Archive for February, 2009

1945, Flora Plummer Dies, Obituary

February 26, 2009

Obituary, Review and Herald, May 24, 1945 (a DjVu file)


Lorena Florence Fait Plummer was born in
Indiana, April 27, 1862 ; and passed to her rest
in the Washington Sanitarium, April 8, 1945.
Had she lived but nineteen more days she
would have been eighty-three.

Early in life she heard God’s call and ac-
cepted her Saviour. She was baptized, uniting
with the Christian Church. She became a
teacher in an Iowa school and married Frank
E. Plummer, the principal of the Nevada high

Two years later Mr. and Mrs. Plummer ac-
cepted a. call to the Des Moines high school.
They had been there but a few days when Miss
Delia Wallace (later known to us as Mrs. A. J.
Breed) called on them to discover their interest
in Bible study. Feeling this was a neighborly
interest, Mrs. Plummer consented to begin Bible
studies in her home. Others were invited,
among whom were Mrs. A. E. Burnett and her
daughter Mamie. The meetings were usually
conducted by A. G. Daniells. One year later,
in 1886, after a great spiritual struggle, Mrs.
Plummer made her decision to accept the ad-
vent message. Mrs. Burnett and her daughter
made their decision about the same time, and
the foundations were laid of an association be-
tween Miss Mamie Burnett and the Plummer
household, which continued fifty-nine years till
Mrs. Plummer’s death.

It was not long until Mrs. Plummer con-
nected with the Sabbath school department of
the Iowa Conference. This necessitated her
traveling a good deal. In 1900 she left Iowa
for Minneapolis, and there she was called to
larger responsibilities in Sabbath school work.

The next year, 1901, a major change took
place in the Sabbath school organization, and
the International Sabbath School Association,
as it was then known, became the Sabbath
School Department of the General Conference.
G. B. Thompson was secretary, and Mrs. Plum-
rner was corresponding secretary.

The year 1905 became a very important year
in the Plummer household. The interest of
Mrs. Plummer’s husband in his wife’s impor-
tant work, though he had not then accepted the
faith, led him to move his business to Wash-
ington, D.C., to permit her closer contact with
the General Conference. That same year two
little children came to the Plummer home—
Donn Laurence and Dorothy Virginia. Miss
Burnett, the companion and housekeeper, be-
came to the children “Aunt Mamie,” a name
of respect and endearment which she has held
ever since among all the friends and associates
of the Plummer family.

Twelve years later, on July 18, 1918, the fa-
ther passed quietly to his rest at the Washing-
ton Sanitarium, but before he died he fully ac-
cepted His Saviour, and he closed his eyes in
the blessed hope of the resurrection.

During these years the Sabbath school was
being built into a strong department of the
church life of Adventists around the world.
Probably no more efficient leadership has been
given to any department of our denominational
work than that given by our deceased sister to
the Sabbath school work during the thirty-six
years of her connection with it. Plans for its
growth and development lay very close to her
heart. The three outstanding features of this
department—soul winning, Bible study, and
sacrificial gifts—Mrs. Plummer, by her untir-
ing zeal and clear vision, promoted throughout
all the world.

During all these years her keen mind and
facile pen were also contributing Sabbath school
lessons and books of instruction on Sabbath
school teaching and administration.

After thirty-six years of unbroken service,
twenty-three of which were devoted to the
leadership of the General Conference Sabbath
School Department, in 1936 Mrs. Plummer re-
tired from active leadership. While in retire-
ment, weak and infirm, she wrote the current
camp meeting lessons for children from eight
to twelve years. During these same years she
also produced the last series of Sabbath school
lessons on the book of Acts : and our last series
of lessons on the life of Christ were from her

Mrs. Plummer’s constant and efficient labors,
and her contribution to the work of God
through the Sabbath school, form one of the
strong features of the denomination’s growth
and will leave an abiding influence upon the
cause of God that will remain to the end of


L. Flora Plummer, Links

February 26, 2009

The following links are for our companion Adventist History Library at Covenant Forum.

Historians Write About Plummer

Works Authored by Flora Plummer

1910, Early History of the SDA Sabbath School Work

1935, “The Soul-Winning Teacher”, Book.

1936, “The Spirit of the Teacher”, Book.

April 8, 1945 – Mrs. L. Flora Plummer Dies

Alonzo Barry – A Biographical Timeline

February 21, 2009


A DjVu Browser Plug-in is needed for most of the links on this page.

(still incomplete)

Born a slave

1887, GCC moves Barry from Kentucky to work in Michigan.

1889, works at specific assignments as a General Conference worker.

1889, Barry establishes church in Louisville, Ky. The second African-American Church in Adventist history.

1890, Louisville church formally organized, February 16, 1890 by R. M. Kilgore.

1891, GCC moves him to Lexington, Kentucky

1893, General Conference Session plans for his ordination. The GCC ask Elder Kilgore to arrange it.

1894, Barry is listed among the ordained ministers in the Yearbook.

1896, Another vote made to ordain Pastor Barry.

1898, March 31, General Conference Committee votes to drop Barry from the payroll and advises him to seek some other line of work.

1901, January 16, Ellen White advises that Alonzo Barry be reinstated. He is on April 29, 1901. Details of the report.

1901, January, Barry reported to have arrived in Nashville from Cincinnati, Ohio to work for the Southern Missionary Society.

1901, April 28, the GCC votes his pay to be $9.00 per week.

1902, Reports on the first Mississippi camp-meeting for African Americans (1901).

1911, Working in North Nashville.

1911, Officiates at a baptism at Hillcrest school.

1913, Randall Johnson Reports Elder Barry in charge of the work for African Americans in Nashville.

Applied for Sustentation at 72 years of age.

1914, January Gospel Herald reports Barry giving the opening address at a Nashville convention.

Died February 19, 1914 in Tennessee.

(more to be added)

Further Reading

Fighting for Justice, by R. Stephen Norman III, Southern Union Worker, February, 2006


Barry’s Lexington congregation had two rather famous members: Mary Britton, M.D. and Alexander Chiles, lawyer. Both were first in their fields of expertise and were also social activists.


The North American Negro Department, by F. L. Peterson, Review and Herald, December 29, 1938, page 53.


This 75th Anniversary Edition of the Review and Herald contains a brief, yet comprehensive, history of the Southern Work among African Americans.

GC Session Actions Affecting Women

February 21, 2009


1985 General Conference Session Bulletin, Adventist Review, July 5, 1985, page 6 (a DjVu file)

Sponsored by The Heritage Room
Loma Linda University Libraries

GC session actions affecting women

Important decisions regarding the role of women in the
church occurred at the following General Conference

1871—Adelia Van Horn became treasurer of the General
Conference—the first woman to serve as a General
Conference officer.

1875—Fredricka House was elected treasurer of the
General Conference.

1877—Minerva J. Chapman became the third and most
recent woman to be selected for the post of General
Conference treasurer.

1878—Sister Aurner attended as a delegate from the
Dakota Conference, the first woman delegate to a
General Conference session.

1879—Anna K. Rasmussen was asked to go to Norway to
assist Elder John G. Matteson in the publication of
a missionary paper, thus becoming the first woman
Adventist missionary authorized by name to go
overseas in an action of a General Conference

1881—The session passed a resolution stating “that
females possessing the necessary qualifications to
fill that position may, with perfect propriety, be
set apart by ordination to the work of the Christian

1913—L. Flora Plummer was elected secretary of the
Sabbath school department. She had been corre-
sponding secretary of the same department since

1975—M. Carol Hetzell became director of the Commu-
nication Department. Delegates approved a rec-
ommendation honoring Adventist women and
giving them recognition for their contributions to
the church. The same session advocated “broader
participation in church leadership” for women.

Whiter Than Snow, 1880

February 17, 2009
WHEN a flippant unbeliever accosted an earnest
evangelical preacher with an objection to his ser-
mon, and said: “Sir, I don’t like your theology.
It is all blood, blood, BLOOD! It savors of the
shambles. I like a pleasanter gospel.” The am-
bassador of Christ replied: “True, my theology
is bloody. It recognizes as its foundation the
death of Christ, with the thorn-pierced brow,
bleeding hands and open side. I am quite con-
tent that it should be bloody; for God has said:
‘ Without shedding of blood,’ there is no remission
of sins; and, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin.’ “

“Scarlet” sins become “white as snow.” How?
“Not by works of righteousness which we have
done.” All the dyers on earth cannot dye a red
into white. And no human merit can avail or
cleanse one crimson spot of guilt away. “By the
washing of regeneration and renewing of the
Holy Ghost,” are we justified and sanctified,
“through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God had set forth to be a propitiation
through faith in his blood.”

Of the redeemed in glory we read, “they have
washed their robes and made them white in the
blood of the Lamb.” The livery in Heaven is
white. “Fine linen, clean and white,” “white
robes,” ” white horses;” ” a white cloud,” as the
seat of the Son of man; “a great white throne”
for the Judge; “a white stone ” for the accepted
saints, who “walk in white” with him who has
made them ” worthy.” Verily, we must wear our
“white raiment” here, if we would enter there.
” They are without fault before the throne of
God.” And ” Christ also loved the Church and
gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and
cleanse it—that he might present it to himself a
glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or
any such thing.”

To the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness
let us daily draw near, and take with us the
words of “the snow-prayer.” As said a happy
little girl who came in one morning to her Chris-
tian mother’s knee, after a bright race in the crisp,
freshly-fallen snow, “Mamma, I could not help
pausing while I was at play, to pray the snow-
prayer.” “What did you pray, my dear? ” asked
the interested mother. The dear child replied,
“Mamma, I said to Jesus, ‘Wash me, and I shall
be whiter than snow.”

 “Helpless and foul as the trampled snow,
Sinner, despair not, Christ stoopeth low,
To rescue the soul that was lost in sin,
And raise it to life and enjoyment again;
Groaning, bleeding, dying for thee,
The Crucified hung on the accursed tree;
His accents of mercy fell soft on thine ear—
Is there mercy for me? will he heed my prayer?
O God, in the stream that for sinners doth flow,
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”


 The Signs of the Times, February 19, 1880 (a DjVu file)
Pacific Press Publishing Association, Oakland, Ca.
(James White, J.N. Andrews, and Uriah Smith cited as the editors)

Posted also at:

(click on –>) Covenant Forum’s Adventist History Library

James White on Creeds

February 16, 2009


“I take the ground that creeds stand in a direct opposition to the gifts. Let us suppose a case: We get up a creed, stating just what we shall do in reference to this thing and that, and say that we will believe the gifts too.

“But suppose the Lord, through the gifts, should give us some new light that did not harmonize with our creed; then, if we remain true to the gifts, it knocks our creed all over at once. Making a creed is setting the stakes, and barring up the way to all future advancement. God put the gifts into the church for a good and great object; but men who have got up their churches, have shut up the way or have marked out a course for the Almighty. They say virtually that the Lord must not do anything further than what has been marked out in the creed.

“A creed and the gifts thus stand in direct opposition to each other. Now what is our position as a people? The Bible is our creed. We reject everything in the form of a human creed. We take the Bible and the gifts of the Spirit; embracing the faith that thus the Lord will teach us from time to time. And in this we take a position against the formation of a creed. We are not taking one step, in what we are doing, toward becoming Babylon.”

 Review and Herald, Oct. 8, 1861 (a DjVu file) 

Quoted in: Messenger of the Lord, Chapter 37.

Also posted at Covenant Forum’s Adventist History Library.

Current Projects

February 4, 2009

Covenant Forum has invited us to develop some history posts for them.

Recent Posts on Covenant Forum:

Belize and the Bay Islands

Early Work in Belize and the Bay Islands, 1896; F.M. Wilcox writes. He includes a colorful letter from J.A. Morrow of British Honduras.

Our current projects include the gathering of information about:

Pastor James A. Morrow, and

Studying the Early Adventist Use of the Apocrypha

You can find other of our Covenant Forum postings here:

    Stories, 1905-1915
    James A. Morrow
    Stories, 1916 – 1926
    The Official Church Paper, 1849 and Following
    Alonzo Barry
    Methods of Evangelism – The History of Gospel Work
    The First Ones – The Third Angel in New Lands
    The History of Ideas Within Adventism
    World War II
    Adventist Radio
    Online Study Links
    The Advocate
    Resolutions from General Conference Sessions
    Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Baptists
    1888 Notes

How a Policeman and a Soldier Helped, 1917, Cuba

February 1, 2009

Australasian Record, February 26, 1917, page 5

How a Policeman and a Soldier Helped

BROTHER Emsley Willams, a colporteur in Cuba, recently had an experience at the time unpleasant, but which turned out for good in the end. Brother Kellman writes:

“Just before leaving for Honduras, Brother Willams left the train one evening in the town of Manacas, where he was to canvass, to go out where one of our brethren lived about two miles from town. He had two big bags filled with books as in Cuba we take orders one day and deliver the next.

“As he was slowly plodding his way along, just as he reached the outskirts of the village, he heard galloping of horses behind him. He was surprised a moment later as the cry in Spanish rang out Alza los Manos, “hands up.” It was a policeman and a mounted soldier. There was a recent robbery in the neighbourhood, and they were on the lookout for the thief, so spying this man with heavy bags, they thought they had the culprit sure. After searching and questioning him they saw their mistake, apolo- ogized for the trouble, and, to even things up, carried his heavy packages up to the home of the brother to whom he was going.

This laborious journey turned to be a pleasant walk with congenial companions. The policeman next day met him in town, introduced him to many of the influential people, from whom he took orders and delivered the books. The hold-up at night turned out to be the best thing that could have taken place for the benefit of his work there.”