Lynn H. Wood, A Developing Biography

Don… is this the Lynn Wood that Lynn Wood Hall was named for at Southern?
I think so. Here is why:


Lynn Wood Hall & Heritage Museum
Constructed in 1924 and called College Hall, this structure was renamed Lynn Wood Hall in 1945 to honor Lynn H. Wood, president in 1914-15 and 1918-22.

Notice the date, 1945. His journal citation also dates from 1945; same initials, too.

Here is some info on Lynn H. Wood:

1910-11 He taught Science, Mathematics and Building Construction at the Foreign Missions Seminary, Washington, D.C. Source #1; Source #2

1912 He helped establish the church in Baltimore, Maryland. Source; my Adventist History blog post.

1913 He was at Union College in Nebraska. Source; The Adventist History blog post.

1914 He was in charge of the Southern Training School, Graysville, Tennessee. Source; The Adventist History blog post.

1915 February 18. A fire occurred in the girls’ dorm; two injuries, no loss of life. He reported the incident in the Review and Herald. Source; The Adventist History blog post.

The September 23, 1915 Review and Herald states that he was Educational and Missionary Volunteer secretary of the Southern Union Conference.

Some further thoughts:

This is just a beginning of a biographical timeline for Lynn H. Wood. I am impressed with his clarity of thought. He writes expressively, as well.

Re: our discussions about EGW; Lynn Wood demonstrates his creative use of EGW’s writings. He used them to motivate precise action. Eg. His work in establishing a church in Baltimore and his rationale for specific education projects found their beginnings in her counsels.

More later, I hope.


Lynn H. Wood
Neal cited:


Wood, Lynn H. “The Kahun Papyrus and the date of the Twelfth Dynasty”, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 99(Oct., 1945):5-9. — This does not deal directly with the chronology of Genesis 11, but it establishes Egyptian chronology on a secure basis, using the Sothic Cycle. Thus the Old Kingdom was said to have begun about 2800 B.C. This being true, the Flood could not possibly have been in 2348 B.C. as proposed by Ussher.

He wondered if this was the same person to whom Lynn Wood Hall was named for. In answer, I had begun a biographical timeline for Lynn H. Wood posted here.

Lynn H. Wood intrigues me. He wrote colorfully, thought deeply, and served the church as a practical educator, archaeologist and spiritual leader.

So far, I have studied his early life. He taught Mathematics and Science at the Foreign Missions Seminary in Washington D.C. then served at Union College then the Southern Training School in Tennessee. He was youth and education director for the Southern Union. As Union education leader, he encouraged seminars and conventions on Adventist rural schools such as Madison.

Then, I studied his later years. I associate Siegfried Horn with archaeology, but did not realize that Lynn H. Wood was the first Adventist professor to teach archaeology. Siegfried Horn took over when Wood retired. Horn and Wood co-authored The Chronology of Ezra 7 in 1953.

Wood lived in what some call The Golden Age of Adventism. He personified the Age, IMO. His work in Baltimore illustrates this. EGW’s counsel to work for those in the big cities provided motivation for him to do exactly that. They implemented the counsel praying their way through the experience.


Lynn H. Wood – Part 3
First, to give a sense of continuity, I’m including the timeline developed thus far:
1910-11 Taught Science, Mathematics and Building Construction at the Foreign Missions Seminary, Washington, D.C.

1912 Helped establish the church in Baltimore, Maryland.

1913 Union College in Nebraska.

1914 Principal and Mathematics teacher for the Southern Training School, Graysville, Tennessee; 150 students.

quote:The Southeastern Union Field Tidings, June 17, 1914, page 8 (a DJVU file)Prof. Lynn H. Wood arrived in Graysville last week, and has already found much to busy himself with. Work in the preparation of copy for the school Calendar has been his chief burden.

1915 February 18. A fire occurred in the girls’ dorm; two injuries, no loss of life. He reported the incident in the Review and Herald.

1915 The September 23, 1915 Review and Herald states that he was Educational and Missionary Volunteer secretary of the Southern Union Conference.

1916 Educational Secretary, Southern Union Conference.



There is constantly coming to us from the Southeastern Union the rumor that the Hazel Academy is planning to carry twelve grades of work this winter. We would like to take this opportunity of absolutely denying this rumor, and saying that there is no truth in it whatsoever. Hazel has planned all last year and this year to continue as a strong tenth grade school, but that is all. There is not the slightest rumor in this field that she is even contemplating doing anything else.W. R. ELLIOTT, Chm. School Board.

LYNN H. WOOD, Educational Secretary Southern Union.

Southeastern Union Field Tidings, August 30, 1916

1916 The Graysville School Moves to Collegedale. Ministerial Short Course Offered



Farm Purchased and Preparations for Opening School October 18th Under Way…

Special Ministerial Short Course

Arrangements were made for a special course to be given in practical field evangelistic work, covering a period of about two months, and be- ginning about the first of March. This course will cover such subjects as Bible doctrines, sermonic construction, journalism, history, practical field methods, etc. This course is primarily intended for our conference workers now employed in actual field work, many of whom feel greatly the need of some special instruction in these lines. The conferences in the Southeastern and Southern Unions plan to arrange for all of their younger workers to attend this special course. It is expected that Evangelist Carlyle B. Haynes and Prof. Lynn H. Wood will connect with the faculty to assist in giving the instruction during this short course.

While this course is being especially prepared for our conference workers, yet all our regular students in the Bible department will be given the benefit of this course without additional charge. It will be so arranged as to weave it into the regular Ministerial and Bible Workers’ course. This offers a special opportunity for those students who attend this year.

Southeastern Union Field Tidings, September 20, 1916


This Ministerial Short Course illustrates Lynn H. Wood’s creative and practical mind at work.

The Southeastern Union office was located in Graysville, I think. When the school moved to Collegedale, I wonder what became of the administrative geography.


Lynn H. Wood, Part 4
A Visit to Southern Junior College on Opening Day
by Lynn Wood
Field Tidings, November 1, 1916

quote:The opening day of school at Ooltewah found 46 students ready to begin their work. There are 22 boys and 19 girls in the home at the present time, with prospects for more in the next few days. The girls have very comfortable quarters in the big house. The boys are on the hill above the spring and are busy fixing over their cottages, erecting tent houses, and making their quarters comfortable for the winter…It is a very interesting sight to watch the boys and girls talking over the problems that are coming their way, and everyone seems to feel that there is a great future before the school…

This will be a pioneer year for the school, one full of perplexity, one where adjustment will have to be made, and where the spirit of Christ must be manifest. Let us not forget to remember the teachers and students before the throne of grace that God will give them the wisdom necessary to make this the banner year for our educational work here in the South.

— Lynn H. Wood, in Southern Union Worker.

Wood describes the sacrifices people made to help Southern Junior College become a reality:

quote:This is the record of the children of Israel when Moses called on them for offerings with which to build the tabernacle. Bracelets, earrings, rings, tablets, offerings of gold, silver, brass, blue, purple, scarlet, fine linen, goat’s hair, ram’s skin, badger’s skin, wood, spices and precious stones were brought in in such great abundance that “Moses commanded and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.”How the work sped forward when all took hold with willing hands! We have seen the enthusiastic response duplicated in a measure this summer, and hearts have been made greatly to rejoice as we have seen, the generosity of God’s people here in the South when called upon for an offering to the new school enterprise.At one of the campmeetings a brother arose and said, “I have an assortment of old coins in a box in my trunk. I feel that this enterprise would be more profited by turning in these coins than to have them lie there in the trunk. You can have all you can get for them to apply on this fund.”In another meeting a sister said, “I have a valuable violin that has been in the family for years. The stamp shows it to be more than one hundred years old. If you can sell it I would be glad to turn the money toward this worthy enterprise.”

Another sister said, “I have a number of old rings, some quite valuable, that have been lying in the bottom of a chest for a long time. I have no use for them now, and if you can dispose of them I will give the proceeds to the new

A young man said, “I have a valuable mandolin worth $50. I have been so busy of late years I have not had time to play it. If I can get $25 for it I will turn it toward the Ooltewah School fund.”

Another had a French horn, another a camera, and so they kept coming one after another.

Source: Field Tidings, November 22, 1916


Lynn H. Wood, Part 5, 1917
$20 000 to build a girls’ dorm at Southern.
It takes money to accomplish development. Wood often reports on fund-raising projects. In 1917, Southern Junior College launched an ambitious girls’ dorm building project of $20 000. The February 21, 1917 edition of Field Tidings presents this project on page one. I have posted the article on the Adventist History blog

Note the picture of the dorm and the detailed fundraising features.
Use of Ellen White’s Writings

Wood points to EGW’s writings as a source of inspiration. His report

on the work in Baltimore begins with a quote from EGW counseling on the need to work for people in America’s large cities.
During his fundraising efforts for the girls’ dorm at Southern, he quotes EGW’s support of the work in the South.


quote:“God lives and reigns. He will open the way for the neglected Southern field to be cultivated for Him. Let the workers there come up to the help of the Lord, and with joy proclaim His truth. The Lord is soon coming. Talk it, pray it, believe it. Make it a part of the life. You will have to meet a doubting, objecting spirit, but this will give way before firm, consistent trust in God. When perplexities or hindrances present themselves, lift the soul to God in songs of thanksgiving.” Vol. 7, pp. 236, 237. Isn’t that wonderful? “The Lord is at the helm.” Should we not rally there as never before? Could we have a better commander?Southern Tidings, March 7, 1917, page 1.

He unashamedly refers to her counsel as the Lord speaking directly,

quote:As though this was too good to be true, the Lord adds this: “Remember that the Lord looks in compassion upon this field, and that He knows its poverty and its need. The efforts you are making will not prove a failure,” Vol. 7, p. 237.Now, brother, sister, you cannot afford to lose out now. We are too’ close to the end to consider anything else but doing the work God has for us. Says He, “Our churches in the South are to have a spiritual resurrection. A great and solemn work is before the members of every church. They are to come close to Christ in self-denial and self-sacrifice, their one aim being to give God’s message of mercy to their fellow men.” P. 237.Let us come in self-denial and self-sacrifice to build up the institution here in Ooltewah, that this last message of mercy may be hastened. Then if true and faithful, we, with the worthies of Hebrews 11, will be able to recount the mercies of God throughout eternity.(ibid., page 1)

Here we see the positive use of EGW’s writings as a source of inspiration and motivation for service. I submit that this represents the intended purpose of her writings.


Lynn H. Wood – An Early Summary

My study of Lynn H. Wood began with a simple question from Neal. I didn’t realize there was so much about the man. I should probably start a new thread dedicated to this biographical material.

Here’s where my thinking is so far: Lynn H. Wood as:

Educator and Administrator:

From the Foreign Missions Seminary to Union College in Nebraska to the Southern Training School in Graysville. Then, to the Southern Union as Educational Secretary. Back to Southern Junior College as President.

This is where I am now. It seems that he worked in Australia and England later on before taking on Archeaological courses, and others, at the newly formed Theological Seminary in the 1930’s.


From those early days in Baltimore and Lincoln, Wood showed a persistent interest in the financial support of the work.

He ventured into projects that cost money, lots of it. The Baltimore work illustrates this interest; as does his Sabbath School mission offerings at Lincoln; the Ingathering efforts of the four girls at Graysville; fundraising for the new girls’ dorm at Southern; then the boys dorm, etc; Financially astute, administratively assertive, yet humble.


Wood writes well. He expresses himself clearly, forcefully, and with a storyteller’s flair. Editors often made use of his letters in their papers. During the girls’ dorm building project, the Field Tidings often led with a full page article by him, addressing current needs.

Bible Student:

Wood uses Bible stories to accomplish his administrative purposes. He seems to be often in a reflective mode. He will get an idea based on a Biblical story and then weave it into his administrative tasks. Stories that come to mind include, Esther, Pilate, Solomon, and Nehemiah. So far, I have not found scholarly essays by him. His writing uses the Bible to motivate action.

Student of EGW’s Writings:

Wood cites Ellen White’s counsel as reason for working in Baltimore; quoting from Volume 9 of the Testimonies. As he ventured south, her counsel regarding work in the South buoyed him up. He, in turn, used her writings to pass on the inspiration. He brought forward very practical messages, not just ones with fine platitudes. His fundraising articles of 1917 in the Field Tidings make regular use of her concepts of financial sacrifice for the cause.

An Appreciative Observer of Others:

Wood enjoyed being around people. He takes pride in the energetic commitment of the students, for example. When the four girls went off to Knoxville to Ingather for a week, he called the whole student body together to pray for them. When discussing their plans with them, he had them set their financial goal, then led them in prayer asking God to help them reach their goal. He counselled them how to behave out there own their own away from their school community. He obviously cared about them in their adventure.

This interest in people pervades all what Wood writes. His is not a soft, fuzzy attitude but a practical admiration of the human spirit dedicated to the cause.


One Response to “Lynn H. Wood, A Developing Biography”

  1. Kevin H. Says:

    I first learn about Lynn Wood from A. Graham Maxwell. Dr. Maxwell and Jack Provonsha were students at PUC when Wood came and held a week of prayer. Years later Dr. Maxwell was to learn that he and Wood held similar views, especially on the nature of hell fire. Dr. Maxwell said that while he does not remember Lynn Wood saying anything during that week of prayer caused Graham to come to the theological views he came to, he does say that they may have been something that he did not realize at the time and forgot about. But he remembered Lynn Wood for being an incredibly impressive speaker and teacher, and that he treated the students not as students but as collogues respecting all their comments and had a spirit that he could learn from them as well. Both Maxwell and Provonsha said that they were incredibly impressed with him.

    After Graham Maxwell moved to Loma Linda he befriended Lynn Wood who had retired there, and since he respected the man asked him to critique his theology, and while there were differences Lynn Wood told him “I’ve come to a similar view back in the 1920s” and Graham did not come right out and say this but indicated that when he and Jack Provonsha were starting their Sabbath School classes that they wanted Lynn Wood to join them but he felt that he was too old.

    Now although I mention Maxwell and Provonsha, I know that they became controversial figures. I think some of the criticism might apply some what more to Provonsha than to Maxwell, but sadly Dr. Maxwell did not give his students a strong understanding of exegesis and thus too many who like his view hold a mish-mash of his views mixed with things this critics accused him of believing, and I do not believe these things so I have since distanced my self from the Maxwellites. But I also think that if people would study more into Lynn Wood, as well as read the 3 chapters from Sanctuary and the Atonement “The Mighty Opposites: The Atonement in the writings of Ellen G White” parts 1 and 2 and “We Must All Appear: The Investigative Judgment in the writings of Ellen G. White” there would be a better understanding of what those who don’t believe in the traditional view of hell actually believe and can get away from the misunderstandings that Maxwell’s critics have and hopefully clear up the heresy that had developed from those misunderstandings among Maxwell’s supporters.

    You also can notice how his students tend to have had something special. People like Paul Heubech and Felix Lorenz Jr. and of course they speak very highly about their favorite professor. I have long felt that he was a spiritual grandfather to me, and I am pleased that you are working on a biography of him, I’ve longed to see his biography done.

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