Early Black Sabbatarian and Seventh-day Adventists (1850s and 1860s)

 Eugene Hardy (Courtesy of Grand Rapids Public Library)

Name: Eri L. Barr

Birth date: May 23, 1814

Birth place: Reading, Vermont

Father: William Barr

Race: Mulatto

Date became an Adventist: 1852

Spouse: Lori Z. Harvey

Wedding date: December 7, 1842

Child: Emma (b. 1844)

Occupation: Mechanic, Adventist minister

Interesting facts:

-Ellen White stated that Barr was among Adventist ministers “to be depended upon” and addressed Barr in several letters

-Did evangelism circuit with Joseph Bates

-An important Sabbatarian Adventist minister in New England

Death date: May 16, 1864 (51 years old)

Death place: Alma, New York

Obituary: Nathaniel Fuller, Review and Herald, June 14, 1864, pg. 23


Total black Adventists in family: 2 (Eri, Emma)


Name: Horace Barr

Birth date: October 20, 1815

Birth place: Maine

Father: William Barr

Race: Mulatto

Converted to Adventism: By brother Eri

Spouse: Betsey Wilder (race: white), Harriet (race: black)

Children: Ella/Eunice, Anna (both mulatto, from Betsey)

Occupation: Farmer; was also a local elder in the Andover SDA Church (Vermont)

Death date: December 7, 1886

Obituary: Mrs. O.A. Codding, Review and Herald, February 1, 1887, pg. 79

Total black Adventists in family: 4 (Horace, Harriet, Ella, Anna)


Name: Unknown

Origins: Upper Canada (Toronto)

Date became an Adventist: August 1855 from meetings given by Joseph Bates and Eri Barr

Race: Colored

Occupation: Abolitionist, lecturer

Mention: Joseph Bates and E.L. Barr, “Tent Meetings,” Review and Herald, September 4, 1855, pg. 36


Name: William J. Hardy

Birth date: January 9, 1823

Birth place: New York State

Race: Colored

Spouse: Eliza Watts

Wedding date: 1844

Children: Alice (b. August 1847), Eugene D., Asher, Lloyd, William H., Mary Ellen

Converted to Adventism: c. June 1857 in an evangelistic effort by J.B. Frisbie; Eliza accepts the truth before William.

Occupation: Politician; was church clerk and elder of Caledonia/Gaines SDA Church;

Interesting facts:

-William was the de facto leader of the SDA work in Kent County, Michigan

-James and Ellen White spent a night in the Hardy home in Caledonia Michigan, and later ate breakfast there, as did John Byington

-William was purportedly the first black elected to office in state of Michigan when he was elected supervisor of Gaines Township in 1872

-Eugene was purportedly the first black to graduate from high school in Michigan, which he did in 1877

-Approximately 400 people attended William’s funeral.

William’s death date: June 8, 1888

Eliza Hardy death date: December 13, 1890

Death place: Dutton, Michigan

Obituary: W.C. Wales, Review and Herald, June 19, 1888, pgs. 398-399


Total black Adventists in family: 8 (William, Eliza, Alice, Eugene, Asher, Lloyd, William, Mary)


Name: James Henry Minisee

Birth date: February 25, 1823

Birth place: Yates, Dutchess County, New York

Parents: Prince and Elizabeth Minisee

Wedding date: 1854

Race: Mulatto, Black

Spouse: Marie/Maria

Children: George Henry, Mary, Charles, Jane, Frank, Julia Grace, Helen Elizabeth, Emma Margaret, Anna Maria

Converted to Adventism: c. 1863

Occupation: Farmer

Death date: April 6, 1913

Obituary: S.B. Horton, Review and Herald, May 15, 1913, pg. 22

Total black Adventists in family: 10 (James, Marie, and 8 children)



Name: William F. Minisee/Minesee

Birth date: c. 1826

Birth place: New York State

Parents: Prince and Elizabeth Minisee

Wife: Mary A.

Children: One son

Converted to Adventism: c. 1859

Race: Mulatto, black

Occupation: Farmer

SDA Church: Gaines Township, Michigan

Death date: May 24, 1877

Obituary: Mary A. Minisee, Review and Herald, June 14, 1877, pg. 191

Total black Adventists in family: 3 (William, Mary, and son)


Name: Addie Guy

Parents: Benjamin F. and Martha Jane Guy

Life dates: February 20, 1862-April 3, 1876

Lived: Salon, Kent County, Michigan

Race: Colored, Mulatto

Obit: William and Mary Minisee, Review and Herald, May 11, 1876, pg. 151

Total black Adventists in family: 1 (Addie)