General and Regional Adventist History
Peter H. Ballis, (ed.) In and Out of the World: 7th Day Adventists in New Zealand. (International Specialized Book Services), 1986.
Charles R. Beeler, A History of the Seventh-day Adventists in Arkansas and Louisiana 1888 to 1996. (Arkansas-Louisana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists), 1996.
Hugh Dunton, (ed.) Heirs of the Reformation: The Story of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Europe. (Grantham: Stanborough Press), 1997. A valuable though patchy account of the history of the SDA church in Europe.
Richard B. Ferret, Charisma and Routinisation in a Millennialist Community: Seventh-Day Adventist Identity. (Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press), 2008.
Denis Fortin, Adventism in Quebec: The Dynamics of Rural Church Growth, 1830-1910 (Berrien Springs: Andrews University), 2004.
Floyd Greenleaf, The Seventh-Day Adventist church in Latin America and the Caribbean. (Berrien Springs), 1992.
Gideon D. Hagstotz, The Seventh-day Adventists in the British Isles, (Lincoln: Union College Press, 1935).
Daniel Heinz, Church, State, and Religious Dissent: A History of Seventh-Day Adventists in Austria, 1890-1975., (Peter Lang), 1993.
Doug R. Johnson, Adventism on the Northwestern Frontier. (Oronoko Books), 1996.
Christine Elizabeth King, The Nazi State and the New Religions: Five Case Studies in Non-conformity. (Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: The Edward Mellon Press), 1982. Contains a chapter on the SDA Church in Nazi Germany.
George R. Knight, A Brief History of Seventh-day Adventists. (Hagerstown: Review and Herald), 1999. An excellent, brief (156 pages) overview. Compulsory reading for every Seventh-day Adventist church member.
George R. Knight, Organizing to Beat the Devil: The Development of Adventist Church Structure. (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald), 2001. Another excellent book from Knight. Essential reading.
Gary Land, (ed.) Adventism in America. Rev. ed. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press), 1998. Unfortunately limited in its focus to the US, it is the best overall history of the SDA church. Suffers from having no content more recent than c1980.
Gary Land, Historical Dictionary of the Seventh-Day Adventists. (Scarecrow Press), 2005.
Alf Lohne, Adventists in Russia, (Review and Herald), 1987.
Linette Mitchell, Thy Light Has Come: A Short History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica, (Mandeville: NCUP), 2003.
Eric John Murray, A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trinidad and Tobago, 1891-1981. (College Press), 1982.
Baldur Edmund Pfeiffer, (ed.) The European Seventh-day Adventist Mission in the Middle East 1879-1939. (Peter Lang Publishing), 1981.
R. S. Fernando, The Isles Shall Not Wait: The Story of Seventh-day Adventists in Sri Lanka. (Colombo, Sri Lanka: Associated Newspapers of Ceylon), 1987
Frederick J. Schwartz, Thailand and the Seventh-day Adventist Medical and Missionary Work. (Berrien Springs: Andrews University), 1972.
Richard W. Schwarz, Light Bearers to the Remnant (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press), 1979. [Revised edition published as: Light Bearers: A History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church by Richard W. Schwarz, & Floyd Greenleaf (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press), 2000.] I know it’s the standard textbook, but it just doesn’t excite me. (Confession time–I don’t even own a copy.) It does at least make some attempt to view Seventh-day Adventism as a global phenomenon.
Ciro Sepulveda, On the Margins of Empires: A History of Seventh-day Adventists (Huntsville, AL: Oakwood College Press, 2007).
Millerite and Early Adventist History
George R. Knight, Millennial Fever and the End of the World. (Boise, ID: Pacific Press), 1993. A well-written, interesting, generally well-referenced account of the Millerites & the formation of the SDA Church.
Ronald L. Numbers and Jonathan M. Butler, (eds.) The Disappointed: Millerism and Millenarianism in the Nineteenth Century. (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press), 1993.
David R. Rowe God’s Strange Work: William Miller and the End of the World. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans), 2008.
David R. Rowe Thunder and Trumpets: Millerites and Dissenting Religion in Upstate New York, 1800-1850. (Chico, CA: Scholars Press), 1985.
Whitney R. Cross, The Burned-over District: A Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press), 1950. [Reprinted in 2006.]
Edwin S. Gaustad, (ed.) The Rise of Adventism: Religion and Society in Mid-nineteenth-century America. (New York, NY: Harper and Row), 1974.
Ruth Alden Doan, The Miller Heresy, Millennialism, and American Culture. (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press), 1987.
Clyde E. Hewitt, Midnight and Morning. (Charlotte, NC: Venture Books), 1983. The first of a three volume set outlining the history of the Advent Christian Church–another denomination that emerged from the Millerites. Worth reading just for its non-Seventh-day adventist focus. The other two volumes are: Responsibility and Response, (1986), and Devotion and Development (1990).
Sylvester Bliss, Memoirs of William Miller. (Boston, MT: Joshua V. Himes), 1853. Despite its age, still the best biography of William Miller. [Reprinted by Andrews University Press in 2005; with an new introduction by Merlin D. Bert; as part of their excellent Adventist Classic Library.]
Everett N. Dick. William Miller and the Advent Crisis. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press), 1994. Dick’s manuscript (based on his doctoral thesis completed in 1930) was to be published by Union College when the General Conference (through the personal intervention of LeRoy Edwin Froom) successfully convinced the college not to proceed. Dick’s study was the first to extensively examine the original Millerite sources and despite its age is a valuable work–and a reminder of the dangers of censorship.
Isaac Wellcome, History of the Second Advent Message, (Boston, MT: Advent Christian Publication Society), 1874. Despite its age, an excellent account of the Millerites & the early Adventists. Like Hewitt’s books (above), it’s written from an Advent Christian perspective. Especially important is Wellcome’s emphasis on the key roles women played in these movements–most later historians of Adventism have neglected them. Available for free download from Loma Linda University’s Adventist Archives.
Ingemar Linden, The Last Trump. (Frankfurt: Peter Lang), 1978.
Kai Arasola, The End of Historicism: Millerite Hermeneutic of Time Prophecies in the Old Testament. (Uppsala: University of Uppsala), 1990. An unfortunately (very) difficult to obtain reprint of the author’s doctoral thesis. Essential reading.
Ross S. Goldstone, Going Forth in the Dance: Shakers, Adventists and the great disappointment. (Bonnells Bay, Australia: S. R. Goldstone), 2004.
David Morgan, Protestants and Pictures: Religion, Visual Culture, and the Age of American Mass Production. (Oxford University Press), 1999. Contains interesting (& well-illustrated) chapters titled “Millerism and the Schematic Imagination” and “The Commerce of Images and Adventist Piety”; the examine the Millerites’ use of illustrations.
Douglas Morgan. Adventism and the American Republic. (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press), 2001.
Mary Henry Rossiter, My Mother’s Life: Memoirs of Mrs S. M. I. Henry (Chicago, IL: Fleming H. Revell, 1900). Available for download from the GC Archives.
Race Relations in the Seventh-day Adventist Church:
Alven Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (Lewiston/Queenston/Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press), 1996. One of the few books that covers the history of the SDA church in Africa and looks seriously at race within the SDA church. Could have benefited from further editing.
Delbert W. Baker, (comp.) Telling the Story: an Anthology on the Development of the Black SDA Work. (Loma Linda, CA: Loma Linda University Printing Services), 1996. Available online at Oakwood College.
Calvin B. Rock (ed.) Perspectives – Black Seventh-day Adventists Face the Twenty-first Century. Available online at Oakwood College.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Africa:
I. F. du Preez and R. H. du Pre, A Century of Good Hope: A History of the Good Hope Conference, its Educational Institutions and Early workers, 1893-1993. (East London: Western Research Group/Southern History Association), 1994. A somewhat idiosyncratic account of the SDA church’s work in the South African Good Hope Conference – the “coloured” conference. One of the few sources of South African SDA history.
Stefan Hoschele, Christian Remnant – African Folk Church: Seventh-day Adventism in Tanzania, 1903-1980. (Leiden: Brill), 2007.
Eva Keller, The Road to Clarity: Seventh-day Adventism in Madagascar. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), 2005.
David Agboola, The Seventh-day Adventists in Yorubaland, 1914-1964: A History of Christianity in Nigeria. (Daystar Press), 1987.
Kofi Owusu-mensa, Saturday God and Adventism in Ghana. (Peter Lang Publishing), 1993.
Baldur Edmund Pfeiffer, (ed.) Seventh-day Adventist Contributions to East Africa, 1903-1983. (Peter Lang Publishing), 1985.
Virgil Robinson, The Solusi Story: Times of Peace, Times of Peril. (Washington, DC: Review and Herald), 1979.
Gender Issues in Adventist History:
Josephine Benton, Called by God, (Smithsburg, MD: Blackberry Hill), 1990. Important coverage of a neglected aspect of Adventist history–the role of women ministers. Available online here.
Catherine A. Brekus, Strangers and Pilgrims – Female Preaching in America, 1740-1845 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press), 1998. Contains a chapter on female Millerite preachers.
Laura L. Vance, Seventh-day Adventism in Crisis: Gender and Sectarian Change in an Emerging Religion. (Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press), 1999.
Seventh-day Adventist Theological History:
Reinder Bruinsma, Seventh-day Adventist Attitudes Toward Roman Catholicism 1844-1965. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press), 1994. Excellent survey of the topic.
Rolf Pohler, Continuity and Change in Adventist Teaching. (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang), 2001.
George R. Knight, A Search for Identity: the Development of Seventh-day Adventist Beliefs. (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald), 2001.
Stefan Hoschele, From the End of the World to the Ends of the Earth: The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Missiology, (Nurnberg, Germany: Verlag fur Theologie und Religionswissenschaft), 2004.
Muriel Elizabeth Chapman, Mission of Love: A Century of Seventh-day Adventist Nursing , (Association of Seventh-day Adventist Nurses-NAD), 2000.
Ronald Numbers, “Sex, Science, and Salvation: The Sexual Advice of Ellen G. White and John Harvey Kellogg,”in Right Living: An Anglo-American Tradition of Self-Help Medicine and Hygiene, ed. Charles E. Rosenberg (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press), 2003, 206-226.
D. E. Robinson, The Story of our Health Message: The origin, character, and development of health education in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, (Southern Publishing), 1965 (Third-enlarged & revised-edition).
Edward M. Cadwallader, A History of Seventh-day Adventist Education, 1954. The fourth edition was most recently published by Leaves of Autumn Press in 1978.
Michael L. Chamberlain. Beyond Ellen White: Seventh-day Adventism in Transition: a sociocultural history and analysis of the Australian church and its higher education system (Teneriffe, QLD, Australia: Post Pressed), 2008.
Floyd Greenleaf & General Conference Education Department, In Passion For the World: A history of Seventh-day Adventist Education, (Pacific Press), 2006.
Milton Raymond Hook, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora. (Cooranbong, NSW, Australia: Avondale Academic Press), 1998.
War & Peace:
Peter H. Ballis. “Conscience and Compromise: New Zealand Adventists and Military Service During World War I” in Arthur J. Ferch (Ed.) Symposium on Adventist History in the South Pacific: 1885-1918 (Wahroonga, Australia: South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists), 1986, 40-52.
Peter Brock, Freedom From Violence: Sectarian Nonresistance From the Middle Ages to the Great War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 1991, 230-258. [Seventh-day Adventists in WWI.]
Daniel Heinz, Kriegsdienstverweigerer und religioser pazifist: der Fall Anton Brugger und die Haltung der Siebenten-tags-Adventisten im Dritten Reich (Wien, Austria: Dokumentationsarchiv des osterreichischen Widerstands), 1996. [Austrian Adventists and Military Service]
George R. Knight, “Adventism and Military Service: Individual Conscience in Ethical Tension” in Theron F. Schlabach, Richard Thomas Hughes (Eds.) Proclaim Peace: Christian Pacifism from Unexpected Quarters (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press) 1997, 157-171.
Robert L. Mole & Dale M. Mole, For God and Country: Operation Whitecoat: 1954-1973, (New York: Aspect Books), 1998.
Doug Morgan (Ed.), The Peacemaking Remnant: Essays and Historical Documents, (Silver Spring: Adventist Peace Fellowship), 2005.
Keith Phillips & Karl Tsatalbasidis, I Pledge Allegiance: The Role of Seventh-day Adventists in the Military (NP, ND), 2007.
Francis McLellan Wilcox, Seventh-day Adventists In Time Of War (Review and Herald), 1936. (Recently reprinted by Kessinger Publishing in 2006.)
Delbert W. Baker, The Unknown Prophet. (Washington, DC: Review and Herald), 1987. Biography of William E. Foy.
Calvin W. Edwards & Gary Land, Seeker After Light: A.F. Ballenger, Adventism, and American Christianity. (Berrien Springs, Andrews University Press), 2000.
R. Clifford Jones, James K. Humphrey and the Sabbath-day Adventists. (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi), 2006.
George R. Knight, Joseph Bates: The Real Founder of Seventh-day Adventism (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald), 2004.
Gilbert M. Valentine, The Shaping of Adventism: the case of W.W. Prescott. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press), 1992. Essentially reprinted as: W. W. Prescott: Forgotten Giant of Adventism’s Second Generation (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald), 2005.
Richard J. Willis, The Kellogg Imperative: John Harvey Kellogg’s unique contribution to healthful living. (Grantham: Stanborough Press), 2003.
Woodrow W. Whidden, E. J. Waggoner: From the Physician of Good News to Agent of Division (Hagerstown, MD: Review & Herald), 2008.
Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart, Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh-Day Adventism and the American Dream. (San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row), 1989. [Second edition released in 2006 by Indiana University Press.] One of the most important books on the SDA church ever written. If you have the first edition buy the second. If you don’t have either–buy one today!!
Peter H. Ballis, Leaving the Adventist Ministry: A Study of the Process of Exiting. (Westport: Praeger), 1999. A brilliant book analyzing the fallout following the Ford “crisis” in Australia.
Offshoots, Breakaways, & Reform Movements
Alfons Balbach, The History of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement. (Reformation Herald Publishing Association), 1999.
Helmut H. Kramer, The Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement (German Reform). (Biblical research Institute, General Conference of SDAs), 1988.
Lowell Tarling, The Edges of Seventh-Day Adventism: A Study of Separatist Groups Emerging from the Seventh-Day Adventist Church (1844-1980). (Barragga Bay, Australia: Galilee), 1981. A fascinating survey of one of the neglected aspects of SDA history. It’s by an Australian–so it must be good! We could do with a second edition that covers the last 25 years.
Ellen White Studies
George R. Knight, Meeting Ellen White: A fresh look at her life, writings, and major themes (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1996).
George R. Knight, Reading Ellen White: How to understand and apply her writings (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1997).
George R. Knight, Ellen White’s World: A fascinating look at the times in which she lived (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1998).
George R. Knight, Walking With Ellen White: The Human Interest Story (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1999).
Gary Land, (ed.) The World of Ellen White (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1987).
Ronald L. Numbers, Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White. 3rd Ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company), 2008. Whether you agree with Numbers’ thesis or not, the book is a serious attempt at placing Ellen G. White in her historical and cultural context.
Walter Rea, The White Lie (Moore Publishing Company, 1983).
Gilbert M. Valentine, The Struggle for the Prophetic Heritage: Issues in the conflict for control of the Ellen G. White writings (Muak Lek, Thailand: Institute Press, 2006).
Updated: December 1, 2008.