NAD Regional Dept Delegation at the 1975

Timeline of Black Adventist History

1945-1999

Compiled by Benjamin Baker 

1945  

 

January 1: The first black regional conferences begin operations: Lake Region Conference, Northeastern Conference, and Allegheny Conference

 

June 23: The Tucson Church, a black congregation, is organized in Tucson, Arizona.

 

December 6: The General Conference Committee votes: "That beginning with April of 1946 a periodical be published monthly, called "The North American Informant," devoted to the interests of the colored conferences and membership of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination." G.E. Peters was appointed editor.

 

Andrews Memorial Hospital (Jamaica) is established.

 

Frank L. Peterson becomes president of Oakwood University.

 

Churches: 9,496

 

North American Department Colored Department Membership: 19,008

 

Beginning Membership: 557,768

 

End Membership: 576,378

 

 

 

1946              

 

June 3: Irene Morgan vs. Commonwealth of Virginia rules that segregated buses violated the Constitution's protection of interstate commerce.

 

June 5-June 15: 45th General Conference Session, Washington, D.C.

 

July 21: The Douglas B. Simons family flies from New York City for Freetown, Sierra Leone, as missionaries sent by the General Conference.

 

Summer: E.E. Cleveland conducts an evangelistic campaign in Greensboro, North Carolina, assisted by E.C. Ward, Warren Banfield, and Margaret Daniels. A 16-year old C.D. Brooks is impressed to enter the ministry from the influence of Cleveland's preaching that summer.

 

August 1: First issue of The North American Informant, later Regional Voice, appears.

 

August 7-11: 350 members from ten churches in the Central Union Colored Department hold campmeeting in Topeka, Kansas.

 

August 23-25: Allegheny Conference constituency meeting is held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. J.H. Wagner is reelected president and L.H. Bland as secretary-treasurer.

 

August 30-September 1: The black constituency of the Lake Union Conference hold a camp meeting at Shiloh Church in Chicago.

 

September 6-8: Black churches in the northeastern section of Lake Region Conference hold camp meeting in the Hartford Avenue Church in Detroit.

 

September 13-15: Blacks in the Lake Union hold their third camp meeting at Capitol Avenue Church in Indianapolis for believers in Marion, Muncie, Springfield, East St. Louis, and Indianapolis.

 

September 9: Pine Forge Academy opens in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

 

September 21: The Hartford Seventh-day Adventist Company, a company in the Northeastern Conference, is organized in Hartford, Connecticut.

 

December 16: The African American constituency of the Southwestern Union assembles in Dallas, Texas, and organized the Southwestern Mission (precursor to Southwestern Union Conference), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with W.W. Fordham as superintendent.

 

December 31: Message Magazine has a total subscription of 41,170.

 

General Conference sends its first group of black missionaries to Africa: C.D. Henri and family; G.N. Banks and family; and P.E. Giddings and family.

 

Three regional conferences begin operations: South Atlantic Conference, South Central Conference, and Southwest Region Conference

 

Churches: 9,321

 

North American Colored Department Membership: 20,580

 

Regional Conference Membership: 15,876

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 1,514

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $1,381,393.93

 

Beginning Membership: 576,378

 

End Membership: 598,683

 

 

 

1947  

 

January 28-30: Owen A. Troy is elected secretary of the Colored Department at the Pacific Union Conference session.

 

February 3: Dr. S.O. Cherry dies.

 

February 22: A company of 18 is organized in Nacogdoches, Texas, as a result of the labors of A.B. Humphrey.

 

March 1: C.T. Richards is ordained at the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

June 5-14: South Central Conference campmeeting is held at Oakwood College.

 

June 5-14: The first campmeeting of the South Atlantic Conference is held outside Jacksonville, Florida.

 

June 9: Pine Forge Academy holds is first graduation with six graduates.

 

July 3-13: Allegheny Conference campmeeting is held at Pine Forge Academy in Pennsylvania.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 16,703

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 1,554

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $1,384,240.32

 

Churches: 9,554

 

Beginning Membership: 598,683

 

End Membership: 628,594

 

 

 

1948              

 

August 19-29: Central States Conference holds what was hailed at the time by T.M. Rowe as "the greatest camp meetins session in the history of our organization."

 

September 1-4: Southern Union Youth's Congress is held at Oakwood College.

 

September 5: The main building of Riverside Sanitarium and Hospital (Nashville, TN) is dedicated.

 

September 18: E.E. Cleveland baptizes 114 persons in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 17,485

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 1,382

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $1,529,514.25

 

Churches: 9,749

 

Beginning Membership: 628,594

 

End Membership: 672,658

 

 

 

1949  

 

May 22: 61 students graduated with a baccalaureate degree from Oakwood College, the largest class of graduates since the school became a college.

 

June: The South Atlantic Conference camp meeting has an attendance of more than 1,000.

 

June: T.M. Fountain replaces J.G. Dasent as president of the Lake Region Conference.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 18,257

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 1,626

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $1,618,696.55

 

Churches: 9,991

 

Beginning Membership: 672,658

 

End Membership: 716,538

 

 

1950              

 

July 10-July 22: 46th General Conference Session, San Francisco, California.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 20,447

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 1,663

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $1,806,956.31

 

Churches: 10,237

 

Beginning Membership: 716,538

 

End Membership: 756,812

 

 

 

1951  

 

August 3: Charles M. Kinny dies.

 

September 18: Ben Carson is born.   

 

Calvin E. Moseley, Jr., makes first missionary trip to Africa for the General Conference Colored Department.

 

Louis B. Reynolds becomes first black editor of Message.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 22,264

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,071

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $2,015,816.07

 

Churches: 10,585

 

Beginning Membership: 756,812

 

End Membership: 803,720

 

 

 

1952              

 

September 1-September 13: Bible Conference held in Washington, D.C.

 

November 19: Hattie Andre dies.

 

Central States Conference is organized.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 28,907

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,628

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $2,396,401.03

 

Churches: 10,830

 

Beginning Membership: 803,720

 

End Membership: 856,463

1953  

 

June 30: G.E. Peters retires from official work, his lost post as secretary of the Colored Department at the General Conference.

 

October 10: Louis Harold Bland dies.

 

C.E. Moseley becomes secretary of the Colored Department.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 29,512

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,301

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $2,435,541.34

 

Churches: 11,158

 

Beginning Membership: 856,463

 

End Membership: 924,822

 

 

 

1954

 

May 24-June 5: 46th General Conference Session, San Francisco, California.

 

November 11: J.G. Dasent dies.

 

E.E. Cleveland holds historic evangelistic meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, where over 500 persons are baptized.

 

E.E. Cleveland is elected Associate Secretary of the Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He serves there for 23 years.   

 

F.L. Peterson is elected first Negro Associate Secretary of General Conference and Secretary of North American Colored Department at the General Conference session.

 

Garland J. Millet becomes president of Oakwood University.

 

North American Colored Department becomes North American Regional Department.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 26,139

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,866

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $2,630,313.44

 

Churches: 11,447

 

Beginning Membership: 924,822

 

End Membership: 972,071

 

 

 

1955              

 

December 1: Minneola Dozier Smith, a Seventh-day Adventist, stands behind Rosa Parks seat on the Cleveland Avenue bus in Montgomery, Alabama, when Parks refuses to relinquish her seat.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 26,309

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,243

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $2,853,734.03

 

Churches: 11,745

 

Beginning Membership: 972,071

 

End Membership: 1,006,218

 

 

 

1956

 

July: Maurice T. Battle begins tenure as president of the Liberian Mission.

 

ADRA is established under the name Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Service (SAWS).

 

Regional Conference Membership: 27,872

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,300

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $2,956,057.10

 

Churches: 12,018

 

Beginning Membership: 1,006,218

 

End Membership: 1,051,452

 

 

 

1957

 

February: William Robinson begins tenure as president of the Uganda Mission.

 

September 23: Terrence Roberts, a Seventh-day Adventist and one of the "Little Rock Nine," deals a decisive blow to racial segregationism by attending Little Rock's Central High.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 29,720

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,857

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $3,259,276.40

 

Churches: 12,291

 

Beginning Membership: 1,051,452

 

End Membership: 1,102,910

 

 

 

1958              

 

June 19-June 28: 48th General Conference Session, Cleveland, Ohio.

 

June: C.E. Moseley is elected field secretary of the General Conference.

 

August 31: Phillips Memorial Hospital in Orlando, Florida, a hospital for blacks, is dedicated.

 

December 4: Oakwood College receives accreditation.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 32,191

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 3,813

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $3,524,223.49

 

Churches: 12,421

 

Beginning Membership: 1,102,910

 

End Membership: 1,149,256

 

 

 

1959              

 

June 25: James Lamar McElhany dies.

 

October 5: L.B. Mitchell begins tenure as director of Bassa Mission in Liberia.

 

Adventist Youth Service (AYS) programs begin.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 33,835

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,654

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $3,989,035.88

 

Churches: 12,707

 

T&O (51-60): $434,697,327

 

Beginning Membership: 1,149,256

 

End Membership: 1,194,070

 

 

 

1960              

 

September 10: Inauguration of new College Church in Loma Linda, California (now known as University Church).

 

Emmanuel Missionary College becomes Andrews University.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 34,176

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,760

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $4,822,362.12

 

Churches: 12,975

 

T&O: $59,132,241

 

Beginning Membership: 1,194,070

 

End Membership: 1,245,125

 

 

 

1961              

 

June 21: Jeter E. Cox dies on his farm in Kilmarnock, Virginia.

 

October 27: The Annual Council adopts this statement on "Human Relations:"

 

HUMAN RELATIONS IN THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH

 

"VOTED, That the following statement be accepted as setting forth human relations in the Seventh-day Adventist Church:

 

"The Seventh-day Adventist church is a world church. The task that Seventh-day Adventists have assumed is the preaching of the gospel to every tongue and nation. They believe that all men are of one blood and are equally destined for eternity in the heavenly kingdom.

 

"The stand of our church on these basic principles involved in race and national relationships has been set forth clearly for many decades in many of our standard publications. The following quotations are representative of our belief and teaching:

 

 

"Christ cane to this earth with a message of mercy and forgiveness. He laid the foundation for a religion by which Jew and Gentile, black and white, free and bond, are linked together in one common brotherhood, recognized as equal in the sight of God. The Saviour has a boundless love for every human being. In each one He sees capacity for improvement. With divine energy and hope He greets those for whom He has given His life. In His strength they can live a life rich in

good works, filled with the power of the Spirit." -- Testimonies, volume 7, page 225.

 

 

"No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple, that every soul may have free access to God. . . In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free. All are brought nigh by His precious blood." --Christ's Object Lessons, page 386

 

"The religion of the Bible recognizes no caste or color. It ignores rank, wealth, worldly honor. God estimates men as men." --Testimonies, volume 9, page 223.

 

"Thus Christ sought to teach the disciples the truth that in God's kingdom there are no territorial lines, no caste, no aristocracy; that they must go to all nations, bearing to them the message of a Saviour's love." --Acts of the Apostles, page 20.

 

 

"When the Holy Spirit is poured out, there will be a triumph of humanity over prejudice in seeking the salvation of the souls of human beings. God will control minds. Human hearts will love as Christ loved. And the color-line will be regarded by many very differently from the way in which it is now regarded. To love as Christ loves, lifts the mind into a pure, heavenly, unselfish, atmosphere." --Testimonies, volume 9, page 209.

 

"These truths so clearly enunciated and supported in Holy Scripture, caused a new day to dawn upon our earth. They broke down the partition walls between adversaries, between races, between men. No more was there to be a distinction of a race or caste or people. The elect of God became a universal race, a new humanity. The implication was love and pity and respect toward all men--total love, unrestricted duty. Christians moved with compassion would look upon a dying world with deep concern, for God is the father of mankind and all men are their brothers.

 

"We believe that a denial in any form of this universal fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man would eat the heart out of a world movement and stifle as nothing else could the spirit of "Abbe, Father."

 

Alma Foggo York is the first black instructor of nursing at Boston Hospital for Woman, a Harvard University affiliate.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 31,399

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 3,505

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $4,692,394.82

 

Churches: 13,369

 

Beginning Membership: 1,245,125

 

End Membership: 1,307,892

 

 

 

1962  

 

July 26-August 2: 49th General Conference Session, San Francisco, California.

 

July 29: Frank L. Peterson is elected a general vice president of the General Conference, the first person of color to be in the position.

 

Donald Blake becomes a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Walla Walla University, among the first black Adventists to be a faculty member in an Adventist college in the United States not Oakwood.

 

H.D. Singleton becomes secretary of the Colored Department.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 37,480

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 2,323

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $5,603,741.85

 

Churches: 13,588

 

Beginning Membership: 1,307,892

 

End Membership: 1,362,775

 

 

 

1963  

 

Addison V. Pinkney becomes president of Oakwood University.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 39,871

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 13,207

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $5,998,101.35

 

Churches: 13,856

 

Beginning Membership: 1,362,775

 

End Membership: 1,428,352

 

 

 

1964 

 

June 4: Ground is broken for Loma Linda Hospital (now Loma Linda University Medical Center).

 

September: Andrews High School (Trinidad) opens.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 42,221

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 3,551

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $6,386,084.37

 

Churches: 14,316

 

Beginning Membership: 1,428,352

 

End Membership: 1,508,056

 

1965  

 

April 13-14: Spring Meeting votes the following resolution on "Human Relations:"

 

WHEREAS, The Seventh-day Adventist Church in its Autumn Council of 1961 took action rededicating our denomination to the basic principles contained in the following representative statement by Ellen G. White:

 

 

"No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple, that every soul may have free access to God. . . . In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor tree. All are brought nigh by His precious blood."— Christ's Object Lessons, p. 386.

 

WHEREAS, It is our belief and conviction that all persons should be given full and equal opportunity within the church to develop the knowledge and skills needed in the building up of that church, and that all service and positions of leadership on all levels of church activity should be open on the basis of qualifications without regard to race; therefore,

 

We recommend, That the following principles and practices be adopted and carried out in our churches and institutions:

 

 

1. Membership and office in all churches and on all levels must be available to anyone who qualifies, without regard to race.

2. In our educational institutions there should be no racial bias in the employment of teachers or other personnel nor in the admission of students.

3. Hospitals and rest homes should make no racial distinction in admitting patients or in making their facilities available to physicians, interns, residents, nurses, and administrators who meet the professional standards of the institution.

 

 

It is further recommended that these recommendations be given very serious consideration and that every effort be put forth to implement them as rapidly as is consistently possible.

 

June 30: George E. Peters dies.

 

Alice Princess by Alice P. Siwundhla is published.

 

E.E. Cleveland holds evangelistic meeting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad where 812 are baptized and another 400 in follow-up meetings.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 44,881

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 4,846

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $6,791,880.81

 

Churches: 14,651

 

Beginning Membership: 1,508,056

 

End Membership: 1,578,504

1966              

 

January 25: Loma Linda University Hospital is completed.

 

June 16-June 25: 50th General Conference Session, Detroit, Michigan.

 

June: F.L. Bland is elected a general vice president of the General Conference, the second person of color to be elected to the position.

 

June: Frank W. Hale becomes president of Oakwood University.

 

November 20: Vote is taken to organize two new conferences in Allegheny territory: Allegheny East and Allegheny West.

 

December: George R. Earle is elected president of Northeastern Conference following the death of R.T. Hudson.

 

First edition of the Seventh-day Encyclopedia is published.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 47,204

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 3,771

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $7,697,674.52

 

Churches: 14,980

 

Beginning Membership: 1,578,529

 

End Membership: 1,661,657

 

 

 

1967 

 

April: Walter M. Starks is elected president of Allegheny West Conference.

 

April 19: Douglas B. Simons is elected president of Allegheny West Conference.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 49,184

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 3,454

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $8,368,148.43

 

Churches: 15,303

 

Beginning Membership: 1,661,657

 

End Membership: 1,747,614

 

 

 

1968              

 

April 5: In tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, death, more than 1,000 students and staff dressed in black gather in the Ashby Auditorium at Oakwood College. President Frank Hale declares an indefinite state of morning on the Oakwood College campus, and the American flag in the center of the campus at the Bell Tower should be flown at half mast for 30 days. A program in honor of King is held in Ashby.

 

June 2: Andrews University confers Doctor of Divinity degree on E.E. Cleveland, the first black to receive a doctorate from Andrews.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 52,211

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 4,720

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $10,145,567.03

 

Churches: 15,744

 

Beginning Membership: 1,747,607

 

End Membership: 1,845,183

 

 

 

1969  

 

November 10: W.J. Cleveland is elected president of Southwest Region Conference.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 55,053

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 4,497

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $11,611,580.71

 

Churches: 16,257

 

T&O (61-70): $886,947.488

 

Beginning Membership: 1,845,183

 

End Membership: 1,953,078

 

 

 

1970  

 

March 26: C.D. Henri is elected president of the East African Union.

 

April 2, 1970: The North American Division issues a 16-point recommendation on "Regional Conferences and Human Relations"

 

June 4: C.L. Brooks is elected Sabbath School and Religious Liberty Secretary for Southern Union.

 

June 11-June 20: 51st General Conference Session, Atlantic City, New Jersey. At the session, the following blacks are elected or reelected:

 

    M.T. Battle: Associate secretary, Lay Activities Department (first black elected to position)

 

    F.L. Bland: General vice president

 

    C.E. Bradford: Associate secretary, General Conference (first black elected to position)

 

    E.E. Cleveland: Associate secretary, Ministerial Association

 

    W.W. Fordham: Associate secretary, North American Regional Department

 

    G.J. Millet: Associate secretary, Education Department (first black elected to position

 

    C.E. Moseley: General field secretary  

 

    A.V. Pinkney: Associate Temperance secretary

 

    L.B. Reynolds: Associate Sabbath School secretary

 

    H.D. Singleton: Secretary, North American Regional Department

 

    W.M. Stark, Secretary, Stewardship and Church Development Department

 

June 12: W.A. Thompson is elected executive secretary of the Columbia Union Conference.

 

June 28: Edward Dorsey is elected president of Allegheny East Conference.

 

July 6: John R. Wagner is elected president of Lake Region Conference.

 

Cave Memorial clinic and Nursing Home (Barbados) opens.

 

E.G. White and Church Race Relations by Ronald Graybill is published.

 

Free at Last by E.E. Cleveland is published.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 58,235

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 4,346

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $13,336,665.22

 

Churches: 16,505

 

T&O: $124,046,447

 

Beginning Membership: 1,953,078

 

End Membership: 2,051,864

 

 

 

1971  

 

October 1: Adventist World Radio (AWR) begins broadcasting.

 

November 17: Anna Knight is presented the Medallion of Merit Award, the highest recognition given by the General Conference for extraordinary meritorious service to Seventh-day Adventist education.

 

Adventist Media center (AMC) is instituted.

 

Byron Spears becomes an evangelist with the Voice of Prophecy.

 

Calvin B. Rock becomes president of Oakwood University.

 

Charles D. Brooks is elected general field secretary of the General Conference, replacing C.E. Moseley.

 

Mission to Black America by Ronald D. Graybill, a work on the efforts of Edson White, Will Palmer, and the Southern Missionary Society for African Americans in the Deep South at the turn of the century, is published by Pacific Press.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 61,312

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 4,832

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $14,693,320.08

 

Churches: 16,726

 

Beginning Membership: 2,051,864

 

End Membership: 2,145,061

 

 

 

1972

 

January 6: Victory Lake Nursing Home in Hyde Park, New York, begins operation.

 

March 25: James L. Moran dies.

 

June 3: Anna Knight dies in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

C.D. Henri is elected a general vice president of the General Conference.

 

Clarence and Carol Barron Thomas leave for Brazil, becoming the first black missionaries to South America.

 

The Apollo 15 mission is successful. Tires for the moon buggy created by Adventist inventor Robert Shurney are used.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 65,630

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 5,696

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $16,525,196.18

 

Churches: 17,150

 

Beginning Membership: 2,145,061

 

End Membership: 2,261,403

 

 

 

1973              

 

January 1: Washington Sanitarium and Hospital becomes Washington Adventist Hospital.

 

June 4: Arna Bontemps dies.

 

December 28: Association of SDA Historians is founded.

 

Eva B. Dykes Library is dedicated at Oakwood College.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 70,500

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 6,428

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $18,451,564.00

 

Churches: 17,448

 

Beginning Membership: 2,261,403

 

End Membership: 2,390,124

 

 

 

1974  

 

July: C.D. Brooks becomes speaker-director of Breath of Life and tapes his first telecast at the Adventist Media Center in Thousand Oaks, California.

June 2: Anita Johnson Mackey receives honorary doctorate degree from Andrews University, the first black woman to be thus honored.

October 27: Prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago Eric Williams receives an honorary doctorate from Andrews University.

DeWitt Williams is appointed assistant secretary of General Conference Department of Communication.

 

Oakwood College enrollment exceeds 1,000.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 74,878

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 6,517

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $20,891,489.00

 

Churches: 17,841

 

Beginning Membership: 2,390,064

 

End Membership: 2,521,429

 

 

 

1975  

 

January 12: Breath of Life telecast is first aired in Detroit, Michigan.

 

September 10: F.L. Bland dies.

 

The Colored Department becomes the North American Office of Regional Affairs. W.W. Fordham is its first director.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 80,399

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 7,960

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $23,486,834.00

 

Churches: 18,437

 

Beginning Membership: 2,521,402

 

End Membership: 2,666,484

 

 

 

1976  

 

November 16: Lottie Blake dies.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 82,756

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 6,965

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $25,517,644.00

 

Churches: 19,225

 

Beginning Membership: 2,666,484

 

End Membership: 2,810,606

 

 

 

1977  

 

Regional Conference Membership: 88,283

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 8,503

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $30,383,880.00

 

Churches: 19,761

 

Beginning Membership: 2,810,606

 

End Membership: 2,949,758

 

 

 

1978

 

March 15: GC president Robert Pierson issues nine recommendations to the South England Conference for racial equity in Britain. 

 

April 23: Jacob Justiss dies.

 

June 4: Andrews University awards Charles Bradford an honorary Doctor of Divinity.

 

The North American Office of Regional Affairs becomes the Office of Ethnic Relations. W.S. Banfield is its first director.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 93,290

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 9,373

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $32,773,674.00

 

Churches: 20,446

 

Beginning Membership: 2,949,758

 

End Membership: 3,117,535

 

 

 

1979

 

January 3: Neal C. Wilson becomes seventeenth president of the General Conference.

 

March 22: Thomas Milton Rowe dies in Sweetwater, Tennessee.

 

June 3: B.L. Archbold receives an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Andrews University.

Atlanta Adventist Academy (AAA) opens.

 

E.E. Cleveland founds the Annual Council on Evangelism held each winter at Oakwood University.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 98,215

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 8,060

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $37,414,353.00

 

Churches: 21,061

 

T&O (1971-80): $2,520,612,522

 

Beginning Membership: 3,117,535

 

End Membership: 3,308,191

 

 

 

1980

 

April 16: G. Ralph Thompson is appointed secretary of the General Conference.

 

April 25: The 27 Fundamental Beliefs are voted at the Fifteenth Business Meeting at the GC Session in Dallas, Texas. Fundamental Belief 13 "Unity in the Body of Christ" states:

 

"The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ..."

 

Thompson U. Kay becomes first director of Deaf Services (now Christian Record Services) at the General Conference.

 

The Southern Publishing Association merges with the Review and Herald.

 

April 16-April 28: 53rd General Conference Session, Dallas, Texas.

 

April 17: G. Ralph Thompson is elected executive secretary of the General Conference, the first person of color to hold the position.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 103,861

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 8,201

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $40,084,026.00

 

Churches: 21,555

 

T&O:   $398,880,407

 

Beginning Membership: 3,308,191

 

End Membership: 3,480,518

 

 

 

1981  

 

January 1: Southeastern Conference begin operations, headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

 

April 11: Addison Pinkney dies.

 

Church Manual contains 27 Fundamental Beliefs for the first time.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 109,024

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 7,919

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $46,393,273.00

 

Churches: 22,094

 

Beginning Membership: 3,480,518

 

End Membership: 3,668,087

 

 

1982  

 

April 9: B.W. Abney, Sr., dies.

 

Jannith Lewis becomes the first Seventh-day Adventist woman to earn a doctoral degree in library science.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 114,610

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 8,389

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $50,415,399.00

 

Churches: 23,302

 

Beginning Membership: 3,668,087

 

End Membership: 3,897,814

 

 

1983  

 

June 5: G. Ralph Thompson receives an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Andrews University.

September 12: Louis B. Reynolds dies.

 

October: AWR begins broadcasting in Africa.

 

November 10: Harvey Ward Kibble dies in a car accident in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 121,832

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 9,222

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $48,660,941.00

 

Churches: 23,722

 

Beginning Membership: 3,897,814

 

End Membership: 4,140,206

 

 

 

1984  

 

Mary Kate Stovall-Tapley becomes the first black mayor of Hurtsboro, Alabama.

 

We Have Tomorrow by Louis B. Reynolds is published.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 125,375

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 7,914

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $53,383,136.00

 

Churches: 24,663

 

Beginning Membership: 4,140,206

 

End Membership: 4,424,612

 

 

1985  

 

June 27-July 6: 54th General Conference Session, New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

June 27: "After consultation with the 16 world vice presidents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, General Conference president Neal C. Wilson issued the following public statement:

 

"One of the odious evils of our day is racism, the belief or practice that views or treats certain racial groups as inferior and therefore justifiably the object of domination, discrimination, and segregation.

"While the sin of racism is an age-old phenomenon based on ignorance, fear, estrangement, and false pride, some of its ugliest manifestations have taken place in our time. Racism and irrational prejudices operate in a vicious circle. Racism is among the worst of ingrained prejudices that characterize sinful human beings. Its consequences are generally more devastating because racism easily becomes permanently institutionalized and legalized and in its extreme manifestations can lead to systematic persecution and even genocide.

"The Seventh-day Adventist Church deplores all forms of racism, including the political policy of

apartheid with its enforced segregation and legalized discrimination. Seventh-day Adventists want to be faithful to the reconciling ministry assigned to the Christian church. As a worldwide community of faith, the Seventh-day Adventist Church wishes to witness to and exhibit in her own ranks the unity and love that transcend racial differences and overcome past alienation

between races.

"Scripture plainly teaches that every person was created in the image of God, who "made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26). Racial discrimination is an offense against our fellow human beings, who were created in God's image. In Christ "there is neither Jew nor Greek" (Gal. 3:28). Therefore, racism is really a heresy and in essence a form of idolatry, for it limits the fatherhood of God by denying the brotherhood of all mankind and by exalting the superiority of one's own race.

"The standard for Seventh-day Adventist Christians is acknowledged in the church's Bible-based

Fundamental Belief No. 13, "Unity in the Body of Christ." Here it is pointed out: "In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation."

"Any other approach destroys the heart of the Christian gospel."

 

August 4: C.D. Brooks receives an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Andrews University.

Benjamin F. Reaves becomes president of Oakwood University.

 

First NAD Pathfinder Camporee is held in Camp Hale, Colorado.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 127,943

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 7,132

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $60,092,371.00

 

Churches: 25,547

 

Beginning Membership: 4,424,612

 

End Membership: 4,716,859

1986  

 

October 22: E.E. Cleveland is invited to the White House for a briefing with President Ronald Reagan on International and National Affairs.

 

October 29: Eva Beatrice Dykes dies.

 

Bermuda Mission becomes Bermuda Conference.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 135,302

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 5,238

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $59,320,039.00

 

Churches: 26,684

 

Beginning Membership: 4,716,859

 

End Membership: 5,092,503

 

 

 

1987  

 

September 6: Ben Carson successfully separates conjoined twins.

 

The Unknown Prophet by Delbert W. Baker is published. It transforms the church's thinking on William Ellis Foy, a black Millerite prophet.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 147,832

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 7,860

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $67,523,566.00

 

Churches: 27,791

 

Beginning Membership: 5,092,503

 

End Membership: 5,445,249

 

 

 

1988  

 

June 5: Alma Blackmon receives an honorary Doctorate of Music from Andrews University.

Regional Conference Membership: 143,982

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 6,619

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $74,408,365.00

 

Churches: 29,039

 

Beginning Membership: 5,445,249

 

End Membership: 5,816,767

 

 

 

1989  

 

June 4: George W. Brown receives an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Andrews University.

June 4: Ben Carson receives an honorary Doctorate of Science from Andrews University.

December 23: Charles Lee Brooks dies.

 

Rosa Banks becomes secretary of North American Division Office of Human Relations.

 

Regional Conference Membership: 150,181

 

Regional Conference Baptisms: 8,487

 

Regional Conference Tithes and Offerings: $89,623,697.00

 

Churches: 30,711

 

T&O (1981-90): $5,069,051,968

 

Beginning Membership: 5,816,767

 

End Membership: 6,260,617 

 

 

1990  

 

February 21: Natelkka Burrell dies.

 

July 5: George W. Brown is nominated General Conference president, but declines.

 

July 5-July 14: 55th General Conference Session, Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 160,434

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 7,899

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 689

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $95,928,755

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 6,260,617

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 6,694,880

 

 

1991

 

June 9: Chessie Harris receives an honorary Doctorate of Humane from Andrews University.

Adventist Health Systems is reorganized.

 

Gifted Hands by Ben Carson with Cecil Murphy is published.

 

The Seventh-day Diet by Chris Rucker and Jan Hoffman is published.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 160,434

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 7,899

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 689

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $95,928,755.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 6,694,880

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 7,102,976

 

 

1992  

 

May 24: Eleanor Wright dies.

 

August 9: C.E. Dudley receives an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Andrews University.

October 1: Delbert Baker becomes the first black associate secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate.

 

December 8: The Atlantic Union Executive Committee elects David Taylor to serve as president of Atlantic Union Conference.

 

Charles Bradford is inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers and Scholars at Morehouse College.

 

Think Big by Ben Carson with Cecil Murphy is published.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 165,909

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 8,292

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 700

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $86,006,001.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 7,102,976

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 7,498,643

 

 

1993  

 

January: David Taylor begins as the first black president of Atlantic Union Conference.

 

June 6: Herbert Doggette, Jr. receives an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Andrews University. 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 171,692

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 8,025

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 701

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $95,961,952.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 7,498,653

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 7,962,210

 

 

1994

 

November 6: The Atlantic Union Executive Committee elects Theodore T. Jones, II, to serve as president of the Atlantic Union Conference.

 

The Power of a Dream by Wintley Phipps with Goldie Down is published.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 176,735

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 7,718

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 712

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $97,941,764.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 7,962,210

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 8,382,558

 

 

1995

 

January: Theodore T. Jones, II, begins as president of the Atlantic Union Conference.

 

March-April: C.D. Brooks conducts his last evangelistic series as speaker-director of Breath of Life.

 

June 29-July 8: 56th General Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands.

 

July 4: Baraka Muganda is elected director of the General Conference Youth Ministries Department, the first person of color to hold the position.

 

If My People Pray by Randy Maxwell is published.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 180,436

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 7,022

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 713

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $108,881,154.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 8,382,558

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 8,812,555

 

 

1996

 

January 1: C.D. Brooks officially retires as a General Conference field secretary; starting in 1971, he is the longest individual to hold the position.

 

March: Telling the Story: An Anthology on the Development of the Black SDA Work by Delbert Baker, is published.

 

September: Delbert W. Baker becomes president of Oakwood University.

 

Oakwood! A Vision Splendid by Mervyn Warren is published.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 186,260

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 7,990

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 741

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $108,043,896.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 8,812,558

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 9,296,127

 

 

1997

 

Spring: C.D. Brooks retires as the first speaker-director of Breath of Life Ministries. He is succeeded by Walter Pearson.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 190,836

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 7,657

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 766

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $114,835,782.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 9,296,127

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 9,702,834

 

 

1998

 

January 11: Harold L. Lee is elected the first black president of Columbia Union Conference.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 194,678

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 7,767

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 777

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $133,200,923.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): $9,702,834

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 10,163,414

 

 

1999

 

February 7: Upon Robert Folkenberg's official resignation, G. Ralph Thompson, a black man, becomes the interim General Conference president.

 

October: North American Division holds race relations summit.

 

Sabbath Roots by Charles Bradford is published.

 

Worldwide enrollment in Adventist schools surpasses one million.

 

Regional Conferences Membership (End of year): 200,764

 

Regional Conferences Baptisms (End of year): 7,438

 

Regional Conferences Churches (End of year): 777

 

Regional Conferences Tithes & Offerings (End of year): $150,711,973.00

 

Global Church Tithes & Offering (End of year): $8,892,010,360.00

 

Global Church Membership (Beginning of year): 10,163,414

 

Global Church Membership (End of year): 10,939,182