Time-line Summary of the Great Advent Movement

Church Heritage Manual

Section 15, Time-line Summary of the Great Advent Movement

First we studied the development of the work in broad chronological strokes; then we looked at its various phases of activity and geographical components to get a clearer picture. But our church didn’t develop by phases nor by segments in a coordinated, methodical pattern; it grew as the Spirit of God moved on the minds of men in different places and in different manners to meet the needs of the gospel commission. Geography, phases, concepts and people are all intertwined throughout the growth and history, creating a strong web of faith in the soon return of Christ encircling the globe. Following is a brief chronological summary for easy reference (obviously, space limits its completeness and regions may wish to add those dates that are important to them).

(Section 2– 1755-1843)

This is the period which brought the Biblical time prophesies to a close and Christianity to a

1755 The Lisbon earthquake
1780 The Dark Day
1782 William Miller is born
1792 Joseph Bates is born
1793 Era of Protestant missions begins; William Carey travels to India
1798 End of the 1260-year prophecy
1804 British and Foreign Bible Society organized
1807 Protestant missionary to China– Robert Morrison
1813 Missionary to Burma– Adoniram Judson
1816 Missionary to South Pacific– John Williams
1817 Missionary to Africa– Robert Moffat
1827 Ellen Harmon (later White) born near Portland, Maine
1831 William Miller, Joseph Wolff and others begin to preach on Second Advent
1833 Falling of the stars
1839 Joshua V. Himes joins Miller; preaching enters the large cities
1840 Himes publishes first Advent periodical; Livingstone sails for Cape Town, Africa
1842 Charles Fitch produces prophetic charts; James White begins preaching
1843 “Midnight cry” message proclaimed in preparation for second coming

(Section 3– 1844-1852)

A formative and shaking period for those who believed in the soon second coming; the elements
were taking shape that would soon be used in the assemblage of a strong organization.

1844 The “great disappointment,” the Sabbath (Washington, New Hampshire) and sanctuary
(Hiram Edson) truths discovered; the gift of prophecy given to the remnant; first public
telegraph message sent by Samuel Morse: “What hath God wrought!”
1845 Joseph Bates, J. N. Andrews and others accept the Sabbath
1846 Whites accept Sabbath doctrine
1847 Sabbath vision given to Ellen White
1848 First general meetings of Sabbathkeepers: “Six Sabbath Conferences”; vision to start a small
1849 First periodical published: Present Truth; Review and Herald Publishing begins here
1850 First edition of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald
1852 Youth’s Instructor first published; first Sabbath School lessons (written by James White)

(Section 4– 1853-1863)

With growth came a need for structure; with the need came also a plan, given in answer to prayer.

1853 Identity cards issued to ministers; first Sabbath School organized; first church school established, with Martha Byington as teacher; Uriah Smith joins the Review office
1854 First tent meetings held by Loughborough and Cornell
1855 Headquarters moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, and first building erected for Review
1859 “Systematic Benevolence” plan of giving adopted
1860 Name “Seventh-day Adventist” adopted
1861 First conference formed in Michigan; Review and Herald incorporated in Battle Creek
1863 General Conference organized and first session held; first steps in health reform taken

(Section 5– 1864-1873)

The window on the world of challenges began to open to Seventh-day Adventists. Missionaries first
went to California (via Panama, because the transcontinental rail only opened in 1869) and the
southern states.

1864 Adventists given noncombatant status in Civil War
1866 First sanitarium (hospital) at Battle Creek; first health journal, The Health Reformer
1868 First workers sent to California; first camp meeting (Wright, Michigan)
1869 First tract and missionary society formed; John Erzberger asks for a missionary to Europe
1872 Death of Joseph Bates;

Advent Tidende , published in Danish (in the U.S.); school opens in Battle Creek and will become the first college of the denomination

(Section 6– 1874-1878)

The window now includes several countries, seven languages, numerous institutions added, and by:

1880 the membership stands at 15,570
1874 J. N. Andrews goes to Switzerland; Signs of the Times published
1875 Pacific Press Publishing begins
1876 France hears the third angel’s message; Germany organizes their first church; Les Signes des Temps published as first European paper
1877 J. G. Matteson, first missionary to Scandinavia
1878 First Sabbath School offerings collected for mission work; Ings and Loughborough go to England

(Section 7– 1879-1904)

By 1904 (twenty-four years later) we had more members outside North America than the total membership was in 1880. During this period, the third angel’s message went to Australia, Africa, India, South America, Gulf of Mexico, China and the South Sea Islands. From seven languages we expanded to twenty-two. A new wave of youth found their opportunity and mission.

1879 Harry Fenner and Luther Warren organize the first youth society to work on behalf of their peers
1880 First baptisms in England; first conference outside N. America– Denmark
1881 First colporteur, G. A. King; death of James White
1883 Nurses training begins at Battle Creek; death of J. N. Andrews
1885 First missionaries to Australia; Ellen White visits Europe
1886 Work begun on Pitcairn Is.; first church organized in Russia
1887 First missionaries to Africa (Cape Town); first campmeeting in Europe (Norway); colporteurs enter Guyana
1888 Abram LaRue goes to Hong Kong; historic General Conference session at Minneapolis
1889 First missionaries to Turkey, Barbados; Religious Liberty Association organized
1890 S.S. Pitcairn plies the waters of the South Pacific; first youth-related leadership manual published: Manual of Suggestions for Those Conducting Youth Meetings
1891 Ellen White goes to Australia; work established in Mexico, Central America
1892 Work begins in Finland, Brazil, Jamaica; Cape Conference organized; Steps to Christ published; first youth society in Australia
1893 Work enters Malawi, India, Trinidad, Falklands; first college outside North America– now Helderberg, Cape Town
1894 Work opens in Chile; first Union Conference organized–Australia
1896 First missionary to Japan, health work begins in Australia
1897 Work opens in Belgium, Iceland; Avondale College opens in Australia
1898 Work enters Peru, Hungary; Desire of Ages published
1900 Work enters Indonesia (Sumatra), Virgin Islands
1901 First organized church in Scotland; work enters Puerto Rico; A. G. Daniells elected president; Missionary Volunteer membership cards issued
1902 First workers sent to China; Malamulo Mission founded; Battle Creek: hospital and press burn
1903 Headquarters moves to Washington, D.C.; work enters Tanzania, Spain; Panama mission organized
1904 Work begins in Romania, Portugal, Ecuador; first Korean converts (in Japan); Manual of Young People’s Work published

(Section 8– 1905-1923)

The work was now expanding so rapidly that we were sending out almost two missionaries every week (average of 96 per year), and youth ministry came into its own.

1905 First resident missionary goes to Korea; first evangelist goes to Haiti; first church in Cuba organized; Peru Mission organized; work begins in the Philippines
1906 Uruguay Mission organized; work enters Kenya
1907 Young People’s Department of Missionary Volunteers created, with M. E. Kern as director; Morning Watch first published– Central Union (U.S.); Standard of Attainment introduced as precursor to Master Guide
1908 Work begun in Papua-New Guinea, Guatemala; Junior Reading Course introduced
1909 First known converts in Greece; Home Study Institute opens; JMV Societies introduced
1911 Tent meetings held in Palestine (Israel); first precursor to Pathfinders– “Takoma Indians”, Maryland
1912 First converts in Bolivia; Communications Department begins as “Press Bureau”
1913 Ellen White sends her last message to a General Conference session
1914 First converts in Borneo; Junior Society Lessons introduced as precursors to Pathfinder classes
1915 Death of Ellen White; W. H. Branson elected president of the Southern Union at age 28; Senior Bible Year introduced
1917 Junior Bible Year introduced
1918 Home Missionary Branch becomes a General Conference Department (today’s Personal Ministries section of the SS&PM Dept.); first Junior Manual published
1919 JMV Pledge and Law adopted
1920 Harriett Holt elected as the first junior youth leader in the youth department
1922 The “Dime” Tabernacle in Battle Creek burns; S. N. Haskell dies; JMV/MV classwork introduced: Friend, Companion for JMV’s– Comrade, Master Comrade for the “Comrade Band,” a leadership club within the MV Society; uniforms and scarves are suggested
1923 Messages to Young People idea is born; Home Nursing course developed as precursor to the Honors

(Section 9– 1924-1946)

The Great Depression and WWII don’t seem to impede the third angel’s message, as the seed sown by the pioneers and watered by the Holy Spirit continues to bear fruit.

1924 Last link to the pioneers dies– J. N. Loughborough; MV Week of Prayer introduced
1925 First youth camp held in Australia
1926 H. M. S. Richards begins radio broadcasting; first youth camps in U.S. (girls–Wisconsin, boys–Michigan)
1927 Mwami Hospital opens in Zambia; Junior Manual in Spanish, Chinese
1928 16 “vocational merits” introduced (Honors); C. Lester Bond becomes Junior Youth Director at G. C.; First Youth Congress, Germany
1929 Southeastern California Conference opens JMV “Pathfinder” Camp
1930 H. T. Elliot replaces Kern as G. C. Youth Director; Pre-JMV classes added (Adventurer classes)
1931 Leo Haliwell’s launch, the Luzeiro I, is completed and begins plying the Amazon River
1932 SDA Church Manual published; Camp Leader’s Handbook published
1936 Central Union adopts a complete uniform for JMV “units”
1937 Theological Seminary established
1938 Master Comrade Manual published; Ideals for Juniors by Bond published, based on the phrases of the Pledge and Law; Pathfinder Club organized in California by Lawrence Paulson
1939 Advent Wacht youth club forms in Switzerland; Advanced Honors introduced; Middle East College established in Lebanon
1941 Voice of Prophecy becomes a denominational project
1942 Trailblazers experimented with in Pacific Northwest with Laurence Skinner
1945 First MV devotional book– “Mysteries” by L. H. Wood; first summer camp in Puerto Rico
1946 First conference-sponsored Pathfinder Club, Riverside, California, Francis Hunt, director, John Hancock, conference Youth Director, designs triangle; EGW compilation Evangelism released

(Section 10– 1947-1959)

WWII ended, the church regroups and rebuilds in many areas, society structures are altered, enter the “modern age.”

1947 First NAD Youth Congress, San Francisco; International Temperance Association formed; Pathfinder song written by Henry Bergh
1948 Pathfinder flag made by Helen Hobbs; Area Coordinators first used in Pathfindering

1949 First Junior Congress, La Sierra College, with John Hancock; hospital opens in Pakistan

1950 First television broadcasting– Faith for Today; Pathfinder Club adopted by General

Conference, Laurence Skinner becomes first World Pathfinder Director; First Pathfinder

Fair, California

1951 Maluti Hospital opens in Lesotho; Master Comrade becomes Master Guide


SDA Bible Commentary

begins release; Pan American Youth Congress, San Francisco; first

issue of the

Junior Guide

comes off the press; first Pathfinder Camporee, Massachusetts;

first Pathfinder Club in Puerto Rico, Eliezer Melendez, director

1954 The first Pathfinder clubs organized on the island of Trinidad in the Caribbean

1955 First “Conquistadores” Club organized, Lima, Peru (Spanish Pathfinders), with D. J. von

Pohle, Youth Director, and Nercida Ruiz, Club Director

1956 MV Voice of Youth evangelism adopted by G. C.

1958 Advanced Classes added to Pathfinder curriculum; Silver Award introduced

1959 World membership of the church reaches the 1 million mark; First student missionary sent

from Columbia Union College; first Pathfinder Club in Zimbabwe and Brazil


(Desbravadores); Gold Award introduced

(Section 11– 1960-2000)

People begin to refer to the phrase “as in the days of Noah”; “millenium fever” and Y2K troubles the

hearts and minds of society. It’s time for the Lord to come; there is a new sense of urgency;

evangelism adapts to technology and goes global via satellite.

1960 Andrews University takes the place of the Theology Seminary; first union Camporee at Lone

Pine, California

1961 CME becomes Loma Linda University

1962 5-Day Plan to Stop Smoking introduced; new 60-hour Pathfinder Staff Training course

1963 John Hancock becomes World Pathfinder Director

1966 Adventurers begun in Hartford, Connecticut, with Rita Vital directing

1967 Stewardship Dept. established

1969 World Youth Congress, Zurich, Switzerland


Insight replaces Youth’s Instructor

; membership at 2 million; Leo Ranzolin (Brazil) becomes

World Pathfinder Director

1971 First division-wide Camporee, Sweden (Northern Europe-West Africa Division, today: TED)

1972 First efforts at world-wide coordinated evangelism, Mission ‘72….; first Euro-Africa

Division Camporee, Austria

1974 First Antillean Union Pathfinder Camporee

1975 First South Pacific Division Camporee, Australia

1976 50


anniversary of MV camping; highest youth camp in the world is realized at Ticllo, Peru,

with 20 Master Guide candidates, elevation 4,900 mts./17,000+ ft.

1977 G. C. Annual Council launches plan for baptizing 1,000 persons/day by 1980;


Ministry Accent

produced by G. C. Youth Dept.


5 Responses to “Time-line Summary of the Great Advent Movement”

  1. Maranda Says:

    I like your memorial day review.

  2. George Says:

    thank you so much, may you also sent me books with great details of our history and stories of our pioneers. Books such as the great advent movement by Emma Howel Cooper.

  3. Marlene Says:

    I like your outset of history for the SDA Church.You forgot to add under section 8 that in 1914 the SDA Church went to war, that 98% of the members took up arms and apostatised from the Truth and that 2% (the International Missionary Society of SDA Reform Movement) remained faithful to the commandments of God.As you may notice from your documented Church History after E.G White died the SDA Church became full supporters of the army (military) by introducing the Pathfinder Clubs teaching our young people how to prepare for the Battle of Armageddon.I was there I learned from a young age to march in the Pathfinders like a soldier to salute to raise the flag,and to do all the things soldiers are trained for in the army and that’s why we called each other comrades, a comrade means another soldier who fights next to you.How sad that SDA the large Group has lost its way in 1914 and taught our children from a young age to fight.

  4. Leakey Says:

    Marlene what are u talking about ? R u sure ? B4 u say something it is good to cornfirm

  5. newsman777 Says:

    Hi Marlene and Leakey,

    This timeline is one produced by the GC Youth Department. That explains why there is no mention of the SDA Reform movement. Adventists have not been very thorough in the public examination of their weak points. This is typical of a corporate pattern of self-examination. Don’t deal with negative stuff. This Reform movement needs some exposure here. From what I recall the main SDA Church did not treat the SDA pacifists (Reform) very well. The main SDA Church has not been anti-war. Rather, it has been opposed to the bearing of arms. This has created a complex relationship with governments during war time. A good example is Operation Whitecoat. Another example is the story of Desmond Doss.


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