View All Photos

Inter-American Division headquarters

Photo courtesy of the Inter-American Division archives.

Inter-European Division

By Chigemezi Nnadozie Wogu

×

Chigemezi Nnadozie Wogu, MTS, is a Ph.D. student at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and a research associate at the Institute of Adventist Studies in Friedensau Adventist University, Germany. At Friedensau, he manages the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventist research project for some parts of Europe. Wogu is a junior member of the Netherlands School for Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion. He is co-editor to Contours of European Adventism: Issues in the History of the Denomination in the Old Continent (Möckern: Institute of Adventist Studies, Friedensau Adventist University, 2020).

The Inter-European Division is a subordinate body of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. This body oversees the denomination’s work in some parts of Europe.

Territory: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Holy See, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland; comprising the Czecho-Slovakian, Franco-Belgian, North German, Romanian, South German, and Swiss Union conferences and the Austrian, Bulgarian, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish unions of churches.

Statistics: (June 30, 2019): Churches, 2537; membership, 178,829; population, 338,333,000. The general population per member ratio is 3,013.

Address: Schosshaldenstrasse 17, 3006 Berne, Switzerland

Background and Prerequisites for the Organization of a European Division

Europe was the first continent after North America where Adventists began missionary work. In 1864 the first Adventist to set foot on European soil was the unofficial missionary Michał B. Czechowski.1 Czechowski was a former Franciscan monk from Poland, converted to Adventism in North America. He first worked in the Waldensian Valleys in northern Italy and later in Switzerland where in 1867 he founded the first Adventist church outside North America, in Tramelan. In 1874 John Nevins Andrews, the first Adventist official missionary, arrived in Switzerland to continue the work of Czechowski. Due to his efforts, as well as those of Jakob Erzberger, Switzerland, became the cradle of European Adventism. By 1882 the mission in Europe became known as the European Council of Seventh-day Adventist Mission. By this time, the Tramelan church, which still stands until today,2 had been fully built by the Roth family. It was dedicated on Sabbath, December 25, 1886, by Ellen G. White, who was in Switzerland at that time3 during her visit to Europe (1885-1887).

From 1886 onwards the Adventist missionary work in Europe experienced a breakthrough when Ludwig R. Conradi succeeded for the first time in sinking Adventist roots in Europe by adapting missionary methods to European culture.4 The mission work was still managed from the General Conference as the “Central European Mission” led by B. L. Whitney.5 In 1893 the European field became “District Number Eight” of the General Conference. But things changed in 1897, when H. P. Holser, then in charge of the Adventist mission in Europe, voiced his concerns at the General Conference session in College View, Nebraska. He explained that the mission, due to its rapid growth, “had become too burdensome” for the General Conference. In that meeting it was decided that the General Conference territory be divided into “three grand divisions; namely, (a) the Australasian Union Conference, (b) the European Union Conference, (c) the General Conference territory in North America.”6

Formation, Growth, and Development, 1901-1921

On July 23, 1901, on the initiative of Ludwig Richard Conradi, a reorganization of the mission work was implemented in Europe. Due to the strong growth, the European Adventist leaders formed what was called the European General Conference.7 By this time the fast-growing churches in Germany became one union conference and initially included 13 other countries.8

This organizational experiment, however, ended soon after, in 1907.9 The European General Conference was not totally welcomed by the leaders in America; it implied a potential threat to the worldwide unity of the Adventist movement.10 Hence, when the annual meeting of the General Conference executive committee convened in Gland, Switzerland, in 1907, members of the committee voted “that the organization known as the European General Conference . . . be discontinued.”11 A vice president, Conradi, was recommended to oversee the work in Europe under the supervision of the General Conference in America.

By 1913, the European Division was officially created. This came as a result of the calls from the European leaders since 1908. Daniel Heinz claims that even before 1913 the European field had a status of a division by 1908.12 In 1911 Conradi himself had written to the General Conference recommending that various sections of the denomination be divided into “self-supporting divisions” with constitutional rights.13 The next year the leaders in Europe voted to ask the annual council of the General Conference to “consider the advisability of so amending the Constitution of the General Conference at its session in 1913 as to provide for the perfection of the divisional organizations.”14

The General Conference voted to have divisions in its 1913 session. The European Division was officially founded with administrative headquarters located in Hamburg, Germany. This division comprised several mission fields in Africa and Asia (i.e. the Turkish possessions of Persia, Arabia, and Afghanistan).15 There were nine unions with their conferences and 26 missions (mainly in Eastern and South-East Europe, Siberia, in the Middle East, North, West, and East Africa).16

In the health sector, in autumn of 1919, Dr. L. E. Conradi acquired a suitable building in today's district of Zehlendorf, Berlin, and began plans of establishing the first hospital in the division there. On April 15, 1920, the Waldfriede Hospital with 39 beds, 27 hospital rooms, and an operating room, which was not yet completely finished, was opened.17

Growth and Reorganization: 1922-1928

The period between 1922-1928 is to be considered as a time of significant progress in the division: Adventist membership in Europe increased from about 53,000 to 89,000. In 1922 thirty missionaries from Europe were sent abroad. Six years later this number had grown to 134.18 “Africa, in particular, was evangelized by many Adventist missionaries from Europe.”19 As a result of the growth of this division, at the council of the European Division in 1928, in Darmstadt, there was a reorganization into three new divisions.20 These were: Northern European Division (now Trans-European/TED), based in London, St. Albans; the Central European Division (CED), based in Berlin and Darmstadt, Germany; and Southern European Division (SED) in Berne, Switzerland. Adventist churches in the former Soviet Union, isolated from the world church since 1922, already had theirs: “Division of the Soviet Russian Union.21 The CED and SED were the precursors of what much later became the Inter-European Division.

The Northern European Division controlled the English mission areas in West and East Africa and in Pakistan,22 which also included in its territories Great Britain, Scandinavia, Poland, and the Baltic countries.

The Southern European Division stretched out to the Latin and Southern-Slavic countries and directed the French-speaking missions in north and equatorial Africa areas, and Angola, Mozambique, and Madagascar (Indian Ocean Mission). The SED included five Unions: the Latin Union, the Iberian Union Mission, the Yugoslavian Union Mission, the Romanian Union, and the Union of German and French Switzerland. SED comprised the countries of Algeria, Belgium, France, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, and Romania. Later Cameroon, Madagascar, and Mauritius were assigned to the SED as mission territories.23

The Central European Division (CED) comprised Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania. The CED also “administered mission territories in the Middle East (Middle East Mission) [including] Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, and Egypt, plus a mission area in Liberia (West Africa Mission) and in the Dutch East Indies (Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Celebes, and New Guinea, Dutch East Indies Mission).”24

World War II and Reorganizations

From 1933 to 1945, during Hitler’s regime and when the German church was not allowed to send funds abroad, the CED was partitioned into two: the denomination in Germany and the rest of the division, called Section II. Section II of the CED functioned separately until 1941,

It included Czechoslovakia (which returned to the German orbit in 1939), Hungary (which went to the Southern European Division in 1941), detached organizations, and mission fields except for the Netherlands East Indies (which went to the Far Eastern Division). These missions were supported and administered by the General Conference as detached organizations after 1941, until they were incorporated into other divisions—the Northern European and the Southern European—or organized into a new division (Middle East).25

When the Second World War came to an end, and as a result of border boundaries reassignment, in addition to Hungary, other fields were added to the SED: Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Greece in 1946. The Netherlands went to the Northern European Division (NED).

The CED, which was reorganized in 1948, comprised only Germany, occupying the same territory as the German Inter-Union Association, an organization that had been set up within the area of the former European Division in 1927.26 On SED territory significant changes were effected in 1950, when Angola and Mozambique joined; and in 1955 Israel followed suit.

In 1948 the beginning of novel approaches in media work began in the region. What is today known as Stimme der Hoffnung or Voice of Hope began when H. G. Stoehr came from the USA to Berne, Switzerland, to start radio work for the German-speaking areas in Europe. 27 In 1956 the “Friedensauer Bild-und Tonstelle” was founded to supply communities in the GDR and Eastern European countries with the Adventist message. In 1959 the Voice of Hope moved to Darmstadt; from then on the broadcasts were produced in its own studio. In 1961 Erwin Berner took over the management, and the growing Bible Correspondence School was from then on directed by Oswald Bremer, later by Wilhelm Räcker. In 1964 the Adventist Library for the Blind was founded in Germany. In 1965 the Friedensauer Bibellehrbriefe (a Bible correspondence course for the socialist part of Germany) and an audio library for the blind were founded in the GDR.28

The 1970s and 1980s

In 1970, at the General Conference session, the SED was renamed Trans-Mediterranean Division (TMD) after delegates in session adopted the name to better designate their territory. After the officers of the CED and the Trans-Mediterranean Division met at Darmstadt in Germany, in November 197129 the decision to merge the two divisions was reached.

With effect of January 1, 1972, the Trans-Mediterranean and Central European Divisions were merged into one: the Euro-Africa Division (then EAD), with headquarters in Berne, Switzerland.30 The leaders elected to serve the division were American C. L. Powers, president; Heinz Vogel, vice-president, from Germany; Jean Zurcher, secretary, from France; Oswald Bremer (Germany), associate secretary; Erich Amelung (Germany), treasurer; Oldrich Sladek (Czechoslovakia), field secretary; and L. L. Folkenberg, under-treasurer. Departmental directors were from Austria, France, and Italy.

The newly formed division encompassed all the former territories of the SED in Europe except Poland and Holland.31 It covered all countries in the Yugoslavian Union conferences but no part of the then Soviet Union. It also administered a large section of West-Central Africa, the African Portuguese territories, Madagascar, and neighboring islands.32 Its constituent organizations entailed:

  1. Eight union conferences (Czecho-Slovakian Union Conference, Franco-Belgian Union Conference, Romanian Union Conference, South German Union Conference, Swiss Union Conference, German Democratic Republic Union Conference, West German Union Conference, and Yugoslavian Union Conference).

  2. Five union missions (Angola Union Mission, Equatorial African Union Mission [including Senegal, Cameroun, Chad, the Central African Republic, Gabon, the Republic of Congo/Congo-Brazzaville], and the then unreached areas of Mali, Niger, and Mauritania), Indian Ocean Union Mission, Mozambique Union Mission, and Southern European Union Mission [covering Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Israel],

  3. Two unions of churches (Austrian Union of Churches, Bulgarian Union of Churches),

  4. and the Northern African Mission, later to be called Misserm. This detached mission field under the direct supervision of the division comprised the countries of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia.33

At this time the membership in the division territory amounted to 183,122, and there were 2,574 churches.34 Its institutions included 26 educational institutions; 3 food companies; 21 hospitals, clinics, and dispensaries; 13 Old People’s Homes and Orphanages; 16 publishing houses; and more than a dozen of radio and television production centers.35

From a distance of two generations, the programs of the 1970s appear as a general intensification of traditional Adventist mission approaches. Dozens of missionaries continued to be sent out;36 traditional evangelism and numerical goals prevailed (in 1973, a division wide evangelistic cum mission program, Mission 73,37 was adopted and launched).38 The same year was designated as Spirit of Prophecy emphasis year39 with focus on the prophetic ministry of the denomination’s co-founder, Ellen G. White, as well as a “Youth and Family Life Year” with focus on reading Ellen White’s book The Adventist Home. In the health line, a few more ideas became reality: e.g., a new journal titled Mieux Vivre was launched for the French speaking African countries with the EAD territory.40 Starting from 1974, the Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking was promoted.41 Moreover, the decade brought a significant growth of radio ministry, which continued to expand in the following decades.42 While the division’s religious-liberty work did not directly impact its evangelistic outreach, in terms of innovation and public impact, Conscience and Liberty, the journal for the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty, published in several languages, was groundbreaking for the denomination at large.43

With the election of Edwin Ludescher, a former missionary to African territories, as president, the EAD leadership took much interest in the growth of the Equatorial African Union and its fields, especially Angola, Cameroon, Mozambique, and Niger.44 During the same period, Ludescher tried to mediate in the long conflict that had split the Adventist Hungarian church before his tenure, despite numerous EAD initiatives for reconciliation between the two groups, at times even with the participation of General Conference leaders.45 By 1980, the membership of the EAD had grown to 268,167 church members46 with 2,830 churches.47

The 1980s saw major structural adjustments again. At the General Conference Session in Dallas, the denomination’s representatives voted to move several African territories to the newly established Africa-Indian Ocean Division: the Central African Union Mission and the Indian Ocean Mission. The Northern African territory (Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco) remained, just like Angola and Mozambique, which stayed in the division until the 2003 Annual Council.48 Further change came the following year: “On October 7, 1981, the General Conference Committee approved the request of the Euro-Africa Division to dissolve the Southern European Union Mission and to designate the organizations in Italy, Portugal, and Spain, separately as the Union of Churches in Italy, the Union of Churches in Portugal, et cetera, respectively.” 49 Restructuring continued in 1985, when the Hungarian Union Conference, the Yugoslavian Union Conference, the Greek Mission, and the Israel field were moved from the Euro-Africa Division to the Northern European Division.50

The decade is marked by a host of experiments and initiatives in various lines of evangelism. The following represent highlights from the period that illustrate how denominational leaders attempted to steer the denomination in creative ways while aiming at healthy growth and stemming decline in those areas where numerical growth could no longer be achieved.

In the field of youth ministry, large congresses were becoming increasingly popular. From August 4 to 10, 1980, “1,350 young people gathered from all over the German Democratic Republic (D.D.R.) and other countries to attend a special Bible Week. Many Socialist countries, such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland” were represented. Likewise, there were delegates from Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark.51 A similar meeting took place the following year for pathfinders, the international camporee from July 23 to August 2 of 1981 in Monoblet, southern France, near the city of Montpellier. 52

It is also in the 1980s that division leaders began seriously thinking of ways to reach people of other religions on their traditional territory. As many Muslims began seeking asylum in Europe or had migrated to work there,53 Adventists saw the opportunity and created a pilot project with focus on mission among Muslims in Europe. The Euro-Africa Division voted in 1981 to request the Franco-Belgian Union and North France Conference to take action on the project starting in the city of Strasbourg. This project was considered a pilot for other similar projects to be undertaken in France and other regions of the division.54

The evangelistic approach in the division region also included numerical goal-setting. Following the 1000 Days of Reaping Initiative of the General Conference, the EAD determined to reach 65,000 baptisms by 1985. By September 1984, 65,363 people had actually been baptized. Thus, evangelistic results during the quinquennium were among the best ever in the division’s history.55

Other evangelistic initiatives included radio ministry, church growth seminars, and novel forms of health ministry: radio workshops targeted for ministerial students were carried out in three of the division’s theological schools;56 Gottfried Oosterwal, director of the Institute of World Mission at Andrews University, was invited to conduct Church Growth seminars in the Euro-Africa Division in 1982 and 1983,57 an approach that exerted a strong influence among the ministerial force in the years to come. In 1986, from January to April, Mark Finley, then director of the Ministerial Association of the newly organized Trans-European Division, was invited to conduct a division-supported evangelistic series in Munich, Germany;58 the results of this year-long endeavor were somewhat meager, however, and indicated the shift from public evangelism to other models of church growth throughout the continent. At the same time, church leaders began to experiment with and promote types of intensified health ministry. One example of 1987: As a result of 30 5-Day Stop Smoking Plans conducted during the year by Ligue Vie Sante (The Life and Health Association), a non-denominational temperance organization operated by the Adventist Church in Belgium, 1,667 people stopped smoking. The Belgian government gave the association an $11,000 grant to fund the programs.59

The 1990s

At the beginning of the 1990s, the membership had grown beyond the 300,000 marks .60 As it entered the decade, the Euro-Africa Division (EUD instead of EAD from 1995 onward) faced four major challenges: (1) the opening of Eastern Europe; (2) the secularized society of Western Europe; (3) the civil war-torn countries of Angola and Mozambique; and (4) the growing Muslim population of Europe and in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.61 The denomination and its division leadership address these challenges in different ways and to different degrees.

(1) The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 certainly brought the most lasting changes to the socio-political climate of Europe. It opened the eastern European countries to evangelism in an unprecedented manner, which quickly prompted the EAD administration to focus on doing evangelism in those countries.62 In Romania, for instance, 200 new churches were organized immediately after the revolution.63 According to one report, “Brad Thorp conducted evangelistic training programs for pastors during the day and public evangelistic meetings in the evenings. In Bucharest the attendance grew from 3,000 to 4,700, with non-Adventist attendance increasing from more than one thousand to approximately two thousand two hundred in five evenings.”64 Thus for a few years, public evangelism greatly increased baptismal numbers and newly established congregations.

In terms of institutional development, the 1989 changes and the ensuing reunification of Germany meant new opportunities and some consolidation. The Marienhöhe Theological Seminary in Darmstadt, West Germany, for instance, was incorporated into the university-level theological institution in Friedensau, East Germany. The latter had just obtained that status in 1990, making it a high-profile institution in the public perception. Marienhöhe remained a secondary/high school institution;65 the Division poured significant resources into the structural, financial, and program development of Friedensau, initiating a faculty of social work and social sciences. Likewise, media institutions in the GDR were incorporated into the Voice of Hope in Darmstadt. In the thus enlarged Voice of Hope, the first video productions were made in 1994, the first Internet service was offered in 1997, and in 1998 radio and television broadcasts via satellite began.66

(2) With regard to the secular societies of both Western and (increasingly) Eastern Europe, the division leadership of the period was not able to set major new trends but largely tried to modify approaches from past decades. A “Mobile Evangelism Institute” was organized;67 some 150 pastors attended the institutes in Vienna, Zurich, West Berlin, Marseilles, and Porto (Portugal). Approximately two hundred thirty people were baptized; however, many of these had been from the networks of church members rather than newly converted listeners. A more successful approach were international evangelistic series in which a host of local churches were involved. Adopting the General Conference Satellite Evangelism projects meant Net ’96, Net ’97, and Net ’98 were held all through the unions of the division.68 Moreover, in some areas new target groups opened up to the gospel, such as in Bulgaria, where among the large ethnic minority groups (Turks, Gypsies, and Armenians), the gypsies were most receptive to the Adventist message.69

(3) Angola and Mozambique both changed from a communist-state ideology to an officially democratic orientation after the iron curtain fell. For the Seventh-day Adventist Church, this meant the opportunity for unprecedented growth in a peaceful environment. Since more than one- third of the membership of the EUD lived in Angola, the Adventist theological seminary in Huambo was reopened after years of war in 1995 with the support of the EUD; ADRA also significantly contributed to relief and development in that country.70 The dynamic growth of the denomination in this part of the world is also illustrated by the fact that the largest youth congress in the history of the Adventist Church to date took place in 1994 in Luanda, Angola, where 30,000 young people gathered. One thousand of them were baptized.71

(4) The challenge of Muslim presence in the division became even more tangible in 1995, when the General Conference Session was held in Utrecht. Based on the recommendation of the General Conference Annual Council, it was voted to enlarge the territories belonging to MISSERM (Mission and Service Among Muslims): in addition to Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, now Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, and Turkey were defined as Attached Fields of the Euro-Africa Division; these fields were henceforth also called “Trans-Mediterranean Territories.”72 Thus, during the leadership of Ulrich Frikart, who replaced Ludescher president in 1994, the regions and countries under the Euro-Africa Division–some in western Europe, some eastern European countries, several African countries, and a few in Asia–had reached a maximum variety of cultures, languages, and political systems.73

Twenty-first Century and Outlook toward the Future

It is too early to assess the most recent past, although the last 20 years have seen further significant developments in the EUD, especially in the realms of media ministry,74 considerable numbers of migrants (among whom church growth is strongest), and education.75 In 2008, when Ulrich Frikart retired, Bruno Vertallier became the division president. In 2011 the General Conference established a new territory in the Middle East. This territory included the MISSERM countries that belonged to the Euro-Africa region. As a result of this move, the division changed its name to “Inter-European Division,” as suggested by its then president.76

The EUD is faced with a great challenge of an increasingly secular, post-Christian context in its regions. This challenge is so arduous that the leadership of the EUD keeps looking for ways to make the message of the church relevant in its region. For this reason a strategic plan titled “Reach the World” was developed and adopted in 2016 by the executive committee of the Inter-European Division.77 The plan has three main objectives: (1) “Reach up to God,” (2) “Reach in With God,” and “Reach out With God”; they aim to make all the EUD departments to collaborate and “in consultation with union leaders in creating materials that meet expressed needs in the areas of nurture, retention, and discipling.”78 This is to spur an emphasis on mission awareness and involvement so that every union and conference within the EUD be actively involved in training pastors and church members to be involved in strategic mission endeavors like having one center of influence in each local church. This in turn is to give credence to more input on Adventist education. The EUD wants to provide access to Adventist education with an emphasis on primary through secondary levels while encouraging deep spirituality and mission awareness for its theological schools. While the strategic plan also acknowledges the role of families for spiritual education in society, it emphasizes the advantage of Adventist health ministries in providing holistic health messages and health services in the EUD regions. Individual church members are thus encouraged to engage in personal and collective response to the social welfare needs of the community in which they find themselves.

Presidents Chronology

European General Conference: Ludwig R. Conradi, 1904-1912.

European Division: L. R. Conradi, 1913-1922; Lewis H. Christian, 1923-1927.

Central European Division: L. H. Christian, 1928; H. F. Schuberth, 1929-1933; Georg W. Schubert, 1934-1937; Adolf Minck, 1938-1950; Wilhelm Mueller, 1951-1962; R. Dettmar, 1963; Otto Gmehling, 1964-1970; Heinz Vogel, 1971.

Southern European Division: A. V. Olson, 1928-1946; Walter R. Beach, 1946-1954; M. V. Campbell 1954-1958; Marius Fridlin, 1958-1970.

Trans-Mediterranean Division: C. L. Powers: 197-1972.

Euro Africa Division: C. L. Powers, 1972-1975; Edwin Ludescher, 1976-1994; Ulrich Frikart, 1995-2008; Bruno R. Vertallier, 2009-2012.

Inter-European Division: Bruno R. Vertallier, 2013-2015; Mario Brito, 2016-date.

Secretaries Chronology

European General Conference: Guy Dail, 1904-1912.

European Division: Guy Dail, 1913-1918; Walter K. Ising, 1921-1927.

Central European Division: Walter K. Ising, 1928; Guy Dail, 1929-1932; R. Rühling, 1933; Wilhelm Mueller, 1934-1936; Walter K. Ising, 1937; Max Busch, 1938; Otto Schildhauer, 1939-1946; Otto Brozio, 1948; Otto Schildhauer, 1949-1954; Alfred Buerger, 1955-1957; Wilhelm Räcker, 1959-1962; Otto Gmehling, 1963; K. Fleck, 1964-1969; Heinz Vogel, 1970; Oswald Bremer, 1971.

Southern European Division: L. L. Caviness, 1928-1930; Steen Rasmussen 1930-1936; Walter R. Beach 1936-1946; Marius Fridlin 1946-1958; W. A. Wild, 1958-1970.

Trans-Mediterranean Division: Jean Zurcher, 1970-1972.

Euro-Africa Division: Jean Zurcher, 1972-1985; Georges Steveny, 1986-1990; Ulrich Frikart, 1991-1995; Carlos Puyol, 1996-2003; Gabriel E. Maurer, 2004-2012.

Inter-European Division: Gabriel E. Maurer, 2013-2015; Barna Magyarosi, 2016-date.

Treasurers Chronology

European General Conference: W. C. Sisley, 1904-1907.

European Division: Alice Küssner, 1913-1917; C. Pedersen, 1921-1927.

Central European Division: C. Pedersen, 1928; Otto Schildhauer, 1929-1937; M. Voigt, 1938-1950; Otto Schildhauer, 1951-1958, Karl Fleck, 1959-1963; Oswald Bremer, 1964-1970; Erich Amelung, 1971.

Southern European Division: F. Brennwald, 1928-1946; Robert Gerber 1946-1958; B. J. Kohler, 1958-1970.

Trans-Mediterranen Division: Stanley Folkenberg, 1970-1972.

Euro-Africa Division: Erich Amelung, 1972-2000; Peter R. Kunze, 2001-2010; Norbert Zens, 2011-2012.

Inter-European Division, Norbert Zens, 2013-date.

Sources

118th Annual Statistical Report – 1980. Washington, D.C.: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1980.

A Veritable Miracle: Rapid Progress of the Advent Message Romania,” Mission, Jan-Mar, 1992.

“Actions Affecting the World Church.” Australasian Record and Advent World Survey, July 27, 1985.

Bauer, Bruce. “Neglected Challenges in the Euro-Africa Division.” Lake Union Herald, December 2003.

“Best of Story: Das Beste aus 20 Jahren Radio Journal.” Accessed March 2, 2020, http://www.radiojournal.de/radiojournal-best-of/radiomission/hoffnung/hoffnung.htm.

Bulzis, Nino “1,350 attend Bible Week.” ARH, September 25, 1980.

Conradi L.R. to W.T. Knox, November 5, 1911, Letter, General Conference Archives.

Dail, Guy “The European General Conference.” ARH, September 3, 1901.

Dower, N. R., “Ministers’ meetings in the Euro-Africa Division.” The Ministry, September, 1972.

“During 1972,” Quarterly Review, March 1973.

EUD News, “The First European Adventist Chapel Belongs to the Church.” Accessed December 3, 2019. https://news.eud.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2014-08-20/the-first-european-adventist-chapel-belongs-now-to-the-church/.

EUD News. “Change of name from Euro-Africa Division to Inter-European Division.” Accessed, October 20, 2019, https://news.eud.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2012-10-17/change-of-name-from-euro-africa-division-to-inter-european-division/.

Euro-Africa Division Minutes, April 17, 1990. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring Maryland, U.S.A.

Euro-Africa Division Minutes, January 18, 1996. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring Maryland, U.S.A.

Euro-Africa Division Minutes, November 14, 1982. Historical Archives of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau, Germany.

Euro-Africa Division Minutes, November 17, 1981. Historical Archives of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau, Germany.

Euro-Africa Division Minutes, November 5,1981. Historical Archives of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau, Germany.

Euro-Africa Division. “MISSERM.” Mission, January –March 1992.

Europäisches Medienzentrum der Freikirche der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten.” Accessed March 1, 2020, https://www.stimme-der-hoffnung.de/de/ueber-uns/bewegte-geschichte.

“Finley, Mark. “It is Possible in Europe.” Ministry, December 1986.

“First Business Meeting,” ARH, June 30, 1985.

“Flash Point.” Record, June 25, 1988.

“Flashpoint.” Record, January 27, 1990.

Fowler, John. “The Day in the Dome.” ARH, July 11, 1990.

Frikart, Ulrich. “Surprise: Europeans Respond to NET ’96.” ARH, February 1997.

General Conference Committee Minutes. April 28, 1912, 179, accessed, December 3, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1912.pdf.

General Conference Committee Minutes. May 16, 1907. Accessed, December 3, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1907.pdf.

General Conference Daily Bulletin. Vol. 1, 1897. http://centrowhite.org.br/files/ebooks/apl/all/Jones/General%20Conference%20Daily%20Bulletin%20(1897).pdf.

“Going Boldly into the Future.” ARH, March 1996.

Graz, John. “Jongny 94: Aktuelles von der Jahressitzung der Euro-Afrika-Division.” Adventecho, February, 1995.

“Harvest 90: GC Secretary’s Report.” Record, October 6, 1990.

Heinz, Daniel. “Much to Thank God For: Europe, Division, Especially the Inter-European Division (EUD).” Adventist World, June 2013. Accessed, December 3, https://archives.adventistworld.org/2013/june/much-to-thank-god-for.html.

__________. Ludwig Richard Conradi: Missionar, Evangelist und Organisator der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten in Europa. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1998.

__________. “The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Missionary Dynamic in Europe: Assessing the Contributions of Michael B. Czechowski, John N. Andrews, and Ludwig R. Conradi.” In Parochialism, Pluralism and Contextualization: Challenges to Adventist Mission in Europe (19th–21st Centuries), eds. David J. B. Trim and Daniel Heinz. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2010, 128-139.

Inter-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “Reach the World: A Strategic Framework Adopted by the Executive Committee of the Inter-European Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for the Period 2016-2020.” Bern: Inter-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2016.

Inter-European Division. “History,” accessed December 3, 2019, https://eud.adventist.org/en/information/history.

Inter-European Division. “Information History.” Accessed, October 20, 2019, https://eud.adventist.org/en/information/history/.

Ising, Walter K. “Council of the European Division.” Quarterly Review of the European Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, second quarter, 1928.

Knight, George R. If I were the Devil. Seeing Through the Enemy’s Smokescreen: Contemporary Challenges Facing Adventism. Hagerstown, Maryland: Review and Herald, 2007.

Krankenhaus Waldfriede. “Geschichte des Krankenhauses.” Accessed December 3, 2019. https://www.krankenhaus-waldfriede.de/ueber-uns/geschichte-des-krankenhauses.

“Leader Describes Europe’s Changes.” Record, March 17, 1990.

“Leader’s Planner: Euro-Africa Division.” Mission, First Quarter, 2007.

Minutes of the Meetings of the General Conference Committee, Euro-Africa Division, November 12, 1972, 131, Historical Archive of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau, Germany.

Minutes of the Meetings of the General Conference Committee, Euro-Africa Division, November 9-15, 1973. Historical Archive of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau, Germany.

Minutes of the Meetings of the General Conference Committee, Euro-Africa Division, January 1974. Historical Archives of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau.

“News Break.” ARH, December 28, 1989.

“News Line.” Lake Union Herald, November 2, 1971.

“News Notes.” ARH, May 21, 1981.

Powers, C. L. “The EAD Launches Mission’ 73.” Quarterly Review, June 1973.

“Romania Facing New potential for Evangelism.” Record, May 19, 1990.

“Sendestart von ‘Hope Channel Deutsch’: Mit Fernsehprogrammen Mut und Hoffnung vermitteln.” APD: Adventistischer Pressedienst, March 26, 2009. Accessed March 2, 2020, https://www.apd.media/news/archiv/6544.ml.html.

“The Church Was Purest: Bulgaria’s Global Mission Plans Advance under Freedom.” Mission, Jan-Mar, 1992.

Session Actions.” ARH, April 20, 1980.

Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Second revised edition. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 1996. S.v. “Southern European Division.”

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1901-2017.

“Stimme der Hoffnung.” In Wikipedia. Accessed March 1, 2020, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimme_der_Hoffnung#cite_ref-5.

Stradowsky, Ronald. “Angola: One Year Later.” ARH, January 9, 1997.

“The Hungarian Situation.” Ministry, April 1985.

Thompson, Ralph “Goodnews from Far and Wide,” Australisian Record and Advent World Survey, July 6, 1985,2.

“Tramelan, Switzerland.” Accessed December 3, 2019. https://www.adventistheritage.org/index.php/ahm-sites/tramelan-switzerland.

“World Division.” ARH, December 2, 1971.

Van Mol, Christof and Helga de Valk. “Migration and Immigrants in Europe: A Historical and Demographic Perspective.” In Integration Processes and Policies in Europe: Contexts, Levels, Actors, eds. Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas and Rinus Penninx, IMISCOE Research Series. Cham: Springer, 2016, 31-55.

White, Arthur L. “The Tramelan Chapel.” ARH, October 26, 1967.

White, Edward “Making History,” Quarterly Review, March 1972.

_________. “The Euro-Africa Division,” The Atlantic Union Gleaner, November 28, 1972.

Notes

  1. In an extant document, he is referred to as Michał Bonaventure Czechowski. Daniel Heinz, “The Development of Seventh-day Adventist Missionary Dynamic in Europe: Assessing the Contributions of Michael B. Czechowski, John N. Andrews, and Ludwig R. Conradi,” in Parochialism, Pluralism and Contextualization: Challenges to Adventist Mission in Europe (19th–21st Centuries), eds. David J. B. Trim and Daniel Heinz (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2010), 51–62.

  2. See “Tramelan, Switzerland,” accessed December 3, 2019, https://www.adventistheritage.org/index.php/ahm-sites/tramelan-switzerland; EUD News, “The First European Adventist Chapel Belongs to the Church,” accessed December 3, 2019, https://news.eud.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2014-08-20/the-first-european-adventist-chapel-belongs-now-to-the-church/.

  3. Arthur L. White, “The Tramelan Chapel,” ARH, October 26, 1967, 1.

  4. See Daniel Heinz, Ludwig Richard Conradi: Missionar, Evangelist und Organisator der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten in Europa (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1998), 61, 121.

  5. “European Mission Boards,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Battle Creek, Michigan: Review and Herald, 1887), 10.

  6. General Conference Daily Bulletin, vol. 1, 1897, 509 http://centrowhite.org.br/files/ebooks/apl/all/Jones/General%20Conference%20Daily%20Bulletin%20(1897).pdf.

  7. Guy Dail, “The European General Conference,” ARH, September 3, 1901, 576.

  8. Inter-European Division, “History,” accessed December 3, 2019. https://eud.adventist.org/en/information/history/.

  9. Ibid.

  10. George R. Knight, If I were the Devil. Seeing Through the Enemy’s Smokescreen: Contemporary Challenges Facing Adventism (Hagerstown, Maryland: Review and Herald, 2007), 96.

  11. General Conference Committee Minutes, May 16, 1907, 291, accessed, December 3, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1907.pdf.

  12. Daniel Heinz, “Much to Thank God For: Europe, Division, Especially the Inter-European Division (EUD),” Adventist World, June 2013, accessed, December 3, https://archives.adventistworld.org/2013/june/much-to-thank-god-for.html.

  13. L.R. Conradi to W.T. Knox, November 5, 1911, Letter, General Conference Archives.

  14. General Conference Committee Minutes, April 28, 1912, 179, accessed, December 3, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1912.pdf.

  15. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, second revised edition (1996), s.v. “European Division.”

  16. Inter-European Division, “History,” accessed December 3, 2019, https://eud.adventist.org/en/information/history.

  17. Krankenhaus Waldfriede, “Geschichte des Krankenhauses,” accessed December 3, 2019 https://www.krankenhaus-waldfriede.de/ueber-uns/geschichte-des-krankenhauses. The Waldfriede Hospital got a state recognition in July of 1922,

  18. Heinz, “Much to Thank God For.”

  19. Ibid.

  20. Walter K. Ising, “Council of the European Division,” Quarterly Review of the European Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, second quarter, 1928, 2-5.

  21. Ibid.

  22. Ibid.

  23. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, second revised edition (1996), s.v. “Southern European Division.”

  24. Inter-European Division, “History,” accessed December 3, 2019. https://eud.adventist.org/en/information/history.

  25. “Central European Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 311.

  26. “Southern European Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 671–672.

  27. The work began with 52 broadcasts, each lasting 15 minutes. The programs were first recorded on records in the studio in Paris. See “Europäisches Medienzentrum der Freikirche der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten,” accessed March 1, 2020, https://www.stimme-der-hoffnung.de/de/ueber-uns/bewegte-geschichte.

  28. See “Stimme der Hoffnung,” in Wikipedia, accessed March 1, 2020, https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stimme_der_Hoffnung#cite_ref-5.

  29. See “World Division,” ARH, December 2, 1971, 24.

  30. “News Line”, Lake Union Herald, November 2, 1971, 5.

  31. See Edward E. White, “The Euro-Africa Division,” The Atlantic Union Gleaner, November 28, 1972, 2.

  32. Ibid.

  33. Euro-Africa Division, “Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1973, 1974), 125-149.

  34. “Euro-Africa Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1972), 125.

  35. Yearbook, 149-150.

  36. Twenty-six were sent in 1972; see “During 1972,” Quarterly Review, March 1973, 5. Most of them were no longer pioneer missionaries viz. church planters, but served in administrative and other specialized roles, such as health and education.

  37. N. R. Dower, “Ministers’ meetings in the Euro-Africa Division,” The Ministry, September 1972, 20-23. See also, Minutes of the Meetings of the General Conference Committee, Euro-Africa Division, November 12, 1972, 131, Historical Archive of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau.

  38. See C. L. Powers, “The EAD Launches Mission’ 73,” Quarterly Review, June 1973, 2-5

  39. Edward White, “Making History,” Quarterly Review, March 1972, 2.

  40. Minutes of the Meetings of the General Conference Committee, Euro-Africa Division, November 9-15, 1973, 287, Historical Archive of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau.

  41. Minutes of the Meetings of the General Conference Committee, Euro-Africa Division, January 1974, 4.

  42. From 1971 onwards, various other European shortwave transmitters were added to the repertoire of the Voice of Hope Media productions: Portugal operated Radio Trans Europa from 1971 to 1992; then Radio Mediterranean in Malta (1975 to 1978), Radio Andorra (1979-1981). From 1985 Adventist World Radio began to be operated in Forlí, Italy, while Radio Moscow operated from 1992 to1996. From 1994 to 1998, Radio Slovakia International broadcast; later one it was channeled through Radio Austria International from 2007. See “Sendestart von ‘Hope Channel Deutsch’: Mit Fernsehprogrammen Mut und Hoffnung vermitteln,” APD: Adventistischer Pressedienst, March 26, 2009, accessed March 2, 2020, https://www.apd.media/news/archiv/6544.ml.html.

  43.  When the journal was launched in 1971, it was only in French. Two years later, German was added; other languages followed in 1978: Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Since 2010, an English version was also made available. The Inter-European Division publishes this version as well; in 1989 the Trans-European Division had already experimented with an English version of Conscience and Liberty in co-editorship with Gianfranco Rossi, at the time the Secretary General of AIDLR.

  44. This is evident with the number of reports in its official organ focused on those countries.

  45. “The Hungarian Situation,” Ministry, April 1985, 11, 21.

  46. 118th Annual Statistical report – 1980, (Washington, D.C.: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1980),2

  47. “Euro-Africa Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1980), 143.

  48. See “Session Actions,” ARH, April 20, 1980, 28-29.

  49. “Actions Affecting the World Church,” Australisian Record and Advent World Survey, July 27, 1985, 2.

  50. “First Business Meeting,” ARH, June 30, 1985, 11.

  51. See Nino Bulzis, “1,350 attend Bible Week,” ARH, September 25, 1980, 27.

  52. “News Notes,” ARH, May 21, 1981, 20.

  53. See Christof Van Mol and Helga de Valk, “Migration and Immigrants in Europe: A Historical and Demographic Perspective,” in Integration Processes and Policies in Europe: Contexts, Levels, Actors, eds. Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas and Rinus Penninx, IMISCOE Research Series (Cham: Springer,2016) 31-55.

  54. Euro-Africa Division Minutes, November 5, 1981, 199, Historical Archives of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau, Germany.

  55. In a commentary on this success, Ralph Thompson reported that “Adventist work is making good progress in Europe, both in the non-Socialist and Socialist countries. Growth is seen in membership increase and in soul-winning outreach in the division's European and African countries.”

    See Ralph Thompson, “Goodnews from Far and Wide,” Australisian Record and Advent World Survey, July 6, 1985,2.

  56. They were Collonges, France, Marienhöhe, Germany and Maruševec, Croatia; see Euro-Africa Division Minutes, November 14, 1982, Historical Archives of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau, Germany.

  57. Euro-Africa Division Minutes, November 17, 1981, 225, Historical Archives of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe, Friedensau, Germany.

  58. See Mark Finley, “It is Possible in Europe,” Ministry, December 1986, 15-16.

  59. “Flash Point,” Record, June 25, 1988, 8.

  60. See “News Break,” ARH, December 28, 1989, 8; “Flashpoint,” Record, January 27, 1990, 8.

  61. John Fowler, “The Day in the Dome,” ARH, July 11, 1990, 2.

  62. “Leader Describes Europe’s Changes,” Record, March 17, 1990, 11.

  63. “Romania Facing New potential for Evangelism,” Record, May 19, 1990, 11.

  64. “A Veritable Miracle: Rapid Progress of the Advent Message Romania,” Mission, Jan-Mar, 1992, 12.

  65. Euro-Africa Division Minutes, April 17, 91, 84, 1990, General Conference Archives, Silver Spring Maryland, U.S.A.

  66. See “Best of Story: Das Beste aus 20 Jahren Radio Journal,” accessed March 2, 2020, http://www.radiojournal.de/radiojournal-best-of/radiomission/hoffnung/hoffnung.htm.

  67. These institute had three major goals: “(1) to train workers and lay people for evangelism; (2) to experience a revival in churches where the institute is convened; (3) to win people for God's kingdom.” See “Harvest 90: GC Secretary’s Report,” Record, October 6, 1990, 10.

  68. “Going Boldly into the Future,” ARH, March 1996, 29. See also, Ulrich Frikart “Surprise: Europeans Respond to NET ’96,” ARH, February 1997, 24.

  69. “The Church Was Purest: Bulgaria’s Global Mission Plans Advance under Freedom,” Mission, Mission, Jan-Mar, 1992, 9-10.

  70. Ronald Stradowsky, “Angola: One Year Later,” ARH, January 9, 1997, 18.

  71. See John Graz, “Jongny 94: Aktuelles von der Jahressitzung der Euro-Afrika-Division,” Adventecho, February, 1995, 21.

  72. Euro-Africa Division Minutes, January 18, 1996, 60, General Conference Archives, Silver Spring Maryland, U.S.A.; Euro-Africa Division, “MISSERM,” Mission, January–March 1992, 21.

  73. “Euro-Africa Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1996), 123.

  74. A plan was made as well to build a modern media center in Darmstadt, Germany to expand the church’s impact in Germany and in Europe. See “Leader’s Planner: Euro-Africa Division” Mission, First Quarter, 2007, 3. By 2008, the Voice of Hope Media Center had received approval from the Hessian State Office for Private Broadcasting and New Media for nationwide transmission of its 24-hour Hope Channel radio program via satellite and Internet. From September 1, 2015, the voice of the HOPE Channel TV has been broadcasting its programs in HD quality. See “Stimme der Hoffnung,” in Wikipedia.

  75. In this period, the division leadership decided to start an educational project instituting theological school Sofia, Bulgaria. Also, an evangelist center was planned to be built in Paris, France. See Bruce Bauer, “Neglected Challenges in the Euro-Africa Division,” Lake Union Herald, December 2003, 10.

  76. See Inter-European Division, “Information History,” accessed, October 20, 2019, https://eud.adventist.org/en/information/history/; EUD News, “Change of name from Euro-Africa Division to Inter-European Division,” accessed, October 20, 2019, https://news.eud.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2012-10-17/change-of-name-from-euro-africa-division-to-inter-european-division/.

  77. Inter-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, “Reach the World: A Strategic Framework Adopted by the Executive Committee of the Inter-European Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for the Period 2016-2020,” (Bern: Inter-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2016).

  78. Ibid., 6.

×

Wogu, Chigemezi Nnadozie. "Inter-European Division." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 15, 2021. Accessed April 15, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4H7Y.

Wogu, Chigemezi Nnadozie. "Inter-European Division." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 15, 2021. Date of access April 15, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4H7Y.

Wogu, Chigemezi Nnadozie (2021, April 15). Inter-European Division. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 15, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4H7Y.