Waworoendeng, Anton (1921–1983)

By Jonathan Oey Kuntaraf

×

Jonathan Oey Kuntaraf was born into a Buddhist family. He joined the SDA Church at the age of 17. During his 44 years of denominational service, Kuntaraf has served as a pastor, teacher, and administrator. Before his retirement, Kuntaraf served as the director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. His wife Kathleen Kiem Hoa Oey Kuntaraf, a physician, served the denomination for 36 years, with her last responsibility as the General Conference associate director of Health Ministries department. The Kuntarafs are partners in preaching, teaching, presenting seminars, and writing books and articles. They have two children.

Anton Waworoendeng was a pastor and a church administrator, and he was the first Indonesian to serve as the union president in East Indonesia.

Early Life (1921–1942)

Anton Waworoendeng was born on February 13, 1921, to Mr. and Mrs. Marten Waworoendeng, plantation workers of Warembungan, Manado, North Celebes (now North Sulawesi province), a couple of modest means but who valued education.1 Anton and all of his siblings were sent to school to prepare for something other than farming careers. They were encouraged to reach higher education and be professional people. The Waworoendeng family was Protestant. Of Anton’s five brothers and one sister, only one brother joined him in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.2

Education and Marriage

Anton’s early education was in an Indonesian elementary school. For secondary education, he was taught in a Dutch colonial school in Manado during the period of Dutch occupation in Indonesia. As a result, he was fluent in both the Indonesian and Dutch languages. While studying at the secondary level school in Manado, Anton was taught by Mr. Mangowal, an Adventist teacher, who introduced him to the book Steps to Christ. This book by Ellen G. White had a tremendous impact on Anton and opened his heart to be ready to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior.3

Mr. Mangowal prodded Anton and convinced him that he should continue his study in the Seventh-day Adventist college in Gadobangkong in Bandung, Java. In this college, designed to prepare workers for the church, he received the gospel truth in full and was baptized. Here he also met his future bride, Cato Pandelaki,4 whose parents were among the early converts in Tondano, North Celebes province, a region pioneered by an American Seventh-day Adventist missionary Albert Munson. Pandelaki subsequently served as a Bible worker in the Minahasa region. Pastor and Mrs. Waworoendeng had three sons, Moody, James, and Henry.

To continue his informal self-education, Anton purchased and read the Seventh-day Adventist Commentary Reference series, including the Bible commentaries and encyclopedia. Having invested a large sum for these books, they were his prized collection, and he took them with him whenever he moved to a new assignment.

Career and Ministry (1943–1976)

From 1943 to 1950, Waworoendeng was employed in various capacities. Upon completion of his studies in bookkeeping, he was employed as a bookkeeper in the college business office at the Indonesia Union Seminary, Gadobangkong, and thus began a lifelong career in church employment. He then served as a bookkeeper at the Indonesia Union office in Jalan Naripan, Bandung. Then he was sent to Magelang, Central Java, to pastor the church there for a time. Later on, he was assigned to the Dutch-speaking members in Surabaya. Then he became the treasurer at the Sulawesi Selatan Mission, working under Pastor Alfrits Pasuhuk.5

From 1951 to 1953, he returned to be the accountant at Indonesia Union Seminary, Cimahi, while Mrs. Waworoendeng served as the college registrar.6

From 1953 to 1958, Waworoendeng served as the secretary-treasurer at the North Sumatra Mission with the mission presidents A. G. Bartlett and G. A. Haas. Anton also served as the Youth department director. Mrs. Waworoendeng served as cashier and manager of the Adventist Book Center.7

From 1958 to 1961, Anton Waworoendeng was the president of the East Java Mission, Surabaya. Mrs. Waworoendeng served as the Adventist Book Center manager.8

From 1961 to 1964, Waworoendeng was a church pastor in Malacca, Malaysia, and at the Malay Church, Singapore, which include brief services at the Johore Seventh-day Adventist Church. During this period, he was also the backup treasurer for the Malaya Mission in Kuala Lumpur, which was in the Southeast Asia Union.9 This was the first overseas service for Anton Waworoendeng.

From 1965 to 1970, Waworoendeng was the secretary-treasurer of the Sabah Mission in the Southeast Asia Union, with George Munson as the mission president.10 Mrs. Waworoendeng served as cashier and director of the Children and Family Ministry department.

From 1970 to 1975, Waworoendeng served as the president of the East Indonesia Union Mission in Manado,11 the first Indonesian to serve as the union president.12 Mrs. Waworoendeng served as the director of the Children and Family Ministries department.

Later Life (1976–1983)

In 1976, Waworoendeng was asked to resign by the division because of noncompliance with church financial policy by committing the union to a contractual agreement for the construction of a hospital building in Manado. The policy stated that no contract was to be signed without a specific percentage of cash on hand and a definite inflow of future funds at the time the contract was entered into.

Because of his deteriorating medical condition, he took early medical retirement and joined his children in the United States of America (U.S.A.) in 1978.

In 1983 Waworoendeng died from an extended heart ailment—congestive heart failure. His body is buried at the Montecito Memorial Park in Loma Linda, California, U.S.A.

Contribution/Legacy

As the first Indonesian to become president of the East Indonesia Union Mission, Anton Waworoendeng contributed to the progress of God’s work in East Indonesia. It was reported that under his leadership, the soul-winning activities grew due to members’ involvement. The progress was evidenced by the baptism of more souls, better workers’ salary, and more church constructions being established.13

As the union president, he made one fatal administrative miscalculation in going ahead with the hospital construction project with limited funds. He was hoping that as construction began, enthusiasm and funding support would follow. Such logic, however, was considered a violation of the division’s financial policy. Although taken eventually to legal challenge for non-payment of contract proceedings by the building contractor, Anton Waworoendeng was cleared by the court. Even so, the division dismissed him from his position. Today the Manado Adventist Hospital (Rumah Sakit Advent Manado) is a reality, but Anton Waworoendeng never lived to see the hospital, which now benefits the church programs and evangelistic approaches in Manado.14

Anton was a man of discipline and routine. He tended to be quiet and not too expressive. He regularly read the writings of Ellen G. White and the Scriptures every morning before the family woke up and also later in the evening. He could recall many texts and passages from memory, and he liberally used quotes from Ellen G. White’s writings in his sermons. Anton Waworoendeng chose to serve and follow Jesus in his life and was a godly man, father, and husband. He never aimed to be a church leader and never discussed such things at home with his family nor bragged about his upward progress, but his track record showed continuous upward mobility in trust positions of importance, creating stability and growth. Being a straight, disciplinarian, and distant type of person, he appeared rigid and stiff socially, yet he was humble and not assertive. His humility and his high level of commitment to serve as God’s servant were strong features of his years of service in God’s work.15

Sources

Fernandez, Gil G. Light Dawns over Asia. Cavite, Silang: Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) Publications, 1990.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1951-1999.

Tambunan, Emilkan. Gereja Masehi Advent Hari Ketujuah di Indonesia. Bandung, Indonesia: Indonesia Publishing House, 1999.

Notes

  1. James Waworoendeng, son of Anton Waworoendeng, Loma Linda, California, e-mail to the author, October 12, 2017.

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Ibid.

  6. “Indonesia Union Seminary,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1953), 250.

  7. “North Sumatra Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1954), 110; “North Sumatra Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1955), 89;“North Sumatra Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1956), 91; “North Sumatra Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1957), 92; “North Sumatra Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1958), 93; “North Sumatra Mission,” Yearbook of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination (1959), 98.

  8. “East Java Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1959), 97; “East Java Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1960), 97; “East Java Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1961), 99; “East Java Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1962), 100.

  9. “Malaya Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1962), 114; “Malaya Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1963), 124; “Malaya Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1964), 131; “Malaya Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1965), 135.

  10. “Sabah Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1967), 137; “Sabah Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1968), 139; “Sabah Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1969), 145; “Sabah Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1970), 148.

  11. “East Indonesia Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1971), 146; “East Indonesia Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1972), 156; “East Indonesia Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1973), 155; “East Indonesia Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1975), 158; “East Indonesia Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1976), 172.

  12. Gil G. Fernandez, Light Dawns over Asia (Cavite, Silang: Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies Publications, 1990), 170.

  13. Emilkan Tambunan, Gereja Masehi Advent Hari Ketujuah di Indonesia (Bandung, Indonesia: Indonesia Publishing House, 1999), 190.

  14. Waworoendeng, e-mail to the author.

  15. Ibid.

×

Kuntaraf, Jonathan Oey. "Waworoendeng, Anton (1921–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=3AO1.

Kuntaraf, Jonathan Oey. "Waworoendeng, Anton (1921–1983)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access May 14, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=3AO1.

Kuntaraf, Jonathan Oey (2021, April 28). Waworoendeng, Anton (1921–1983). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 14, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=3AO1.