Harry Fenner and Luther Warren asked God’s blessing in organizing the youth for service.
Robert Ayres, artist
In 1879 a beginning was made by two boys of Hazelton, Michigan. One was Harry Fenner, seventeen, and the other was four-teen-year-old Luther Warren, who later became an evangelist. They were troubled about the needs of the young people of their church, and developed the idea of having a boys’ society. They walked down a country road one day, talking earnestly about their young friends. Before parting, the two boys went to a secluded corner in a field and prayed about their plans. Thus was born the first Seventh-day Adventist young people’s society on record. It consisted of five or six boys, and the meetings were held in the home of one of the members. They elected a president and a secretary-treasurer. The activities emphasized were missionary work and the improvement of personal conduct, especially healthful living. Later the girls of the church desired to join the boys in their work, and after some discussion they were invited to do so. Other societies of young people soon sprang up in Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio, and Australia. Messages began coming from Ellen White urging the young people to organize for service.