Archive for May, 2007


Ebay History #2

May 24, 2007

Currently there are a number of interesting articles related to the early history of Adventism for sale on eBay. Perhaps someone with more money than me will purchase them and donate them to the Center for Adventist Research at Andrews University or the Heritage Room at Loma Linda University. (On second thoughts, donate to the Heritage Room at Loma Linda University, as the Center for Adventist Research still has not responded to my emails concerning the free availability of heritage photos from their collection–see my post here).

Items include:

  • Scripture Searcher 1-7 Published by Hastings Horace Lorenzo, (Keyport, New Jersey: E Wolcott, 1870).
  • Jesus is Coming Again Published in Herald of the Morning, Vol. 11, No 2, August, 1880. (Rochester, NY: Nelson H. Barbour). (Nelson H. Barbour was a Millerite Adventist and predicted Christ’s return in 1873, and when that failed, he revised the prediction for 1874. Soon after that disappointment, Barbour’s group came to believe that Christ had returned in 1874 but invisibly.
  • John Couch The Two-Horned Beast (Boston: The Advent Christian Publication Society, Not Dated, c.1870-1874).
  • [J. N. Andrews] The Two Laws (Battle Creek: Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, Not Dated c.1860).

ASDAH Part 3

May 14, 2007

Sabbath began with a presentation by Clifford Jones: “In Search of Utopia: James K. Humphrey and the Seventh-day Adventists” Humphrey is the subject of both Jones’ PhD thesis and his recently published book: James K. Humphrey and the Sabbath-day Adventists (University Press of Mississippi, 2006) ISBN: 978-1578068913 Jones’ presentation was excellent and illustrates the kind of work that needs to be done on any number of neglected SDA historical persons. For those collectors of trivia, Humphrey’s middle name (the K) is Kemuel. Information on Humphrey can also be found in:

Jones, R. C. “Humphrey and the United Sabbath Day Adventists, 1930-2000.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 43:1 (2005): 77-90.
Joe Mesar and Tom Dybdahl. “The Utopia Park Affair and the Rise of Northern Black Adventists.” Adventist Heritage, 1:1 (1974) 34-41,53.

The second presentation was by Carlos Schwantes (pictured below) : “The Notion of Time in Adventist History”. Schwantes pointed out that SDAism has historically placed great emphasis on time rather than on geography.


That ended the formal presentations. On Sunday morning, Joan Francis (pictured below) was elected ASDAH president and as a result it was determined that the next ASDAH meeting in 2 or 3 years will be in Washington DC at Columbia Union College. joan-francis.jpg
It was a wonderful conference, I had a fantastic time meeting new people. See you in 2008/2009!

If you are a SDA historian and are interested in being on the ASDAH mailing list then you may contact Brian Strayer at Andrews University: bstrayer AT andrews DOT edu


Clothing the SDA Clergy

May 10, 2007

clergy-dress-a.jpgIn 1903, following the lead of the GC, the (unofficial) South Africa Conference was remade into the (official) South Africa Union Conference with an American, W. S. Hyatt (pictured above) as president.

I found it intriguing that Hyatt is in this photo, wearing an item of dress not normally associated with SDA clergy.

Hyatt was not the only SDA minister to garb himself this way. It was apparently, relatively common amongst missionaries in certain parts of Africa.

The following picture of Mr & Mrs Walston–also missionaries in Africa illustrates this point. The caption also gives an explanation as to why this dress form was chosen: “to help smooth the way in many situations.” It seems then that wearing such an item of clerical costume enabled the wearer to be easily identified as a clergyman and that this recognition allowed the wearer to accomplished various tasks more easily.


My favourite item of history on the dress of SDA clergy comes from the cover of the July 1980 Ministry magazine. Enjoy:


ASDAH Part 2

May 7, 2007

The first Friday afternoon session was split into two: a session on the the global SDA church to feature four papers from South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, the Philippines, and India. Unfortunately two of the presenters were unable to attend–Erasmo Gauson from the Philippines who was to present on “Adventists in Barrio Bagon-taas, Velencia City” and Franklin Samraj who was to present a paper titled “Understanding the Challenges and Priorities of Adventism in India”.

The good news (!) was that left more time for Loverne Jacobs-Browne from the University of the Southern Caribbean to present on “Adventism in Trinidad and Tobago“, and for my paper “The SDA Church and Race Relations in South Africa“. As I was presenting I did unfortunately miss out on the parallel session–a panel discussion on “The Art of Teaching”.

The 4.00-5.30 session again had parallel sessions that I wanted to see. I chose to attend the American Politics session with a presentation on the “Political Thought of A. T. Jones” by Gary Wood and “The Intertextual Voice of the Montgomery Bus Boycott as Articulated in Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘Address to the First Montgomery Home Improvement Association’ Mass Meeting” by Ramona Hyman. I enjoyed Wood’s presentation & while I also enjoyed Hyman’s I felt a bit out of depth as she came from a perspective of literary criticism.

Attending this session however, meant I missed out on Feminists in the 19th Century with papers presented by Holly Fisher: “Two Unlikely Sisters of the 19th Century: Ellen White and Sarah Dudley Pettey: African American Womanhood, Empowerment, Religion, and Education”, and Fred Hoyt “Happy Black Phoebe Jacobs”.

The Friday evening session featured a discussion of Questions on Doctrine with papers by Julius Nam, “Questions on Doctrine and M. L. Andreason: the Behind-the Scenes Interactions“, and Paul McGraw–“The View from Outside the Veil” focussing on non-Adventist responses to the book.

Julius Namjulius.jpg


ASDAH Part 1

May 2, 2007

Firstly let me sat that the ASDAH meetings were wonderful! Oakwood was fantastic and the papers presented were for the most part enjoyable & thought-provoking. The best part however was meeting up with people I have up till now only known via email. It was great to catch up with Julius (below left) and Michael (below right) (I’m the one in the middle if you hadn’t figured that out!)–two other SDA bloggers–and with Doug Morgan of the Adventist Peace Fellowship which I joined way back in 2001. It was also great to meet new people as well.


The meetings began with a fantastic banquet–who said historians don’t know how to run a conference!–on Thursday night.

The conference presentations began on Friday morning. I didn’t attend the panel session on “Historians in Administration: Higher Education – A Discussion” so I can’t comment on it. I attended instead the “New Issues in Adventist History” session where two papers (out of the scheduled three) were presented: Michael Campbell’s “Early Adventist Historians –ASDAH’s Founding Fathers” and “Seventh-day Adventists and the Religious Right: a Nineteenth-Century Perspective” by Dennis Pettibone. Both were very enjoyable & well-presented.

The second morning session I attended was “African-Americans in Adventist History”. Unfortunately this meant I missed out on “Tolerance and Intolerance” with papers by Lisa Clark Diller: “Persecuting the Intolerant Papists: How England Got its Act of Toleration”, Brian Strayer: “Claude Buosson Reconsidered“, Rachel Byrd: “Persecution: How Does It Happen? Some Insights from Sixteenth- Century England”, and Ann M. Scott: “Augustine’s City of God and Benedict’s Rule: Innovative Worldview and Preserved Paradigm“. I did however get to hear great presentations by Doug Morgan: “Lewis Sheafe: Adventism’s Forgotten Apostle to Black America“, Seneca Vaught: “Adventist Activists of the Civil Rights Movement”, and Alfonso Greene: “A Comparison of SDA Black Regional Conferences, Methodist Black Central Jurisdiction/Conferences and White SDA Conferences.” I was not entirely convinced by Vaught’s thesis, but he did point me to this great quote by Richard Wright:

“A man who worships in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, lives, psychologically, in a burning and continuous moment that never ends: the present is ever-lasting; the past is telescoped into the now; there is no future and at any moment Christ may come again and then the anxious tension of time will be no more… [My Grandmother] lived with all of us, yet, psychologically, she hovered somewhere off in space….Always she seemed to be peeping out of Heaven into the world while living in the world.”