There were Baptist churches in France before Baptist churches started in Texas!
A French Baptist Historical Society (the SHDBF, or Société d'Histoire et de Documentation Baptistes de France) was founded in 2000 at a meeting in the historic chapel in the rue de Lille in the centre of Paris, with as "founder members" the three groups of French Baptists (Federation, Association, and then independent Eglise du Tabernacle, which has since joined the Association).
Public lectures on items of Baptist history are organised at least twice annually in Paris, but the greatest single accomplishment of the Society so far has been the special exhibition on the first 400 years of Baptist history.
A special Exhibition
Here is a short description of the Exhibition, given by David Boydell (who sent a larger article to the Baptist Historical Society (GB).
The exhibition comprises a frieze some 2 metres long and 85 cm high, 60 A2 posters and 90 A3 posters. The frieze gives a chronological overview of Baptist history, starting with the precursers Calvin and Menno Simons, continuing through Smyth, Helwys, Bunyan, Dan Taylor and Spurgeon (among many others), and culminating with the three Baptist holders of the Nobel Peace Prize and mention of the "Amsterdam 400" conference.
The A2 posters are grouped and colour-coded round five themes: Baptist History, Baptist Indentity (Baptist Principles), Baptists in Society, Baptist Diversity, and Baptist Spirituality, and the A3 posters give more in-depth information on particular points or people.
If you want get more details about the French Baptist Historical Society and its Exhibition, look at this blog (alas, it is in French!):