The children’s crusade of the 12th century is a little known historical event that cost thousands of children their lives.
Kings, heavily armed knights, and soldiers left their European homelands in order to “win back” the Holy City, Jerusalem, from the Moslems. The families of these Crusaders were often decimated.
Times were ripe for a shepherd boy from rural France to propose a children’s crusade. Even to this day, no one is sure where this boy of 12 got the inspiration and the amazing speaking abilities that could convince over 30,000 young people to follow him on such a misguided poorly equipped journey. This tale lends credence to the saying, “Fact is often more incredible than fiction.”
The story of Phillip, a seminary student from Paris, Madoc the orphan, Anna a tailor’s daughter, and many others turn a distant past historical account into a very real and tragic story of misplaced faith. Every one of the young people had their own reasons for joining the crusade but weeks into the journey they found themselves fighting for survival and trying to follow the directions of their manipulative spiritual leaders.
The story takes the reader from Paris through the French countryside during a dry hot summer to a castle in Lyon. From Lyon the group marches down to the port city of Marseilles in order to find safe passage through the Mediterranean Sea to Jerusalem. Seemingly stopped at Marseilles a strange twist of fate opens up a new way for the remaining crusaders to pass over the Mediterranean. However, destiny is not kind to the faithful few. Disaster awaits! Can faith, friendship, and new found strength be enough to help them survive?
Phillip’s Crusade: The True Story of the Children’s Crusade
By Charlie Bell
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About the Author
• Accepted Christ as Savior at 15 years old in Las Cruces, NM
• Surrendered to full-time ministry and attended Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo from 1983-1987 (BA in Bible/Theology)
• MA in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) 1990
• Missionary with Baptist Bible Fellowship International to Argentina, S.A. for nine years.
• Currently enrolled as PhD candidate at SWBTS
Professor of Missions at Baptist Bible College since 2002
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