Archive for the ‘General Conference Bulletins’ Category

1962, Telegram from John F. Kennedy

March 3, 2009


General Conference Bulletin, Review and Herald, July 26, 1962, page 14 (a DjVu file)

The delegates were pleased to receive
greetings from the President of the
United States, John F. Kennedy (the
President’s telegraphed message appears
in a box with this story).

From England, from Rwanda, Burundi,
Central Africa, from New Guinea, from
Salvador, from Brazil, from India, from
Singapore, from the Philippines, from
Greenland, from Indonesia, and from
the countries of southern Europe, among
others, came greetings to the conference.
How our brethren all around the circle
of the world would love to be here in
San Francisco! They cannot, but their
prayers are with us, and they, like us, are
asking that God will pour out His Spirit
abundantly on this great meeting.

Eastern Canada, 1913

October 18, 2008

General Conference Bulletin, 38th Session, May 23, 1913


I. H. Evans: It has been arranged this morning for the unions in the United States and Canada to finish their reports. We will now call upon Brother M. N. Campbell, of the Canadian Union Conference.

M. N, Campbell (reading):

It is with pleasure that I submit to this body of delegates the third quadrennial report of the Canadian Union Conference. This organization ‘includes within its territory the eastern half of the Dominion .of Canada, and consists of the Ontario, Quebec, and Maritime Conferences, and ‘ the Newfoundland Mission Field, embracing a population of. 5,000,000. For convenience I will present the work of the. union under the various department headings, considering first —

The Evangelical Department

The evangelical work of the Canadian Union Conference is carried forward by 16 ordained and 8 licensed ministers, besides 18 workers holding missionary credentials..

The work which for years has moved along so slowly is gathering momentum, and the seed-sowing of former years is now. bearing fruit. During the last twelve months alone 5 new churches have been organized, and the membership of one old church raised from 18 to nearly one hundred members, thus adding 150 to our membership alone, aside from all other work.

The introduction of the third angel’s message has met with determined opposition from pulpit and pew, being looked upon as an unwelcome innovation. However, our literature has been faithfully distributed for the last twenty years, and during the same period the living preacher has proclaimed the message by word of mouth, and now the flinty rock of conservatism is breaking down under the heavy blows of the hammer of truth. The heaviest ingatherings are still before us in Canada, and the time has evidently arrived when the reapers may look for large returns from their labors, for the harvest is fully ripe.

The most serious problem confronting the union at the present time is the evangelization of the great French-speaking population of the Province of Quebec. That province, except for a narrow fringe of territory along the border of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York, is solidly French Catholic. No Catholic nation of Europe is more intensely Catholic than is Quebec. Great Catholic cathedrals, monasteries, convents, and schools abound in. all parts of the province, while long-robed priests and monks are to be met with at every turn. The people are held in absolute subjection to the man of sin, who, on the banks of the Tiber, “sitteth in the temple of God showing himself that he is God.”

The General Conference has made a special appropriation this year for the employment of French colporteurs to carry our literature and visit among, the French people of that province. These workers have already been secured. We think that the printed page can enter and work where the living preacher would be rigorously excluded. Elder Vuilleumier is now stationed in Montreal, and is gaining a foothold in that city.

Another problem of no small .magnitude is the matter of carrying the message to the numerous fishing villages that line the coast of the great island of Newfoundland. These villages are accessible only by sailing vessels, and then only during the limited period of open -navigation. We have four laborers on the island at present, one ordained minister, a licentiate and his wife, and a church-school teacher. A start has been made in some of the larger towns, and souls are accepting the truth.

The believers in this union are organized into forty-three churches and six companies. Definite plans are being carried into execution to set every believer at work at something, especially with our .tracts and magazines. At Montreal a license fee of one hundred dollars is exacted from canvassers. This for a time seemed to be an insuperable barrier to. our book and magazine work in that city. One of our workers who attempted to sell magazines without a license was confined in jail several days. The church at that place made the matter a subject of special prayer, asking the Lord to remove this restriction to the work, which was proving such a hindrance. These prayers were heard in heaven, and since that time our workers have been entirely unmolested, and the magazine work is being carried on extensively in that city. Thus are the high walls being thrown down before the advance of the message in Canada.


There is but one union institution in eastern Canada,— the Canadian Publishing Association. Though carrying quite a ponderous name, its equipment is of a very modest order, consisting of a small press of sufficient size to print the union paper, and a few small pieces of machinery suitable to the simplest kind of work. Nevertheless, this press is kept on the move, turning out literature for this field. We find that some of the most important tracts are so strongly tinctured with Americanism that they are quite unpalatable to the average Canadian reader, and it is necessary to revise and reprint them for that field.

For some years in the past the handling of the literature in the Canadian Union field has been under the exclusive control of the Canadian Publishing Association, but this year tract societies are being established and canvassing agents are being placed in the field. We believe that this move will strengthen the book work materially, and give an impetus to the work generally.

About thirty miles east of Toronto, at Oshawa, Ontario, is located the Buena Vista Academy, which was transferred from Lorndale to its present location last year. A farm of 237 acres has been secured, on which have been erected buildings suitable to the needs of the institution.

It. has come to be quite well recognized that educational work higher than the twelfth grade must be furnished for our young people within the Canadian field itself, as experience has demonstrated that few of those who. go to the States for their advanced training ever return to labor in the home field. This has seriously depleted our ranks, for when the young people settled down in the States, their parents frequently followed them. Aside from this, the native Canadian worker has a very great advantage in laboring among his own people, and steps must be taken to train the young people in the field.

The new institution at Oshawa has a capacity for 75 boarding students, and is in many respects admirably adapted to the work suggested for it We are sure that the guiding hand of the’ Lord was manifest in the location of this school, and we look forward to seeing it develop into an important factor in the work of proclaiming the third angel’s message in the Canadian provinces.

At Williamsdale, Nova Scotia, is located the Maritime Conference Academy, a school that has served that section of the Canadian Union for nine years. Situated about twelve miles from town, among the Cobiquid Mountains, it is safe from the allurements of city life. Its capacity has been tested to the limit the present year, and several had to be refused admittance for lack of space to properly care for them. This academy closes the year with a splendid record for both spiritual and scholastic work accomplished, and has the additional satisfaction of having all its accounts and expenses paid, and one thousand dollars cash in the bank.

One of the oldest, if not the oldest, intermediate schools in the denomination is located at Fitch Bay, in the province of Quebec. There, amid the most beautiful surroundings of mountains and lakes, for nearly twenty years a school has been maintained that has given a training in Christian education to from training in Christian education to from twenty to forty students each year.

At St. Johns, Newfoundland, a school is maintained which is rapidly growing its present quarters The attendance ranges from forty to fifty. Quite a proportion of the students are children of those not of our faith.

Medical Work

There is no sanitarium work carried on under conference supervision in this union. Two small sanitariums under private management and an equal number of treatment-rooms comprise the work in that line. The membership of the union should be at least doubled before any countenance is given to the establishment of a sanitarium.


We are glad to be able to report that the believers of the Canadian Union are determined to keep abreast of their •American brethren in the matter of giving to the support of the message, In 1912 the Canadian Union went two hundred dollars above the quota of fifteen cents a week per member for foreign missions. They have no notion of dropping below that mark the present year. The per capita of tithe is on the up grade.

In concluding this report, I am glad to assure you that the courage and faith of the workers and the people of the Canadian Union is bright, and we look forward to the coming quadrennial period as the time when our growth will be commensurate with the means and labor that have been expended on the field.

M. N. CAMPBELL, President.

GC Session Supports EGW, 1879

October 18, 2008

November 7, 1879

The Conference assembled, according to appointment, in the Tabernacle at Battle Creek, Michigan, at 10:30 a.m., November 7, 1879. The president, Elder James White, announced hymn 164 of Spiritual Songs, after the singing of which the Conference was led in prayer by U. Smith. The hymn, “Nearer My God to Thee,” was then sung, and brief opening remarks were made by the president.

Delegates being called for, thirty-three responded, representing sixteen conferences and one mission. Others were afterward added, so that in all twenty conferences and two missions were represented by thirty-nine delegates, as follows:

Maine: R. S. Webber.
New England: D. A. Robinson, G. F. Haines.
Vermont: C. W. Stone, R. S. Owen.
New York: B. L. Whitney, M. H. Brown, E. S. Lane.
Pennsylvania: D. B. Oviatt, J. G. Saunders.
Ohio: D. M. Canright, G. G. Rupert.
Tennessee: G. K. Owen.
Michigan: W. H. Littlejohn, J. Fargo, William Ostrander, M. B. Miller, E. R. Jones, W. C. White, E. B. Lane.
Indiana: S. H. Lane, W. W. Sharp.
Illinois: A. A. John, G. W. Colcord.
Wisconsin: H. W. Decker, O. A. Olsen.
Minnesota: Harrison Grant, L. H. Ells, A. Mead.
Dakota: S. B. Whitney.
Nebraska: C. L. Boyd. A. J. Cudney.
Iowa: L. McCoy.
Missouri: G. I. Butler.
Kansas: Smith Sharp, W. E. Dawson.
Texas: G. I. Butler.
California: S. N. Haskell.
North Pacific: S. N. Haskell.
Colorado Mission: A. O. Burrill.
Ontario Mission: John Fulton.

Minutes of last session read and approved.

The chairman appointed the usual committees, as follows:

On Nominations: J. Fargo, O. A. Olsen, S. B. Whitney.
On Resolutions: Smith Sharp, H. W. Decker, S. H. Lane, A. O. Burrill, B. L. Whitney.
On Auditing: H. W. Kellogg, Franklin Howe.


Prayer by Elder James White.

Minutes of previous meeting approved.


The committee to whom was referred the subject of the creation of a Missionary Board, reported by recommending that the following persons constitute such Board for the coming year; namely, W. C. White, Mrs. M. J. Chapman, Elder O. A. Olsen, Miss Maud Sisley, and Elder B. L. Whitney.

An amendment to increase the number of the Board from five to nine by the addition of four more members was carried, and the motion, as amended, prevailed. Miss M. L. Huntley, Secretary of the General Tract and Missionary Society, and Elder U. Smith, were then added, after which it was

MOVED, That the committee by whom the foregoing Board was nominated, be instructed to present a nomination for the two remaining members, at some future meeting. Carried.

Some very stirring remarks on the subject of missionary work were made at this point by Sister White.


The committee on the circulation of the writings of Mrs. E. G. White reported as follows:–

The committee appointed by this Conference to consider the subject of the circulation of Sister White’s writings, would respectfully present the following report:

WHEREAS, Our past experience has fully proved that our prosperity as a people is always in proportion to the degree of confidence we cherish in the work of the spirit of prophecy in our midst; and

WHEREAS, The most bitter opposition we have to meet is aimed against this work, showing that our enemies realize its importance, whether we do or not; and

WHEREAS, We have found that the most effectual way to meet and disarm this opposition was either to secure the personal labors of the one through whom we believe that the Lord has spoken, or to freely circulate her writings, and

WHEREAS, Great light has shone upon us through this channel, which not only our own people greatly need, but which would be a blessing to the world, remove prejudice, and break the force of the bitter attacks of the enemies of the truth, therefore

RESOLVED, That we urge upon our ministers and tract societies the importance of making earnest efforts to extend the circulation of the volumes of the Spirit of Prophecy and the Testimonies to the Church among our own people, till these shall be in every family of believers.

RESOLVED, That we recommend the Publishing Association to issue in attractive form such of her writings as would be of general interest to the reading public who are not of our faith, to be placed in public libraries, reading rooms, on shipboard, etc., by canvassers and Tract and Missionary workers, where they, as well as our other standard works, may be accessible to the people.

RESOLVED, That we recommend the Publishing Association to issue in as cheap a form as consistent, the matter substantially contained in volume two of Spiritual Gifts, concerning the early life and labors of Sister White, in connection with the rise and progress of this work, for the special use of our ministers in new fields, and among those first becoming acquainted with her connection with this cause. And we further recommend the publication of a small edition of her earliest writings, now out of print, to bring all her writings within reach of those anxious to obtain them.

RESOLVED, That we consider it to be the duty of all our ministers to teach the Scriptural view of the gift of prophecy among our brethren everywhere, and the relation it sustains to the work of God in which we are engaged. 165–GCS 63-88

RESOLVED, That we advise that efforts be made to complete the raising of the fund of $5,000 voted at the last annual session of the Conference for the purpose of increasing the circulation of these writings; said fund to be used in placing them in public libraries, reading-rooms, and other locations where they will be open to the reading public, and in such of the families of the very poor as the officers of the Tract and Missionary Society decide should have them.

These were adopted.

pages 152, 153, 163-165

Seventh-day Baptists, 1879

June 12, 2008


Elder Haskell being called to the chair, Elder James White introduced the following preambles and resolutions:–

WHEREAS, The Seventh-day Baptists have for many years observed, taught, and defended the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and are known to us through their delegates to our General Conference as a body of Christian Sabbath-keepers possessing a good degree of culture, liberality of sentiment, and Christian forbearance, therefore

RESOLVED, That we deem them worthy of our respect and love, and that it is for the interest of the Sabbath cause that the two bodies of Christian commandment-keepers labor to sustain friendly relations to each other; and

WHEREAS, Certain preachers, who professed to be Seventh-day Adventists, at an early date in our brief history, did seek their field of labor in the localities where there were Seventh-day Baptist churches, and did weaken some of their feeble churches, and blot out others, resulting in harm and only harm, to the grief of the Seventh-day Baptists, therefore

RESOLVED, That our Seventh-day Baptist brethren had just cause for complaint, and that it is the sense of this Conference that our preachers are violating the Golden Rule–Do unto others as you would have them do to you–in seeking their fields of labor where Seventh-day Baptist churches are located.

RESOLVED, That while we deplore the spirit of prejudice and unkindness manifested by certain Seventh-day Baptist ministers toward Seventh-day Adventists, we deeply regret the injury done to individuals and to feeble churches, about twenty years since, by those men whom we could not control, and who have since done Seventh-day Adventists tenfold the injury they did the (168–GCS 63-88 ) Seventh-day Baptists, resulting in weakening and grieving both denominations. And while we pledge our influence against such wrongs in the future, we ask not to be held responsible for that which we have no power to control.

These were unanimously adopted.

First G.C. Session – Part 2 – Constitution

April 6, 2008



The following brethren were then appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws for the government of this Conference:

Brethren J. N. Andrews, N. Fuller, I. Sanborn, W. Morse, H. F. Baker, B. F. Snook, J. H. Waggoner, and J. N. Loughborough. After due deliberation the committee presented the following constitution for the consideration of the Conference:



For the purpose of securing unity and efficiency in labor, and promoting the general interests of the cause of present truth, and of perfecting the (3–GCS 63-88) organization of the Seventh-day Adventists, we, the delegates from the several State Conferences, hereby proceed to organize a General Conference, and adopt the following constitution for the government thereof:

Article I. (NAME) This Conference shall be called the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Article II. (OFFICERS) The officers of this Conference shall be a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and an Executive Committee of three, of whom the President shall be one.

Article III. (DUTIES) The duties of the President and Secretary shall be such respectively as usually pertain to those offices.

Article IV. (DUTIES OF THE TREASURER) It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to receive and disburse means under the direction of the Executive Committee, and keep an account of the same, and make a full report thereof to the regular meetings of the Conference.


Section 1. It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee to take the general supervision of all ministerial labor, and see that the same is properly distributed; and they shall take the special supervision of all missionary labor, and as a missionary board shall have the power to decide where such labor is needed, and who shall go as missionaries to perform the same.

Section 2. Means for missionary operations may be received by donation from State Conferences, churches, or individuals; and the Committee are authorized to call for means when needed.

Section 3. When any State Conference desires ministerial labor from a minister not a resident within the bounds of such Conference, their request shall be made to the General Conference Executive Committee, and ministers sent by said Committee shall be considered under the jurisdiction of the Conference Committee of such State:

PROVIDED, 1. That if such minister consider the State Committee inefficient, or their action so far wrong as to render his labor ineffectual, he may appeal to the General Conference Executive Committee;

PROVIDED, 2. That if such State committee consider such minister inefficient they may appeal to the General Conference Committee, who shall decide on the matter of complaint, and take such action as they may think proper.

Article VI. (SELECTING DELEGATES) Each State Conference shall be entitled to one delegate in the General Conference, and one additional delegate for every twenty delegates in the State Conference, such delegates to the General conference to be chosen by the State Conferences or their Committees:

PROVIDED, That the delegates to such State Conferences be elected according to the following ratio, to wit:

Each church to the number of twenty members or under shall be entitled to one delegate, and one delegate for every additional fifteen members.

Article VII. (TERM OF OFFICE) The officers shall hold their offices for the term of one year, and shall be elected at the regular meetings of the Conference.


Section 1. The regular meetings of the Conference shall be held annually, and the time and place of holding the same shall be determined by the Executive Committee, by whom due notice thereof shall be given through the Review.

Section 2. Special meetings may be called at the option of the Committee. (4–GCS 63-88)

Article IX. (CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE) This constitution may be altered or amended by a two-third’s vote of the delegates present at any regular meeting:

PROVIDED, That any proposed amendment shall be communicated to the Executive Committee, and notice thereof given by them in their call for the meeting of the Conference.

The report was accepted and the committee discharged.

The Conference then took up the reported constitution item by item, for consideration and discussion, which resulted in its entire adoption.

Source: Transcription of minutes of GC sessions from 1863 to 1888 (a pdf file)

The First General Conference Session – Part One

April 6, 2008


May 20, 1863

The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists convened according to appointment at Battle Creek, Michigan, May 20, at 6 o’clock p.m. The meeting was temporarily organized by choosing

J. M. Aldrich, chairman, and

U. Smith, secretary.

The Conference was then opened by singing the hymn on page 233, and prayer by Brother Snook. A committee to receive and judge of the credentials of delegates being called for, it was

VOTED, That we have a committee of three on credentials.

The following brethren were thereupon chosen as that committee:

Elder J. N. Loughborough, of Michigan;

C. O. Taylor, of New York; and

Isaac Sanborn, of Wisconsin.

The remainder of this session was occupied in the presentation of credentials to the committee, and the meeting adjourned to the following morning, May 21, at 9 o’clock.

In the morning session, the committee announced the following brethren as the duly elected delegates from their respective states:

from New York, Brethren

J. N. Andrews,

N. Fuller, C. O. Taylor, and J. M. Aldrich;

from Ohio, I. N. Van Gorder;

from Michigan, the ministers present from that state, namely, Brethren







Cornell, and


with a lay representation of Brethren James Harvey, of North Liberty, Indiana, and William S. Higley, Jr., of Lapeer, Michigan;

from Wisconsin, Isaac Sanborn;

from Iowa, Brethren B. F. Snook, and W. H. Brinkerhoff;

from Minnesota,

Washington Morse.

The report of the committee was accepted.

VOTED, That Brother H. F. Baker be received as an additional delegate from Ohio.

The following brethren were then appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws for the government of this Conference: Brethren J. N. Andrews, N. Fuller, I. Sanborn, W. Morse, H. F. Baker, B. F. Snook, J. H. Waggoner, and J. N. Loughborough.

After due deliberation the committee presented the following constitution for the consideration of the Conference:


For the purpose of securing unity and efficiency in labor, and promoting the general interests of the cause of present truth, and of perfecting the (3–GCS 63-88) organization of the Seventh-day Adventists, we, the delegates from the several State Conferences, hereby proceed to organize a General Conference, and adopt the following constitution for the government thereof:…

Source: Transcription of minutes of GC sessions from 1863 to 1888 (a pdf file)


Adventist History – Sources

March 29, 2008


General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Online Document Archives

The Adventist Archives website provides hundreds of documents for study. I have made use of the Review and Herald documents and the General Conference Bulletins, thus far.


The Ellen G. White Estate

On the White Estate site, the two features I use the most are:

1) Search all categories of Ellen G. White’s writings (WAIS)

This feature makes possible topical studies within Ellen White’s writings. I also use it to identify the document providing the context for specific quotes. Once I have the name of the document then I will go to the GUI feature and examine the context.

2) GUI Search of Ellen G. White’s Writings Online Database

This feature provides an amazingly comprehensive source of Ellen G. White material.