The First General Conference Session – Part One


May 20, 1863

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists convened according to appointment at Battle Creek, Michigan, May 20, at 6 o’clock p.m. The meeting was temporarily organized by choosing

J. M. Aldrich, chairman, and

U. Smith, secretary.

The Conference was then opened by singing the hymn on page 233, and prayer by Brother Snook. A committee to receive and judge of the credentials of delegates being called for, it was

VOTED, That we have a committee of three on credentials.

The following brethren were thereupon chosen as that committee:

Elder J. N. Loughborough, of Michigan;

C. O. Taylor, of New York; and

Isaac Sanborn, of Wisconsin.

The remainder of this session was occupied in the presentation of credentials to the committee, and the meeting adjourned to the following morning, May 21, at 9 o’clock.

In the morning session, the committee announced the following brethren as the duly elected delegates from their respective states:

from New York, Brethren

J. N. Andrews,

N. Fuller, C. O. Taylor, and J. M. Aldrich;

from Ohio, I. N. Van Gorder;

from Michigan, the ministers present from that state, namely, Brethren







Cornell, and


with a lay representation of Brethren James Harvey, of North Liberty, Indiana, and William S. Higley, Jr., of Lapeer, Michigan;

from Wisconsin, Isaac Sanborn;

from Iowa, Brethren B. F. Snook, and W. H. Brinkerhoff;

from Minnesota,

Washington Morse.

The report of the committee was accepted.

VOTED, That Brother H. F. Baker be received as an additional delegate from Ohio.

The following brethren were then appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws for the government of this Conference: Brethren J. N. Andrews, N. Fuller, I. Sanborn, W. Morse, H. F. Baker, B. F. Snook, J. H. Waggoner, and J. N. Loughborough.

After due deliberation the committee presented the following constitution for the consideration of the Conference:


For the purpose of securing unity and efficiency in labor, and promoting the general interests of the cause of present truth, and of perfecting the (3–GCS 63-88) organization of the Seventh-day Adventists, we, the delegates from the several State Conferences, hereby proceed to organize a General Conference, and adopt the following constitution for the government thereof:…

Source: Transcription of minutes of GC sessions from 1863 to 1888 (a pdf file)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: