Page images

Upon the appeal of Mrs. W. L. Bates, a Bible worker with experience in mothers' societies, the Home Commission at the beginning of 1923 began the monthly issue of Mothers' Lessons, and the organization of Young Mothers' Societies in the local churches. These Mothers' Lessons include story-telling, nature study, health, and home culture, the last covering the principles of house management, child training, and the establishment of ethical and spiritual conditions in all home relations.

The Ministerial Association

The Ministerial Commission dates from the General Conference of 1922. Further attention was given to the subject at the Spring Council of 1923, at which time action was taken, changing the name of the organization to the Ministerial Association. A. G. Daniells, the general secretary, is largely devoting his time to the work, which consists in the awakening and fostering of a higher and deeper Christian experience of its members, and in general of the whole membership of the denomination; also in conducting a Ministerial Reading Course; and in gathering data that may be of use to those engaged in evangelistic effort. The association further seeks the aid of conference officers and ministers in searching out young men and encouraging them to study for the ministry.

The majority of the members of the advisory council were in attendance at the Spring Council of 1925, and due consideration was given to the interests of the association. The secretary made an encouraging report of the progress attending the Ministerial Reading Course work for the last three years. A standing committee of five was appointed to give careful study to the selection of books for future Reading Courses.

Definite plans were adopted for the production of literature along devotional and inspirational lines, and it was urged that special instruction be given at the camp-meetings covering the entire range of Ministerial Association work. Mrs. J. W. Mace was appointed office secretary.

[graphic][merged small]

Son of the first Seventh-day Adventist, William Farnsworth, Washington, N. H., and an ordained minister of the gospel since 1876.




Mrs. White may be seen in her wheel chair in the balcony.


Growth at Home and Abroad

PLANS of a comprehensive, far-reaching character require time for their working out. It was not until the General Conference of 1905 that the full significance of the reorganization effected four years earlier began to appear.

The presence of Mrs. E. G. White at the General Conference of 1909, and the instruction she was able to give, added much to the success of the meeting. It was at this conference the decision was made to have one man give his entire time to the organization and development of the work among the foreigners of North America. O. A. Olsen, who had just served for four years as president of the Australasian Union, was called to this office.

At this conference, also, the Western Canadian Union, including the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, was formally received into membership as a separate union.

In this connection a further word may be said of the eastern portion of Canada, known at this time as the Canadian Union, but later to be designated as the Eastern Canadian Union. Its

territory included the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Bruns wick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, and it reported at this conference forty-four organized churches, with a total membership of 1,200. Various other actions were taken; but these were all matters of minor importance compared with the time and attention given to the foreign fields.

The General Conference of 1909 was emphatically a missionary conference. The great problems it dealt with were chiefly missionary problems. The reports that received most attention were those from the mission fields, telling not only of work already accomplished, but of much more that remained to be done. It was not a note of discouragement that was struck, but one of large hope and confidence. "We are well able to go up and possess the land," was the sentiment of every heart, the only question being as to ways and means.

The Conference grouped together India, China, Japan, Chosen (Korea), and the Philippine Islands as the Asiatic Division, and elected I. H. Evans, who had been serving as treasurer of the General Conference, to the superintendency of this great territory, in order that his large experience in administration and finance might be used in putting the work in these far-off mission fields, on a thoroughly sound basis.

W. T. Knox was called to the treasurership of the General Conference, and to him fell the chief responsibility of working out the details of mission finance, and providing a steady flow of means for the support of the rapidly extending work. The growth in the regular offerings in the years following this Conference was very encouraging.

The General Conference of 1918 was held in San Francisco, Calif. It was decided at this meeting to discontinue the full division organization for North America, which had been inaugurated at the Conference of 1913. A. G. Daniells was re-elected president of the General Conference, and I. H. Evans, who had been president of the North American Division for the fouryear period, 1913-18, was elected vice-president for the Asiatic Division. Moreover, in view of the growth in the great mission fields of the Far East, India and Burma, which had been added to the Asiatic Division, were separated, and placed in charge of H. R. Salisbury, the Far Eastern Division henceforth consisting of Japan with her dependencies, China, the Malay States, Indo-China, the Dutch East Indies, Borneo, and the Philippines. E. E. Andross was made vice-president for North America.

Europe was represented at this conference by L. R. Conradi and a few leading brethren. Measures were taken to render

necessary assistance to our brethren in the countries devastated by the Great War.

The Conference of 1918 was remarkable for one thing: Mrs. E. G. White was not present, and there was no message from her pen addressed to that particular Conference. The trusted spiritual leader, whose messages of encouragement and reproof had been exerting a powerful influence over all branches of the work for more than sixty years, had passed away.

Since returning from Australia in 1900, Mrs. White had made her home near St. Helena, Calif. She had attended the General Conferences of 1901, 1905, and 1909, and had sent a stirring message to the Conference of 1913. She had also visited many different parts of the field, carrying with her everywhere a strong influence to build up the work along even lines, and especially emphasizing the need of a higher spirituality on the part not only of workers, but of laymen. In this country, as in Australia, her pen had been fully employed, not alone with a very extensive correspondence, but also with the preparation of a number of literary works dealing with various phases of Bible truth. Though she was active until the last few weeks, her general health had been failing for some years. The end was probably hastened by a fall about the middle of February, 1915, which caused fracture of the left femur.

The devoted servant who had labored so untiringly in the interests of the cause, died at her home, July 16, 1915. The sunny upper chamber in which her last weeks were spent, breathed an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. The last words she uttered were characteristic of the faith and courage that went with her through her life: "I know in whom I have believed."

Services were held at "Elmshaven," her home near St. Helena, and in Oakland, and also at Battle Creek, where interment was made in the presence of a large number of sorrowing friends. S. N. Haskell preached the sermon in the Tabernacle, which many years ago Mrs. White and her husband had been largely instrumental in erecting. A. G. Daniells, the president of the General Conference, and for years closely associated with Mrs. White, presented a sketch of her life. The servant of God rests from her labors, but her influence continues. It is doubtful if that influence was ever stronger among us as a people than it is today.

The delegation at the General Conference of 1922 was the largest in the history of the denomination, numbering 582, of whom 461 were from North America, and 121 from other parts.

« PreviousContinue »