Archive for March, 2009
Adventist History Library (AHL) is currently developing a comprehensive timeline for the Adventist work in Trinidad. It can be found *HERE* at Covenant Forum’s AHL section.
1894, Charles Adamson in Trinidad
THE WEST INDIES
Windward and Leeward Groups.
AFTER Elder D. A. Ball left me in Antigua, I endeavored to put in my time in the sale of books, and in holding public meetings in the different villages; and while I enjoyed God’s blessing in my feeble efforts there, I longed to go to the island ol Trinidad. This became a burden to me. I placed the matter before the Lord, and he opened the way for me to go in a most wonderful manner. After many fruitless efforts, I secured $24,— all I could call my own in this world,—and Oct. 9, 1893, my family and I sailed for Barbadoes. I remained here two months, giving all the time I could to the dear brethren. The little company here are living on
the promises of God, and are full of the glorious hope.
I left my family here, and sailed Oct. 12 for Granada. This, is an island 100 miles from Barbadoos. Landing at Greenville, the second town, I remained seven days, and sold three “Bible Headings.” The majority of the people in this island are Roman Catholics. I left here Oct. 22 for Trinidad, landing on that island the 25th. Port-of-Spain, the capital, is a city of nearly 4000 inhabitants, with all modern improvements. I found four Sabbath-keepers here, and sold three books.
Nov. 22 I took the train for San Fernando, the second seaport town on the island, twenty-five miles from Port-of-Spain. I met many at this place who sighed after something pure ; they earnestly asked for some one to instruct them in the way of truth. There are six here who are deeply interested. I sold two books. From here I went to Princetown, and visited the correspondents of the International Tract Society. They are very grateful for the reading-matter sent them. A tailor signed the covenant to obey and live. I returned to Port-of-Spain, Nov. 9, visited the dear ones, and showed them the necessity of assembling together. On the 12th we formed a Sabbath-school of five members, all full of bright hopes.
Nov. 25 I brought my family from Barbadoes. I cannot begin to tell how much we have enjoyed God’s blessing. Our needs are all supplied, and truly light is increasing on our pathway. Our Sabbath-school has increased from five to nine. The greatest number of the people here, especially the upper class, are Roman Catholics. The Freethinkers have a society, and Atheism and Universalism also flourish. There are about 80,000 Hindus, who are the contract laborers. The Canadian Mission is doing a good work for them, and there are many among this people who are thirsting after truth. May the Lord enable us to do something for them soon for us and for the effort here.
CHARLES D. ADAMSON.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trinidad and Tobago
Caribbean Union Conference
Both Church entities covering Trinidad and Tobago are part of the Caribbean Union Conference. The Union Conference is responsible for these institutions:
Trinidad, The South Caribbean Conference
Website for the South Caribbean Conference
The Tobago Mission
Website for the Tobago Mission
“The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tobago operates five schools, four primary and one secondary. There is also an evening school programme that caters to individuals who cannot be absorbed into the regular school system for various reasons.
“More than one hundred persons have been able to access free tertiary level education at the University of the Southern Caribbean Extension Campus, at Harmon.
“The church believes that education is the harmonious development of the physical, mental and spiritual powers, hence the reason for our great emphasis on education.
“The Harmon School of Adventists located at Rockly Vale, Scarborough in Tobago is the secondary school run by the Tobago Mission.
“Our Primary schools are Charlotteville Seventh-day Adventists Primary School, John Roberts Memorial Primary School , North Regional Sevnth-day Adventists Primary and Scarborough Seventh-day Adventists Primary”
1894, A. E. Flowers: Minister to Trinidad
Review and Herald, February 6, 1894, p. 16
Tuesday, Jan. 30, brother A. E. Flowers, of the Bible school of this city, was solemnly set apart to the work of the gospel ministry, preparatory to his leaving for the island of Trinidad, to engage in missionary work in that island and vicinity. The exercises were held in the chapel of the new College building, conducted by Elders Durland, Prescott, and the writer. The evening following, brother Flowers left for his home in Missouri, to make immediate preparation to depart on his mission.
Flowers Sails on S. S. Trinidad
Review and Herald, February 20, 1894, p. 16
ELDER A. E. FLOWERS and wife sailed from New York, Feb. 17, on the steamship “Trinidad,” bound for the island of Trinidad, where an interest has so lately been awakened in our work by reading, and where the people are calling loudly for the living preacher.
OPEN DOORS IN TRINIDAD.
As our boat was detained in the harbor of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, over Christmas, we improved the opportunity by going on shore and making the acquaintance of some of the persons with whom the International Tract and Missionary Society had been in correspondence.
When it was known that we were there in the interests of the tract society, we had no lack for friends, and we were gladly welcomed by all. Some had been receiving the Signs and other publications, which they had eagerly read and circulated ; in some instances carrying them on foot twenty miles to their friends. In this way very many had heard something of our work, and as a result, one family had begun the observance of the Sabbath, and others are convinced. This brother belonged to the Church of England, and as they were unable to convince him that he was in error, they expelled him from their midst. This incident only increased the discussion of the Sabbath question, and many questions were asked us on this subject. We tried to show them that Christians should honor Christ by keeping his law.
Services were desired before we left, and the Baptist mission building was kindly offered us. Christmas day with this people is wholly given up to amusements; but the invitation sent out soon gathered in quite a company, who gave good attention as we tried to present a few thoughts from Rom. 1 : 16.
G. W. KNEELAND.
Georgetown, British Guiana.
1892, Spring, L. C. Chadwick Reports
TRINIDAD AND BRITISH GUIANA
AFTER my last report, I spent a few days at Trinidad, Where “nothing has ever been done in the interests of the present truth, except that brother Arnold is now delivering large numbers of ”Great Controversy,” and the International Tract Society is commencing a correspondence, which is showing good results. This is a beautiful island, and one in which ministerial labor should soon be begun. As I visit these fields, and see the open doors before us on every hand, my heart goes out in prayer for our people to awaken to the responsibility that rests on us to support our foreign work, that we may extend it into all these islands and other countries toward which we have hardly turned our attention. There are about seventy thousand Hindus in Trinidad, or about one third of the population. Many of them have received a knowledge of the true God, and we should be doing something for them.
I spent twenty-two days in British Guiana, from April 27 to May 19. Five years ago Elder G. G. Rupert labored here two months, and brother Geo. King sold some books. A small church was organized. Last year brother Arnold sold several hundred books in the colony, which has a population of about three hundred thousand, of whom one third are Hindus. The church has struggled along under difficulties, among which has been a division in their own numbers; but in the face of all these, others have received the truth, and there has never been so widespread an interest to know more of the message, as there is at the present time.
My labors were bestowed chiefly upon the church and the believers. By the blessing of God, differences vanished, hearts were united, and I believe that much good was accomplished. I went out eighty-five miles in the country, held a few meetings, and baptized eight, and later sixteen were baptized in Georgetown, of whom three were Hindus. The church was strengthened, and I left it with a membership of forty-one. The officers were unanimously chosen, and we felt that the Lord sanctioned the service when the elder and deacons were set apart for their work, with prayer and laying on of hands. At the farewell service, we celebrated the ordinances, and it was a time of refreshing. If all continue to walk in unity and love, the influence of the cause may be greatly extended. This is an important field, and we should have one minister located in this colony, to develop the interest that now exists.
L. C. CHADWICK.
William Arnold, Pioneer Book Seller, A Chronology
Served on the nominations committee for the first annual meeting of the Sanitarium Improvement Company. YB 1885, p. 66
The first party of Seventh-day Adventist missionaries, consisting of S. N. Haskell, J. 0. Corliss, M. C. Israel (ministers), W. Arnold (a colporteur from Michigan), and H. Scott (a printer),; landed in Australia. Melbourne was chosen as the first field, and it proved a fruitful one, for at the close of 1886 there was a church of one hundred members established. RH 1918, V95-31
J. O. Corliss’ wife and two children came as well; as did Israel’s wife and their two daughters. On May 10, they took passage on the ship Australia from San Francisco, and twenty-eight days later landed in Sydney, June 8. In about a month from then they were all settled in Richmond, Melbourne, and on July 4, 1885, they held their first Sabbath school, their membership being eleven persons, comprising workers and their families (as listed above). They met in Haskell’s rented house in Richmond, Victoria (AAR 1901-07 sp03, p. 13).
The original Minute book for this gathering “recorded the following: Superintendent, Pastor S. N. Haskell; secretary, Jane Israel. The lesson study was, ‘The Saints’ Inheritance,’ and ten were present as students. No offering was recorded.” AAR 1965-33, p.2.
In less than three weeks, on July 21, a mission was opened in the Temperance Hall, Richmond. A little later that year, with the mission work well begun in Australia, S. N. Haskell left for New Zealand. RH 1948-19, p. 16
“These laborers met with opposition from both the pulpit and press. They worked as best they could, visiting, holding Bible-readings, and selling books, Brother Arnold selling over 1000 copies of Daniel and Revelation in Melbourne in less than a year. Many tears were shed and prayers offered in connection with this first year’s work. ” AAR 1901-08, p. 10.
“With the first contingent of workers came also Brother H. 8cott, the printer of the party. It was in the bedroom of Brother Scott in Richmond that the first type was set up and it was then conveyed by handcart to the local press for the printing of our first literature in Australia.
“Quite a number of older brethren will remember the old Bible Echo printed at Best Street, North Fitzroy. The printing press for this paper was given by Brother Arnold, who gladly donated £250 earned by the sale of “Daniel and the Revelation…” AAR 1935-30, p. 11.
November 22, Tenth Meeting of the 1887 General Conference Session: “26. That Wm. Arnold, now in Australia, go to England to help in establishing the canvassing work there.” YB 1888, p. 41.
In June, 1888, Bro. Wm. Arnold arrived from Australia, and spent a few weeks canvassing for “Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation.” His efforts were attended with marked success. The willingness to read on the subjects presented in the Bible readings which have been held, is continually increasing, and many families have become interested in different parts of the city. Several soldiers at the barracks at Southampton have embraced the truth principally by reading. YB 1891, p. 75
Noted as England’s first colporteur. TCOG, 1945-3, p.5
April, May and June; Arnold “very successful” in London. YB 1891, p. 76
THE WEST INDIES
“The work in the West Indies was begun by Brother Wm. Arnold, in the winter of 1888-9. He visited and sold books on the islands of Santa Croix, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montseratt, and Barbadoes. He gave to the International Tract Society the addresses of 1,200 persons who had purchased ” Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation” from him, and the society began sending literature to them and corresponding with them. A number began to obey as the result of this work.
On November 7, 1890, Elder Dexter A. Ball sailed to Barbadoes, in company with Brother Arnold. A gentleman owning a mission building in Bridgetown invited Elder Ball to hold meetings in his chapel, and fifty-seven discourses were preached. A number accepted the truth, and since then a church has been organized.
Saint Vincent was then visited by Elder Ball, and also Antigua. At the latter place, the work of a sister who had become acquainted with the truth in London, England, had led several to accept it. About sixty services were held here, and twenty-six persons joined the believers in the West Indies. – Saint Kitts and Santa Croix were also visited. At Montseratt, an open-air service was held, and a number of books were sold.
“We have also been able to respond to the pressing calls from the West Indies by sending Elder D. A. Ball of the Pennsylvania Conference to labor in that field, and with him Wm. Arnold.” YB 1891, p. 46
“Elder Ball then revisited Saint Kitts, to make arrangements for Brother Charles D. Adamson to enter the work. While there, three persons signed the covenant, as the result of personal work. On the way to Barbadoes, a few days were spent at Dominica. Reaching Barbadoes, after a long absence, it was found that the brethren there were of good courage, and their numbers had been increased. Brother Adamson joined Elder Ball in the work there for about six weeks, when, they went to the island of Grenada. Here they found a number keeping the Sabbath as the result of a brother’s efforts, who had received the truth through reading a book which he had purchased in South America.
“Brother Wm. Arnold is still canvassing in the islands, with good success.” YB 1892, p. 74, 75
IN DEMERARA (GUYANA)
Arnold works in Demerara (Guyana); writes a descriptive letter home to his children.
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
He spends the summer in Trinidad to wait out Demerara’s rainy season.
Arnold works the summer in Tobago.
THE MAGIC POCKET VAPORIZER
Marketing the Magic Pocket Vaporizer, “because everybody wants it.”
I find little difficulty in getting recommendations from influential people, having secured haif a dozen testimonials from among the clergy of this city (Battle Creek). The canvasser needs but little capital in selling this instrument, as deliveries are made as fast as opportunity affords, and In this way he will find his influence constantly increasing. A splendid opportnnity is also afforded to do missionary work among the suffering, and the canvasser can make good wages besides.
I predict a large sale for the Magic Pocket
Vaporizer.” ALUG 1904-45, p.11
HOME IN NEW YORK STATE
April 25-26, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold attend a meeting at West Valley, New York. “We were glad to see Brother and Sister Wm. Arnold present. Brother Arnold is not very strong physically, but his courage and hope in the Lord is strong. ” ALUG 1908-19, p. 4.
Lives at Ellicottville, New York. W. B. White reports on his visit with Arnold. ALUG 1910-01, p. 2.
LIVES IN COLORADO
BACK TO NEW YORK
Lived in Colorado for a time and now coming back to Ellicottville. ALUG 1917-22, p. 8.
WILLIAM ARNOLD DIES
William Arnold dies. Survived by his wife and daughter, Mabel. ALUG 1922-25, p. 8.
FROM ROBINSON CRUSOE’S ISLAND.
I FIRST landed at Tobago in April, and took about one hundred and sixty orders for books, and now I have returned to attend to delivering them. This island is at present under the same government as that of Trinidad, and is only one night’s sail from that place, by Royal Mail. Tobago is twenty-two miles long, eight miles broad, and is of volcanic formation, with a range of hills twenty miles long, rising to a hight of 1,800 feet. Since the decline in sugar, Tobago has not been in a prosperous condition, and I feel very well satisfied with even 160 orders. In Trinidad you will find large, well-cultivated estates, a railroad, telegraph, and street-car lines, but none of these are to be seen on Tobago. Carriage roads are very few here, and as a consequence, every one rides, and ladies go to parties, and even to church, in the saddle.
The early history of Tobago is a varied one, having been owned by the Spanish, Dutch, and French. I climbed up to the old Fort George, and sold books to the officers there. Perhaps two miles away could be seen the old earthworks where the French intrenched themselves on the top of a high hill, and took Fort George; but shortly after, the English fleet appeared, and the French were driven off the island, so that since 1814 Tobago has been an undisputed English colony.
A few miles away is “Robinson Crusoe’s cave,” which I should visit if business took me that way. As it is, I shall be content with a few curios from Robinson Crusoe’s Island.
The largest congregation here is that of the Moravians. I have sold some books to them and to their ministers, and, in fact, to all the ministers in the island. I have been working under difficulties for the last few months, as we have had the most rain this season of any in twenty years. This makes the rivers dangerous to ford, but when on foot, the man who carries my books carries me over the stream also.
In regard to my work thus far, I can report 2,000 books delivered in 18 1/2 months from the time I left Battle Creek, and a surplus of about five hundred and fifty orders besides. I had hoped to deliver that number by May 1, 1893, but I shall probably deliver 3,000 by that time.
Scarborough, Tobago, July 10.
Arnold applies his comparative analysis skills. He effectively contrasts Trinidad and Tobago.
Of the 3000 orders, did anyone accept the Adventist message as a result?
1891, Colporteur Wm Arnold Visits
Review and Herald, July 14, 1891, page 5
FROM THE WEST INDIES.
As the rainy season in Demerara (Guyana) has set in, thus putting an end to my work in the country districts, I thought I would come over to Trinidad until the weather is more settled in Demerara. Port-of-Spain is the capital of Trinidad, and numbers perhaps 40,000 people; they are the most cosmopolitan of any that I have met in this field. English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Coolies. The different denominations represented are Church of England, Wesleyan, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Catholic.
The Catholic Church is very strong owing to the great number of French, Spanish, and Portuguese. But the most substantial people of wealth and influence are generally found among the Scotch and English. Some of the heaviest mercantile firms both in Trinidad and Demerara, are controlled by the Scotchmen.
A young Presbyterian has lately come to Trinidad to learn the Hindoostanic language and labor among the Coolies. I have met one of the teachers at Queen’s College who is a native Spaniard, and teaches both Spanish and French. Now, would it not be a line idea for one of our ministers who wishes to learn Spanish, to come down here and labor, and at the same time get a knowledge of Spanish? I understand that there is a talk of sending a minister this way. I wish he were here now.
When I came here, I brought with me a quantity of ”Great Controversy,” and commenced taking orders, and at the same time delivering as fast as possible, to let the book advertise itself. Among other signatures, I have that of his Excellency the Governor, the Auditor-General, the Register-General, the Acting Surgeon-General, the mayor of Port-of-Spain, the dean of Trinity Cathedral, etc. One wealthy sugar merchant, after purchasing a book, remarked to a friend that that was the best five dollars he ever spent. So his friend bought and paid for a copy, and then referred me to a third, who has paid me the cash for a book. The first man was formerly a member of the Church of England, but when they placed the crucifix and candles on the altar, he withdrew from them. I do not think he is now leading a religious life. Perhaps he does not see anything in the churches worth following. I think some of our ministers who are in delicate health should make the West Indies their field of labor.
The heat is very seldom as great here as with you, and sunstroke is almost unknown. I will quote from Guppy’s Almanac :—
“The range of the thermometer is usually from seventy at dawn to eighty-eight in the middle of the day. During the hotter months it reaches ninety-three, or even higher; while during the cooler weather, which generally lasts for a few weeks at the beginning of the year, the temperature sinks as low as sixty-six at night. The dry season may be reckoned to extend from the middle of January to the middle of May, but it is sometimes a week or two longer than this. “
As one passes from point to point in this part of the world, he will find new objects of interest wherever he goes. Barbadoes is a beautiful island. When you reach Demerara, you find the most beautiful city I have seen in the tropics, with broad streets, electric light, etc.; but the country is low and flat, not a mountain in view, and if it were not for the sea-wall, the country would be inundated at high tide, it is naturally an unhealthy place. Last year they buried 3,000 in Georgetown alone.
In Trinidad we see the grand old mountains once more, a pleasant change after six months in Demerara. I have visited the Botanical Gardens here, and they are simply magnificent. The governor’s palace has been erected in these gardens, and with, its surroundings affords a home worthy of any potentate. Across the way from the palace, is a public square, or savannah, as it is called here, which is as flat as a floor, and contains about 400 acres. I witnessed a military parade there on the queen’s birthday.
I shall probably stay in this island till sometime in August, when the dry season will give me an opportunity to finish up my work in Demerara.
Port-of- Spain, Trinidad, West Indies, May 31.