The Adventist Message and Racism

Historic Black Adventists on the Power of the Adventist Message to Defeat Racism

“The Third Angel’s message has the power in it to eliminate or remove this race prejudice upon the part of those who get a hold of the truth.”

-Charles M. Kinney, Statement at Nashville, Tennessee camp meeting, October 2, 1889

“Second, that the Third Angel’s message is to go to all nations of people; that it cannot take hold of them if there is some obstacle in the way, and that the truth of the Third Angel’s message will enable us to remove that obstacle. The colored-line question is an obstacle…”

-Charles M. Kinney, Statement at Nashville, Tennessee camp meeting, October 2, 1889


"And I am especially convinced that if we compromise with this worldly hatred which Americans call ‘prejudice,’ while professing to have the love of Christ in our hearts, to have the purest light of the gospel, to be looking for the early advent of the Savior, and to be keeping the commandments, they would consider us the most pronounced hypocritical of all the professing Christians.”

-James H. Howard to O.A. Olsen, November 3, 1889


“I believe that Seventh-day Adventists have a truth which, if they will let it get a hold of them, can do more in this field to demonstrate the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ than can any other people. The one thing needful is that the truth shall get hold of the individuals who profess to know it.”

-Lewis C. Sheafe, 1899 GC Session, General Conference Daily Bulletin, March 1, 1899, p. 114


“My heart leaped for joy as I thought of the possible help to come to my people through the third angel’s message.”

-Lewis C. Sheafe to E.G. White, May 25, 1899


“It seems to me that the more nationalities we can have in the church the more like the future state the church will be, and the more evidence will there be of the Holy Spirit which alone would harmonize all of these. This would be a strong evidence in favor of the truth.”

-James H. Howard to O.E. Olsen, January 27, 1890


“It would seem that while the people of the world will disregard each other more and more because of national differences, the people of the Savior would be all the more careful not to seem to justify the others in their wicked discriminations. If Seventh Day Adventists with their high profession can go as far as many seem disposed to go, it can only be expected that the world will carry the same principles further and commit all the horrors they will....

“Our appeal was for a caucasian to labor with Brother Sheafe in the tent, because of the excellent opportunity for Adventists to take the true Gospel position on the race question here [Washington, D.C.], presenting the truth to both races and making no distinction between the races in the Church.

-James H. Howard to A.G. Daniells, July 10, 1903


“It has been eighteen years since this blessed message came to me. I believed it then to be the message of God, and I have believed it ever since to be the message of God. I saw in it wonderful possibilities for my people. I had no special personal aims or ambitions, but I felt that this message could do so much for my people; and in the various conferences that I have been privileged to attend that has been the one fact and thought before me.”

-Lewis C. Sheafe in “Twenty-fourth Meeting,” General Conference Bulletin, June 1, 1913, 212-213


I have studied my people. I wrote the General Conference and mentioned that we should come with something definite in mind so that we could avoid confusion. I did this because I know my people from infancy. We ought to decide on a policy that spells progress and give it to our friends. This is a serious matter. I don't believe that this is a time for office seeking. The salvation of the 13,000,000 colored souls in the United States is at stake.”

-George E. Peters, General Conference Committee Special Meeting, April 13, 1944


“The racists in our midst have been convinced of the truth but haven’t gotten within a breath of being converted.”

-J. Estelle Barnett, 1962 GC Session