1879, The First Idea, Youth Work

The First Idea

The beginning of the Junior Missionary Volunteer Society can be traced back to the summer of 1879. The historical spot was a country S.D.A. church at Hazelton, Michigan. The community is known today as Juddville and is located just southwest of Flint, Michigan. A few days before this first J.M.V. Society was organized, Elder Luther Warren, then a lad in his teens, and his friend Harry Fenner were talking earnestly as they walked along a country road. They conceived the idea of having a boys’ society; and before parting they climbed over a rail fence, went to a corner in the field where the bushes were thick, and told the Lord about their plans. Of this society Elder Warren says:

“There were only about six or eight of us at the first meeting, and we were some- what diffident and backward in trying to carrj’ on religious exercises together; but we tried to do things according to our ideas of order. We elected officers—a president and a secretary-treasurer. The meeting was opened with prayer and song, and we en- deavored to conform to parliamentary rules in the transaction of business.

“At our weekly meetings the work done was reported—papers and tracts given away, missionary letters written and received, and other work of like character. A temperance pledge against the use of alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee, and pork -was drawn up and signed. Our collections were used to buy literature, except the small amount needed for record books and running expenses.

“A short time later someone suggested that a number of the girls desired to join us in our work, and after some discussion it was decided to invite them to unite with us in our meetings and work. After this our plans were somewhat enlarged. We held prayer and social meetings, missionary meetings, and temperance meetings, with special programs.

“The boys’ meetings were held with none of the older folks present; but after the girls joined us, the meetings were held in the open family room and were usually attended by the adults of the family where the meeting was held.”—Missionary Volunteers and Their Work, p. 10.

The Church Officer Gazette, September, 1950, page 15

Missionary Volunteers And Their Work: Prepared For The Young People’s Missionary Volunteer Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists by MATILDA ERICKSON by Matilda Erickson (Hardcover – 1926)

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