George Edward Peters was a pioneering Black Seventh-day
Adventist administrator, educator, writer, and editor across North America.
Peters was born on February 1, 1883, to Henry and Sarah Peters in
the Parish of St. Paul, on the island of Antigua in the British West Indies.
His father was a Moravian school teacher who became one of the early Seventh-day Adventists
in the Caribbean during the 1880s.
G. E. Peters attended Oakwood College during its early days and began his
church ministry in Alabama in June 1908. He held pioneering evangelistic
programs throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida, and won
hundreds to the church. In Tampa, Florida, in the early 1920s, 245 were won in
one evangelistic campaign; 145 were baptized in one day--an Adventist record
which stood to the 1960s. Peters was the author of numerous articles in the Review
and Herald between 1909 and 1953.
Peters was first appointed Secretary of the "Negro Department" of the
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) in 1929. He pastored and
acquired new, prominent churches such as Shiloh Adventist Church in Chicago
(1926) and Ephesus Adventist Church in New York City (1930). He was widely
recognized as a "Pastor of Pastors" during the 45 years he served the
Peters lived in Washington, D.C., for over 15 years, mostly from 1941 to 1953
when he served as the "Secretary of the Negro" and later the
"Colored Department" of the GC (1941 to 1951), and Field Secretary of
the GC (1951-1953). He courageously fought for racial equality within the
church, the expansion of educational opportunities for Black Americans, and the
right of Black Adventists to have their own conferences. He assisted in naming
the Allegheny Conference, was co-founder of Riverside Hospital, and was the
first editor of the North American Informant, between 1946 and 1954.
Peters attended the first Adventist school founded in Trinidad, West Indies, in
1900, and lived in Panama with his family before migrating to the US during the
first part of the 20th century. His effective evangelistic approach in North
America resulted in over 2,600 joining the Church, and he started dozens of
churches and church schools. He is the author of the book The Dead Shall Live
Elder Peters died on June 30, 1965, in Philadelphia, leaving his wife and
numerous sons and daughters by adoption. Many of them are now outstanding
leaders serving around the world.
-Glenn O. Phillips