis Marie Roger Astrid Ghislain Lacroix. Shortly after I turned three my family immigrated to Montreal, Canada and six years later to North Miami Beach, Florida where I grew up and attended elementary, Junior and Senior High School as well as Junior College. I left Miami after college to further my university studies and to attend seminary.
As the church is often at the geographic center of European villages so it was at the center of our life as a family. I was born into the Christian religion and the Roman Catholic denomination; it wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. Belgium, historically was a Roman Catholic country, and therefore, so was I.
After our move to the New World I developed a healthy appreciation for liberal thinking. The stern, conservative rules and regulations my parents developed out of a need for the preservation of the family in a new place were eventually relaxed and the immigrants’ need for a life of “black and white” slowly blended into grey. As a result, by the time I started studies at the university I was no longer told to go to church, I was asked, and like so many other students I stopped going except when at home with my parents. But the damage had been done. There was in me the love of the sacred, the need for spiritual expression, an appreciation of Grace and an acceptance of religion as a vehicle to wholeness and peace.
Technically my first language was French, but as I remember, it was music. Music was also my first love. I first attended a Presbyterian church because of music; I was offered a job as the tenor soloist and section leader in the choir of a large Presbyterian church near the university I attended. So it was my love of music that led me to my walk with God in the Presbyterian Church. Nietzsche, once said, “Without music, life would be a mistake… I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.” I’ve been dancing and singing with God ever since because first and foremost the Christian faith, the call to follow Jesus, is an invitation to a life of passion and joy.
The interest and care of the pastor of the Presbyterian Church I attended, and eventually became a member of, along with open conversations about church history, theology and ministry lead to a nudge from God to experience further studies in the practice of ministry. My seminary education played a significant part in my faith development and formation. It was at McCormick Theological Seminary a Presbyterian, Reformed, Ecumenical and Cross-Cultural school that I was introduced to the tools necessary to attempt to express the inexpressible with faith and with reason.
Service in the United States Navy Chaplain Corp gave me an opportunity to practice ministry in an ecumenical setting and taught me how to cooperate in ministry without compromising my own beliefs and religious practices. Later I would serve with congregations in a college town (Geneseo, NY) and in a suburb of a large city, (San Antonio, TX). Giving me an appreciation for the inquisitiveness of young minds and for the richness found in multicultural settings.
Over the years I have served God’s people in many different settings. I have shared the Good News of Jesus Christ in villages and cities, hospital chapels, college campuses, and US Navy ships at home and abroad. I have ministered to patients with AIDS, walked with sojourners struggling with spiritual issues, and counseled those lost in a maze of circumstances. I have rejoiced with the newly baptized, shared the Lord’s Table with people from every walk of life and celebrated the joyful undeniable work of the Spirit in congregations.
I have been married to Cyndi Lacroix for close to 30 years. Together we have 4 grown children and numerous grandchildren who remind us that Jesus said we must be child-like in order to understand what God’s Good News is all about.
My Hobbies… Cycling, photography, walks in the woods, a good movie, laughter, an occasional cigar, a glass of wine (and beer of course… I am Belgian after all), a good book, sharing a meal with old friends and new friends… finding God in everyday life.
Francois can be reached at the church on 610-566-1644, ext. 3, or by email email@example.com.