Dick and Laura Paul arrived in Florence April 9, 1962 with 5 children and with the vision to begin a local church with their elders and would be self supporting.
A small group of 6 people was begun May 25, 1965 in the Fornaciai home in Via del Chiesino 22. The group grew and at the beginning of 1973, with a group of about 10 people they rented a meeting room. March 4, 1973 they had their first public service and began regular weekly meetings and Bible studies. The group grew and April 26, 1976 they rented the adjoining room to enlarge their meeting space. They also began Sunday School for the children and a youth group.
Having need of more space the church moved to via di Scandicci 86 at the end of 1989.
The church continued and in June of 1991 they were formally organized with doctrinal statement, constitution and by-laws.
Dick Paul was officially recognized as pastor/elder and in December 1991 Stefano Lagomarsino, who had grown up in the church, was recognized as a second elder. At that time 5 deacons and 4 deaconesses were also elected. The church congregation consisted of about 50-70 regular attendees with about 40 baptized members.
Radio Evangelica Firenze was born in 1977 and transmitted the gospel via radio in the province of Florence and adjoining areas. The radio transmitted 24 hours a day functioned primarily with the help of volunteers from the church. This ministry continued for 22 years until 1999. Because of the lack of personnel and governmental bureaucracy, the transmission ceased.
The church is completely sustained by the free will offerings of its members. They have chosen a Presbyterian form of government and are guided by a group of elders ratified by the congregation. The church does not have any denominational ties and governed only Scriptural principles but is in fellowship with other independent churches in Italy.
In 1995 Sam and Ruth Anne Wegner joined the ministry and have been active in music and work with the youth along with regular teaching and preaching ministry.
The church offers hospitality to a group of believers from Eritrea who are here in Italy as political exiles. They meet several times a week for worship and Bible study in their language.
The Bible Christian church has always had a missionary vision and contribute to the support of those reaching out to Muslims and Rom people.
The church is continuing to move towards complete autonomy and by the middle of 2007 should be completely autonomous, that is, functioning without a missionary presence.[UPDATE IN PROGRESS]