Nicolas Lenfestey des Brehauts

From The Guernsey Free Churchman, January 1925 p. 7. The life of the Methodist preacher, by George Rabey.

Around the year 1800, Pastor Jean de Queteville preached in the house of Nicolas Le Cheminant, the Maison de Haut, St Pierre-du-Bois, and used as his text Chronicles I xiii v. 14. So powerful was his preaching that Nicolas Lenfestey of the 'Brehauts' was converted to God and made a room [at his house] available for the Wesleyan Society to use, and said of it, 'Your people will be my people and your God my God.' Soon afterwards a class was begun there and preaching took place in his room until the opening of the Chapel, dedicated on the 24 June 1814.

It is, however, Nicolas Lenfestey's son who is our subject here. Nicolas Lenfestey jr. of St Pierre-du-Bois, converted as a youth, was a lay preacher in his native island until in 1817 he felt a calling to leave Guernsey and minister to the small band of islanders who had settled in the peninsula of Gaspé, Newfoundland. He was both fisherman and preacher, continuing the work he had done in Guernsey. The following is typical of the kind of opposition he had to contend with.

One day a group of youths came around, trying to scare him and his family by firing off gunshots near his house. He came out of the house to meet them, fell to his knees and prayed for them. Taken aback by his response, they took off their hats and listened attentively. They asked his forgiveness, and soon after joined the Methodists. Despite such persecution, one by one people converted to the Lord. This brave and courageous preacher continued his evangelical work faithfully until his death at the age of 80. This work on Gaspé is a branch of the tree which was planted in the Norman archipelago over a century ago, by Le Sueur and Tentin.

See A Letter from Gaspé, 1818, in which Nicolas Lenfestey describes his trials and tribulations.