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Rio de Janeiro Conference.

Photo courtesy of Rio de Janeiro Conference.

Rio de Janeiro Conference

By Leônidas Verneque Guedes, and Alex Moreira Severino

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Leônidas Verneque Guedes

Alex Moreira Severino

Rio de Janeiro Conference is an administrative unit of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Southeast Brazilian Union. Its office is located at 97 Matoso Street, Praça da Bandeira, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rio De Janeiro Conference's institutional activity covers part of the metropolitan area of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Duque de Caxias and extends to the mountainous region, reaching cities such as Petrópolis, Três Rios, and Teresópolis. It includes 13 counties, with an Adventist presence in all of them. The conference’s estimated population is 6,429,923 with 28 pastoral districts, 158 organized congregations, and 17,206 baptized members. The ratio of Adventists to the general population is 1 Adventist for every 373 inhabitants.1

The conference has five schools in operation. In the city of Rio de Janeiro it operates Botafogo Adventist School (EAB) with 404 students, Tijuca Adventist Academy (CAT) with 1,161 students, and the Inhauma Adventist School (EAI) with 764 students. In the city of Duque de Caxias it operates Duke de Caxias Adventist Academy (Caxiense) with 1,147 students, and in Petrópolis it operates Petropolis Adventist Academy (IPAE) with 450 students. The total number of students in these five units is 3,926.2

All the work, activities, and functions of Rio De Janeiro Conference are performed by 512 servers and 59 workers, being: 33 credentialed pastors, 9 licensed pastors, 11 credentialed workers and 6 licensed workers. The others work in school network and in other activities.

These data portray the current reality of the conference. However, the history of Rio de Janeiro Conference is the result of a long journey of faith and work by Adventists in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Its beginnings go back to the early days of Adventist work in South America.

Origin of SDA Work in the Conference’s Territory

In the spring of 1821, the ship of a sailor named Joseph Bates3 arrived at the port of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Bates was quite amazed with the county, especially with the Sugar Loaf, today considered an important tourist spot.4 He had no idea that approximately 70 years later the Adventist message would arrive there and that he would have helped spread this message throughout the world when he became a leader in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.5

In 1893, many years after Bates had been there, Adventism arrived in the state of Rio de Janeiro through canvassing. Three American canvassers arrived in the state and worked for the conversion of Albert Bachemeyer. After becoming a canvasser, Bachemeyer went to the state of Rio Grande do Sul and joined Albert Stauffer. The two sold the Great Controversy (in German) to the Stein family. Through this book, and others that he purchased later, Guilherme Stein Jr. decided to get baptized, and his name is now included in the SDA records as the first Adventist baptized in Brazil.6

A year later, missionary William Thurston and his family arrived at Rio de Janeiro. They settled between Cupertino Street and the Cascadura train station. The family goal was to set up a storehouse for missionary books in order to meet Stauffer, who at the time worked in the states of Sao Paulo, Espirito Santo, and Minas Gerais. In addition, the family wanted to provide materials to sell in the region.7

When Thurston arrived in Rio de Janeiro, he found a city influenced by pagan traditions and, as he himself stated, “in great spiritual darkness.”8 In the face of this situation, the missionary felt the need to conduct Bible studies in order to preach the Adventist message, which was unknown in the county. Thus, the embryo of the future Rio de Janeiro Conference was established.

The following year as a result of Thurston's canvassing and preaching work, Pastor Huldreich Graf9 organized the first Adventist church (the Meier Church) in the state of Rio de Janeiro on October 27, 1895. The congregation is currently located on Joaquim Street in the Meier neighborhood. According to records, this was the second Adventist church organized in Brazil.10 The first was built in the city of Gaspar Alto, in the state of Santa Catarina, on June 15, 1895, by Pastor Frank Henry Westphal.

Graf (1855-1946) “was sent to Brazil by the General Conference,” from the United States. When he arrived on August 20, 1895, “he devoted himself to evangelistic work ... and served as president of the Brazilian Mission (1902-1905).” He is considered “the first ordained pastor to work in Brazilian lands.”11

In its early days, the Meier Church congregation “was made up of German and American workers' families and/or Americans of German origin living in Brazil (Graf, Thurston, Berger, Hettrick, Stauffer).” Moreover, because of the need to administratively organize these workers that the church was founded. Although they left to work throughout Brazil, the church continued as an organized group.12

On August 29, 1896, Pastor Frederick Weber Spies (1866-1935) arrived in Rio de Janeiro and brought with him a new impetus for evangelism in the city. Coming from Germany,13 Spies was the second permanent/fulltime pastor to arrive in Brazilian lands.” In 1896, he was invited by the General Conference to work as a missionary in Brazil. Before his departure, he was consecrated for the work of the ministry.”14 He became president of the North Brazil Mission, based in Rio de Janeiro (1904-1911).

Despite having to travel constantly to meet interested German-speakers scattered in colonies across the countryside, Spies settled in the city of Rio de Janeiro.15 In 1898, he baptized the first three converts in the state. Two of them, brother Bühler and brother Petit, took the positions of elder and deacon, respectively, in Meier Adventist Church. The first baptism in the city of Rio de Janeiro took place, probably, in June 1898. Pastor Spies baptized three people in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean,16 among them the couple Valentim and Margarida Jann.17

With Guilherme Stein Jr. moving to the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1899, the Méier Church received new strength, having 16 adults and 2 children for the Sabbath school. In 1907, the church membership reached 30 baptized persons, of which two-thirds were Brazilians thanks to the evangelistic efforts of the missionaries working in the region.18

Serving as the federal capital of Brazil from 1763 to 1960, the city of Rio de Janeiro was chosen for new SDA administrative headquarters due, in part, to the work done by Graaf, Spies, and Stein.

At the time, the efforts of Adventist missionaries in the city of Rio de Janeiro, as well as the SDA church, were little known in the country. Pastor Spies and his wife started their work in the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo. In 1900, they went to the states of Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná. They were two of the great pioneers that came to evangelize Brazil with the Adventist message.19

Organizational History

SDA conferences in Brazil started in 1901 when a General Conference Session was held in the city of Battle Creek, Michigan. On that occasion the South American Mission Union was organized, which was composed of the Argentine Mission, Brazilian Mission, and Chilean Mission. Before that, the pioneer missionaries who were in Brazil reported directly to the General Conference office in the United States. From this time onward, they were under the supervision of the new mission union until 1911.20

The organization of the Rio de Janeiro Conference occurred between May 10 and 20, 1902.21 At the time, the field was called the Brazilian Conference based on a decision at an assembly held at Gaspar Alto, in the state of Santa Catarina. During that meeting, the participants thanked God for leading the missionaries and the Adventist message throughout the country and they commended the unending faithfulness of those serving the Church in Brazilian lands. In addition, they suggested sending two canvassers to the state of Rio de Janeiro to sell Revista do Arauto [Herald’s Review] and other periodicals.22

In 1902, the Brazilian Conference was located to the city of Rio de Janeiro and was subordinated to the South American Mission Union. As the only conference in the country, it covered the entire national territory, which had 14,002,335 inhabitants.23 Within the conference were 3 ordained and 1 licensed minister, 9 schools, 8 canvassers, 15 organized churches, and 860 baptized members. The president was H. F. Graf, the secretary and treasurer was A. B. Stauffer, and the secretary of the Sabbath School Department was Johanne Rebling.24

At the beginning, the Brazilian Conference’s mission was to continue the work began by the first canvassers and pioneers in South America. This happened by preaching the third angel's message in the far reaches of Brazil, where new converts were baptized whenever possible. The conference also had the purpose of becoming self-sustaining and to give rise to new fields, that is, starting other missions and/or conferences in order to more effectively preach the gospel to all corners of the country.25

In 1906, a church administrative assembly took place in Argentina, in which some decisions were made regarding the future of the SDA Church in South America. Present at the assembly was the General Conference Secretary, William Ambrose Spicer, who participated in the reorganization of the Brazilian Conference into four regions.26 Still in 1906, there was a change of status from South American Union Mission to Union South American Conference.27

With the reorganization of the Brazil Conference, new fields were created: the Santa Catarina and Paraná Conferences, the Rio Grande do Sul Conference, the São Paulo Mission, and the North Mission, the latter being the organization that would initiate the Brazilian Conference. The North Mission’s territory extended from the state of Rio de Janeiro to the far north of the country and comprised 16 states, 5 churches, 1 primary school, and 176 baptized members. F. W. Spies was elected president of the new field.28

In 1910, the North Mission was renamed the Rio-Espirito Santo Mission. At that time, the field was assigned only the states of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, and the Federal District. This formation remained until 1919.29 Among the actions that contributed to the spread of the gospel in the city of Rio de Janeiro, we highlight the daily sale of 50 Revista Alvorada [Daybreak Review] magazines by two missionary canvassers who also worked in the city of Recife in the state of Pernambuco. This achievement was highlighted in an article in the Adventist Review30 that also mentioned the good amount earned through the sale of literature in 1914.

On January 1, 1911, the Brazilian Union Conference was organized and legally recognized as a union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This new union administered “7 fields, 68 churches and 1,550 members.”31 Thus, Brazil was no longer led by the South American Union Mission and was organized within its own national territory. Five years later (1916), the South American Division (SAD) was created to better manage Brazilian fields, as well as the fields of the other countries that would be part of its territory.32

Due to the need to serve the church more efficiently, in 1919 the East Brazil Union was created to manage the church in one part of Minas Gerais State, plus the states of Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, Bahia, Sergipe, Alagoas, Pernambuco, Paraiba, Rio Grande do Norte, Piaui, Ceará, Maranhão, Pará, Amazonas, and the Federal District. With this restructuring of the Union, Rio-Espírito Santo Mission was renamed to Rio de Janeiro Mission to attend specifically to the state of Rio de Janeiro and the Federal District, which was still based in the city of Rio de Janeiro at that time.33

In that same year (1919), J. E. Brown, Regina Braga, Catharina Pinto, and João Ales M. da Cunha stood out for many different tasks at Rio de Janeiro Mission. In addition, some church members engaged in the distribution of literature and in giving Bible studies. Colporteurs also made a contribution throughout the year, selling 47,307 single issues of Signs of the Times. The combine efforts of church employees, lay members, and canvassers resulted in 42 baptisms and a second church that was built in the Ramos neighborhood; they expected to see a third congregation in the future.34

It was at this time that the Central Rio de Janeiro Seventh-day Adventist Church arose. The history of the Central Church began between 1922 and 1923 “when some members, who lived near downtown decided to form a group of believers closer to their homes.” This group met at the “bottom of a building on Senator Furtado Street” and had the support of Pastor Henry J. Meyer, president of East Brazil Union. As the group grew, in 1924 they purchased a building at 46 Maia Lacerda Street in the Estácio neighborhood and worshipped there until 1937.35

In 1926, Rio de Janeiro Mission appeared in the SDA Yearbook with 5 churches and 509 members.36 One year later, in 1927, there was a field division that created Rio-Espírito Santo Mission. As a result, the Rio de Janeiro Mission administered only the churches of the counties of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, and Governador Island, where there were a population of 2,000,000, 3 churches, and 394 members. Pastor E. H. Wilcox was elected president, replacing Pastor Spies, and the Mission office was relocated to 32 Oswaldo Cruz Street, in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro State.37

At the beginning, Rio de Janeiro Mission administration used the pastor’s residence as the mission office. It was only in 1931 that the first nonresidential headquarters was established on the Central Church property on Maia Lacerda Street (see image 5).38 At the time, the number of inhabitants in the territory increased to 2,704,890, the number of churches increased to 5 with 635 members.39

As a result of the increase of church members and churches in Rio de Janeiro State, and after some studies, it was decided a new mission was needed. Rio-Minas Gerais Mission was created and existed between 1931 and 1950. Its territory was composed of the state of Minas Gerais, the city of Rio de Janeiro (till then the Federal District) and the southern part of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Mission was headed by Pastor Elli M. Davis in a territory of 9,607,400 inhabitants, 9 churches, and 824 members.40

About that time, Pastor Leon Replogle from East Brazil Union came to the Rio-Minas Gerais Mission to visit churches and groups. In addition, he held “conventions and congresses for the 600 Missionary Volunteers (MV)” in the region. What the pastor saw amazed him. He could see that the youth were so enshrined and enthusiastic that they forsook all that prevented them from enjoying God's blessings. He also noticed a strong commitment to Adventist education due to the increase of enrollments at the nine primary schools in the field.41

In 1933, the Rio-Minas Gerais Mission (today the Rio de Janeiro Conference) relocated to 58 Paraíba Street, in Praça da Bandeira.42 Three years later, in 1936, the field headquarters was transferred again, this time to 161 Matoso Street, also in Praça da Bandeira. On March 27, 1937, the new Rio Central Church was inaugurated in the same place.43 As Adventism grew in this field, other institutions were established.

A little later, in 1942, focusing on the principles of health and the care needed to preserve it, “Rio de Janeiro Clinic and Rest Home was established in the city of Rio de Janeiro, under the direction of Dr. Chester S. Schneider, replaced in 1948 by the modern Adventist Silvestre Hospital (ASH), today supervised by the Southeastern Brazilian Union.”44

Over the years, new demands have emerged. Rio-Minas Gerais Mission was reorganized in 1951, changing its status to Rio-Minas Conference (1951-1979).45 Through this reorganization, the central part of Minas Gerais was transferred to form Minas Mission,46 based in the city of Belo Horizonte. In 1956, the conference headquarters was moved to Jaceguai Street in the Maracanã neighborhood (North Zone) where it remained until 1962. At that time it was relocated again, this time to 281 Bishop Street in the Tijuca neighborhood. The headquarters remained there until 1977 when it returned to 97 Matoso Street where it is currently located.47 Its territory covers a population of 12,500,090, with 15 churches and 2,678 members.48

In the year 1972, “the Meier Church celebrated its 50th foundation anniversary and carried out a series of youth-led programs.” In the same year, Pastor Voltaire Cavalieri presented a series of lectures each Sunday on "the problems of the home." In addition, Pastor Rodolfo Cavalieri gave a “children's evangelism course” that was attended by church members. Another highlight of 1972 was the inauguration of a daily radio program broadcast by Rádio Copacabana, directed by Antonio Carlos Daniel. With his resourcefulness, he managed to win an audience of "thousands of listeners."49

In 1980, Rio-Minas Mission was reorganized again and assumed the status of Rio de Janeiro Conference. From then on, the conference territory included the entire state of Rio de Janeiro, from Parati Municipality in the southwest to São Francisco de Itabapoana in the northeast. The southern parts of Minas Gerais were given to Minas Mission, while the northern and northwestern regions, as well as the Lakes Region in the state of Rio de Janeiro, were given to Rio de Janeiro Conference by Espírito Santo Conference.50

In the 1980s, with the status of a conference, Rio de Janeiro Conference had the largest East Brazil Union elementary school in its territory, Duque de Caxias Adventist Institute, now Duke de Caxias Adventist Academy, which had 730 students. In addition, the union's first boarding school was in its territory, Petropolis Adventist Academy (IPAE), which has now been offering youth education for 79 years.51

Later, in 1987,52 when the Meier Church celebrated its 65th anniversary, Sister Ritinha recalled the efforts made in the campaign to build the first temple in 1919:

We children brought offers of three pennies [...]. The first Sabbath School in Rio took place in Cascadura, in Rio de Janeiro suburb, at the residence of an Adventist of German origin known as Mrs. Günter. Before long, the recent converts rented a house on street São Brás, almost on the corner of street Piauí. Later, they went to the street Engenho de Dentro, today called Adolfo Bergamini. Finally, the temple was completed and inaugurated in 1922 on street Joaquim Meier.53

Due to the exponential growth of Rio de Janeiro Conference and the need for larger headquarters in 1988, the church began the construction of new administrative headquarters that was scheduled to open in December of that year.54 During construction a flood damaged the institution's facilities, but thankfully the headquarters opened on February 19, 1989. The pastors present at the time were João Wolff, SAD president; Floriano Xavier, SAD Secretary; and José Orlando Correia, president of East Brazil Union; along with other leaders.55 For Pastor Ari Gomes, the fact that the building was built without a campaign was a miracle.

It is important to note that in 1989 Rio de Janeiro Conference set its own annual baptism record, reaching 3,135 people, “the largest number ever in its history, [...] according to Pastor Ari Gomes, president of the field." Because of the excellent missionary work done in the state that culminated in a high number of baptisms, it soon became apparent that it was necessary to build several churches.56

For that purpose, there was a constant investment in missionary work. Pastor Miguel Costa developed an evangelism campaign for the northwestern region of Rio de Janeiro State. The campaign was conducted in the city of Itaperuna, with a population of 100,000. Among the presenters in the campaign were physicians from Silvestre Hospital who gave lectures about health, and four theology students from Brazil College. The impact of this activity resulted in the baptism of 134 people, the beginning of four new churches and the construction of a temple for new converts—all in 1994.57

In 1995, community projects were carried out by Rio de Janeiro Conference, including the “1st Summer Camp for Needy Children in the Municipality of Casimiro de Abreu.” This project was supported by Casimiro de Abreu City Hall and some companies, as well as the Youth, Pathfinders, and Adventist Community Service Departments. During vacations, 100 children attended the workshops and the sport classes, in a children's evangelism program developed by the project leaders.58

Between November 29 and December 1, 1998, Rio de Janeiro Conference held an Extraordinary Assembly. On that occasion, “by a decision recorded in the minutes of the administrative board of the Assembly of the East Brazil Union of the Seventh-day Adventists, a decision was made for the territorial and administrative breakup of the area.” The main objective of the meeting was to create the future South Rio de Janeiro Conference with the appointment of all its leaders.59

As a result, at the beginning of 1999 the field was divided and the South Rio de Janeiro Conference, whose territory covers the southern part of the state, was created. The city of Rio de Janeiro, working field of this institution, borders the city of Duque de Caxias, extending from the cities of Nova Iguaçu to Paraty, which borders the state of São Paulo and to the west of the state, the city of Passa Quatro, in Minas Gerais.60

In the year 2002, Rio de Janeiro Conference split up again, now to create Rio Fluminense Conference.” This Conference includes the municipalities of Conceição de Macabu, Nova Friburgo, Santo Antonio de Padua, Itaperuna, Rio Bonito, Campos dos Goytacazes, São Francisco do Itabapoana, the Lakes Region, some cities in the mountain region, the northern region of Rio de Janeiro, and the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, including São Gonçalo and Niterói.61

Over time, Rio de Janeiro Conference has excelled in some areas. Between 2015 and 2018, 38 new churches were inaugurated in the conference territory; an average of 9 churches were inaugurated each year. The new churches were nurtured and instructed to reach specific classes of people, such as the communities in the neighborhood of Copacabana, Tijuca, and Ilha do Governador. With the same objective four Centers of Influence were created.

Regarding the activities of the last quadrennium, we highlight 112 health fairs62 carried out by volunteers.63 In addition, in 2017 and 2018, new buildings were inaugurated at Duke de Caxias Adventist Academy and Botafogo Adventist Academy. Together, these institutions serve about 3,000 students.

Over more than a century, the message that inspired the pioneers of the church has been sown and cultivated gradually and persistently. Thus, the Adventist work took root, grew and bore results in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Currently, the mission of the Rio de Janeiro Conference is to “preach the Eternal Gospel in the context of the three angelic messages of Revelation 14 to all the people in our territory, making disciples, baptizing, and spiritually building up to the return of Christ.”64

Throughout its history, Rio de Janeiro Conference has endeavored to announce the distinguishing marks of Adventism. Since its beginning in 1902, it has stood out for the work of the great pioneers who gave a vital impetus to the difficult work of evangelism in the state of Rio de Janeiro. After hard work and commitment from leaders and members, it can be noted that the conference has faithfully carried out its role within the SDA Church. Today, after so many years, the conference continues to proclaim the everlasting gospel through every action taken.

However, there are still challenging points for evangelizing its territory. These include the regions of the south, north and Ilha do Governador in the city of Rio de Janeiro, that is, where most of the population is concentrated. Evangelistic actions carried out in neighborhoods such as Copacabana, Leblon, Ipanema, Arpoador, Sao Conrado, Gavea, Flamengo, and others have shown few effective results so far.65

These and other places present characteristics of the city of Rio de Janeiro that defy the gospel, including:

  • the fact that each region has its own unique characteristics of non-traditional culture and lifestyle

  • the metropolitan environment; it is the second most visited city in the world, with a population of 6,429,923

  • inhabitants lead a modern, liberal, and independent life with many ideologies without Christian foundations

  • luxury condominiums that are difficult to access

  • a large number of slums, sometimes dominated by militia or drug trafficking.66

In this context, where one of the biggest challenges in evangelization is addressing a population that does not see traditional religion as relevant, there are plans to promote some activities over the next four years such as: (1) Establish Centers of Influence prepared to teach about health, family, lifestyle and others, in class A communities; (2) set up churches for specific groups such as the Jewish and Peruvian communities and the various social classes, both for “A” classes and others; (3) create Espaços Novo Tempo [a separate space in a church or school to attract people to watch TV Novo Tempo [Hope Chanel in Brazil] in each church already established in the communities; (4) expand and renovate Adventist schools in the southern and Duque de Caxias areas giving more visibility to Adventist education; (5) prepare new specialized canvassers for large urban centers to reach people through Adventist literature; and (6) invest in mission with young people for the younger generation through the “One Year In Mission” project.67

Chronology of Administrative Officers

Presidents: Huldreich F. Graf (1902-1905); Frederico Weber Spies (1906-1912); Henry Meyer (1913); F. R. Kümpel (1914-1918); Henry Meyer (1919); Ricardo J. Wilfart (1920-1924); F. W. Spies (1925-1926); C. C. Schneider (1927); H. G. Stoehr (1928-1930); Elli M. Davis (1931-1935); Gustavo S. Storch (1936-1938); John H. Boehm (1940-1946); Roger Wilcox (1947); John Baerg (1949); Emmanuel Zorub (1950-1955); Rodolfo Belz (1957-1958); Roberto Mendes Rabelo (1959); Rubens Segre Ferreira (1961-1968); Djacy Barbosa (1969-1973); Josino Dias Campos (1974-1975); José Bellesi Filho (1976-1977); João Izídio da Costa (1978-1983); Helmuth Ari Gomes (1984-1992); Gustavo Roberto Schumann (1993-2002); Marcos Osmar Schultz (2003-2010); Montano de Barros Netto (2011-2014); Marcos Antonio Martins de Aguiar (2015-).68

Secretaries: A. B. Stauffer (1902-1904); A. Pages (1905, 1911-1913); P. Hennig (1914-1915); L. Lotz (1916); A. Pages (1917-1918); W. A. Ernenputsch (1919); F. C. Varney (1923); Guilberme F. Ebinger (1924); G. E. Hartman (1925); U. Wissner (1926); Otto M. Groeschel (1927-1930); Edwino Langenstrassen (1931-1933); U. Wissner (1934-1936); E. Langenstrassen (1937); M. Fuhrmann (1938-1939); F. Vegele (1940); J. P. Lôbo (1942-1949); Palmer Harder (1950-1953); H. E. Bergold (1955-1957); Max Fuhrmann (1958-1960); Djacy Barbosa (1961-1968); Holbert Schmidt (1969-1971); Maximilian Fuhrmann (1972-1979); Terso O. Duarte (1980-1982); Jarci Lourenço Reis (1983); Marco Antonio do Rego Valença (1984); Jarci Lourenço Reis (1985); Samuel Zukowski (1986); Jean Oliveira Dourado (1987-1998); Amarildo Ferreira dos Santos (1999-2000); Otoniel Almeida Fonseca (2001-2002); Carlos Alberto Palma Santos (2003-2006); Evanir da Rocha Pires (2007-2010); Marcos Antonio M. Aguiar (2011-2014); Matheus Leite Tavares (2015-).

Treasurers: A. B. Stauffer (1902-1904); A. Pages (1905, 1911-1918); W. A. Ernenputsch (1919); F. C. Varney (1923); Guilberme F. Ebinger (1924); G. E. Hartman (1925); U. Wissner (1926); Otto M. Groeschel (1927-1930); Edwino Langenstrassen (1931-1933); U. Wissner (1934-1936); E. Langenstrassen (1937); M. Fuhrmann (1938-1939); F. Vegele (1940); J. P. Lôbo (1942-1949); Palmer Harder (1950-1953); H. E. Bergold (1955-1957); Max Fuhrmann (1958-1960); Djacy Barbosa (1961-1968); Holbert Schmidt (1969-1971); Maximilian Fuhrmann (1972-1979); Terso O. Duarte (1980-1982); Jarci Lourenço Reis (1983-1992); Ivo de Azevedo Vasconcelos (1993-1995); Hermes Demarche (1996-1998); Salomão Sarmento de Souza (1999-2001); Armando Luiz Oliveira da Silva (2003-2011); Leonardo do Rosario Pombo (2012-).69

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Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1966.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Nampa, ID.: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2017 and 2018.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, various years.

Spies, F. W. “A colportagem da Missão Rio-Espírito Santo” [Rio-Espírito Santo Mission Canvassing]. Revista Mensal [Monthly Review] 10, no. 01 (January 1915): 6.

Spies, F. W. “A Missão Brasileira do Norte” [Rio-Espírito Santo Mission Canvassing]. Revista Trimestral [Trimonthly Review] 1, no. 04 (October 1906): 1, 2.

Spies, F. W. “A organização da Conferência União Sul-Americana” [The organization of South America Union Assembly]. Revista Trimestral [Trimonthly Review] 1, no. 03 (July 1906): 1-2.

Spies, F. W. “Experiences in Brazil.” ARH 75, no. 43 (October 1898): 686.

Spies, F. W. “Obituário.” [Obituary] Trimonthly Review 2, no. 03 (July 1907): 1-2.

Spies, F. W. “Organization of the Brazil Conference.” ARH 79, no. 42 (October 1902): 17.

Spies, F. W. “The Work in Brazil.” ARH 74, no. 05 (February 1897): 74.

Thurston, W. H. “Brazil.” ARH 72, no. 15 (April 1895): 236.

Thurston, W. H. “Brazil.” ARH 72, no. 49 (December 1895): 779.

Thurston, W. H. “Brazil.” ARH 73, no. 40 (October 1896): 638.

Thurston, W. H. “Brazil-Rio de Janeiro.” ARH 71, no. 46 (November 1894): 725.

Thurston, W. H. “From Brazil.” ARH 73, no. 46 (November 1894): 764.

Timm, Alberto R. “Primórdios do Adventismo no Brasil – Conclusão” [The Beginnings of Adventism in Brazil]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 2, year 10 (February 2005): 12-14.

“Uma História de Esperança” [A History of Hope]. ARJ Review. 25º Assembleia Geral Ordinária [25th Ordinary General Assembly], 2015-2018.

Valle, Arthur S. “Crescendo e Vencendo Dificuldades. Uma Visão Histórica de 1916 a 1976” [Growing and Overcoming Difficulties. A Historical Vision from 1916 to 1976]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], year 71, no. 46 (November 1894): 21.

Vieira, Ruy Carlos de Camargo, Vida e Obra de Guilherme Stein Jr. [Life and Works of Guilherme Stein Jr.]. Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 1995.

Westcott, H. B. “União Este Brasileira.” [East Brazil Union] ARH 26, no. 07 (July 1931): 12-13.

White Center Research, http://www.centrowhite.org.br/.

Wilcox, E. H. “Notes of the interest of Brazil East Union.” Revista Adventista [Adventist Review] 23, no. 09 (September 1928): 10.

Wilcox, E. H. “O Campo Nacional” [National Field]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review] (April 1928): 11.

Wilcox, E. H. “União Este Brasileira” [East Brazil Union]. Revista Adventista [Adventist Review] 25, no. 02 (February 1930): 7.

Notes

  1. Adventist Church Management System (ACMS), accessed on February 17, 2019, https://www.acmsnet.org/; Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), “Population,” accessed on February 17, 2019, https://cidades.ibge.gov.br/brasil/mg/panorama.

  2. Dileane Fiuza (report from Adventist Education in ARJ-BSeU), e-mail message to the author, February 15, 2019.

  3. Joseph Bates was a “sea captain, reformer, preacher, and one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. […] In 1839, Bates accepted the visions of William Miller and became part of the Millerite Movement, presiding over important assemblies. Bates maintained his faith after the October 1844 disappointment and after studying the Scriptures himself he became a Sabbath keeper”. He also “wrote a series of six pamphlets showing his determination to discover the truth and then live it. He played a prominent role in the Assemblies about the Sabbath in 1848 and in the establishment of the Adventist Church”. Accessed on March 26, 2019, https://bit.ly/2TYzN9P.

  4. Sugar Loaf is a hill complex located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The hills are called: Sugar Loaf, Urca and Babylon. It is also the “Brazilian Mountain with the highest number of climbing routes (up to 1997 there were 38),” and because of this it “daily receives hundreds of climbers, mountaineers and ecologists” from around the world. Accessed on April 10, 2019, https://bit.ly/2P1gAi5.

  5. C. C. Crisler, Life of Joseph Bates (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1927), 111, 113.

  6. R. W. Schwarz, Light Bearers to the Remnant (Nampa, ID.: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1979), 229; Ruy Carlos de Camargo Vieira, Vida e Obra de Guilherme Stein Jr. [Life and works of Guilherme Stein Jr.] (Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House), 135-136.

  7. Roberto Gullón Canedo, Uma semente de esperança. História da Estrutura Denominacional [A seed of hope. History of the Denominational Structure] (Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House), 57.

  8. W. H. Thurston, “Brazil,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 72, no. 15 (April 1895): 236.

  9. Renato Gross, Colégio Internacional de Curitiba: uma história de fé e pioneirismo [Curitiba International Academy: a History of Faith and Pioneerism] (Rio de Janeiro: Collins, 1996), 45, 56.

  10. Roberto Gullón Canedo, Uma Semente de Esperança. História da Estrutura Denominacional [A seed of hope. History of the Denominational Structure] (Tatuí, SP: Casa Publicadora Brasileira), 50.

  11. National Adventist Memory Center Arquive, “Graf, Huldreich F. (1855-1946),” accessed on March 4, 2019, https://bit.ly/2EONJu9.

  12. Michelson Borges, “Raízes da Nossa História” [Roots of our History], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], January 9, 2018, accessed on March 11, 2019, https://bit.ly/2NOaqRU; W. H. Thurston, “Brazil-Rio de Janeiro,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 71, no. 46 (November 1894): 725.

  13. Alberto R. Timm, “Primórdios do Adventismo no Brasil – Conclusão,” [Early days of Adventism in Brazil - Conclusion] Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 2, year 10 (February 2005): 12-14.

  14. National Adventist Memory Center Arquive, “Spies, Frederico Weber (1866-1935),” accessed on March 3, 2019, https://bit.ly/2tOSSMi.

  15. F. W. Spies, “The Work in Brazil,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 74, no. 05 (February 1897): 74.

  16. F. W. Spies, “Experiences in Brazil,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald 75, no. 43 (October 1898): 686.

  17. Idem; “Obituário,” [Obituary] Revista Trimensal 2 [Trimonthly Review], no. 3 (July 1907): 1-2; Michelson Borges, “Raízes da Nossa História,” [Roots of our History] Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], January 9, 2018, accessed on March 11, 2019, https://bit.ly/2NOaqRU.

  18. F. W. Spies, “A Missão Brasileira do Norte,” [The Brazilian Mission of the North] Revista Trimensal [Trimonthly Review] 1, no. 04 (October 1906): 1, 2.

  19. National Adventist Memory Center Arquive, “Spies, Frederico Weber (1866-1935),” accessed on March 3rd, 2019, https://bit.ly/2tOSSMi.

  20. Héctor J. Peverini, Em las huellas de la Providencia [In the footsteps of Providence] (Buenos Aires, ARG: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1988), 238, 241.

  21. The only existing conference in Brazil, recognized by the Yearbook and Ellen White Research Center, as being organized in 1902, is Rio de Janeiro Conference, the others were organized from 1906. Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, “Rio de Janeiro Conference,” accessed on March 20, 2019, https://bit.ly/2ufP2w1; White Center Research “accessed on March 27, 2019, https://bit.ly/2EZFOZJ.

  22. F. W. Spies, “Organization of the Brazil Conference,” Review and Herald 79, no. 42 (October 1902): 17.

  23. “Brazilian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1904), 72.

  24. Idem. Edson Rosa, 100 anos Conduzindo Vidas em São Paulo [100 years leading lives in São Paulo] (Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2006), 95; Héctor J. Peverini, Em las huellas de la Providencia [In the footsteps of Providence] (Buenos Aires, ARG: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1988), 238.

  25. F. W. Spies, “Organization of the Brazil Conference,” Review and Herald 79, no. 42 (October 1902): 17; Floyd Greenleaf, A Land of Hope (Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2011), 82.

  26. Edson Rosa, 100 anos Conduzindo Vidas em São Paulo [100 years leading lives in São Paulo] (Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2006), 23.

  27. Héctor J. Peverini, En las huellas de la Providencia [In the footsteps of Providence] (Buenos Aires, ARG: South American Spanish Publishing House, 1988), 239; Floyd Greenleaf, A Land of Hope (Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2011), 82.

  28. Ibid., 240-241; F. W. Spies, “A organização da Conferencia União Sul-Americana,” [The organization of South America Union Assembly] Revista Trimensal 1 [Trimonthly Review], no. 03 (July 1906): 1-2.

  29. “Rio-Espirito Santo Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1911), 126.

  30. F. W. Spies, “A colportagem da Missão Rio-Espírito Santo,” [Rio-Espírito Santo Mission Canvassing] Monthly Review 10, no. 01 (January 1915): 6.

  31. “Brazilian Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1912), 138; White Center Research “Datas Importantes da Igreja Adventista no Brasil,” [Important Dates of Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brazil] accessed on March 19, 2019, https://bit.ly/2EZFOZJ.

  32. Roberto Gullón Canedo, Uma Semente de Esperança. História da Estrutura Denominacional [A Seed of Hope. History of Denominational Structure] (Tatuí, SP: Brazil Publishing House, 2015), 232.

  33. “Rio de Janeiro Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1920), 188; “East Brazil Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1921), 120.

  34. H. Meyer, “DOS CAMPOS. A Missão Rio de Janeiro,” [Rio de Janeiro Mission] Revista Mensal 15 [Monthly Review], no. 03 (March 1920): 7.

  35. Iasd Central Rio [Central Rio SDA] (Online), “História da Igreja,” [Church History] accessed on March 22nd, 2019, https://bit.ly/2War5lE.

  36. “Rio de Janeiro Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1927), 188.

  37. “Rio de Janeiro Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1928), 197.

  38. Minute of Rio-Minas Gerais Committee, dated from January 17, 1933.

  39. “Rio de Janeiro Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1931), 239.

  40. “Rio-Minas Geraes Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1932), 239.

  41. Walton Brown, “Rio-Minas, a Missão Gigante” [Rio-Minas a Gigantic Mission], Revista Adventista 35 [Adventist Review], no. 10 (October 1940): 8.

  42. Minute of Rio-Minas Gerais Committee, dated from January 17 and July 17, 1933.

  43. Adventistas Rio [Rio Adventists], Youtube video (November 4, 2018), accessed on March 18, 2019, https://bit.ly/2TbEvfb; Iasd Central Rio [Central Rio Adventist Church] (Online), “História da Igreja,” [Church History] accessed on March 22nd, 2019, https://bit.ly/2War5lE.

  44. White Center Research “Datas Importantes da Igreja Adventista no Brasil,” [Important Dates of Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brazil] accessed on March 27, 2019, https://bit.ly/2EZFOZJ.

  45. “Rio-Minas Gerais Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1951): 172; “Rio Minas Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1980), 262.

  46. “Minas Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1981), 270.

  47. Adventistas Rio [Rio Adventists], Youtube video (November 4, 2018), accessed on March 18, 2019, https://bit.ly/2TbEvfb.

  48. “Rio-Minas Geraes Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1951), 172.

  49. Anísio Chagas, “Novas da Rio-Minas” [News from Rio-Minas], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], year 67, no. 03 (July 1972): 26.

  50. Elaborated by Jean Dourado (Secretary in that time), historic in the archives of Rio de Janeiro Conference.

  51. “Educação na Associação Rio de Janeiro” [Education in Rio de Janeiro Conference], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 14, year 75, April 1980, 29-30.

  52. This date celebrating 65 years was based on “Revista Adventista” [Adventist Review] source referenced at the end of the paragraph, which accounts the anniversary of the Temple's inauguration in 1922. The same happened in the 50th anniversary celebration mentioned above. Counting from the date of its organization in 1895, it would be turning 92.

  53. “Igreja do Meier Comemorou 65 anos,” [Meier Church celebrated 65 years] Adventist Review, no. 01, year 84, January 1988, 21.

  54. “Rio de Janeiro”, Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 07, year 84, July 1988, 20.

  55. “Festival de Inaugurações” [Inauguration Festival], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 03, year 85, March 1989, 18;

  56. “Construções evidenciam progresso” [Construction evidence progress], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 08, year 86, August 1990, 32.

  57. “Evangelismo e inauguração movimentam a ARJ” [Evangelism and inauguration stir the Rio de Janeiro Conference] , Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 05, year 90, May 1994, 22.

  58. “Projeto comunitário beneficia crianças fluminenses” [Community project benefits children from Rio de Janeiro], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 04, year 91, April 1995, 18.

  59. Organization Minute, vote no. 98-088 of superior organization – Brazilian East Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; “Edital” [Public Notice], Revista Adventista [Adventist Review], no. 10, year 94, October 1998, 33.

  60. Constitutive Act of South Rio de Janeiro Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, article 4th - 12/01/1998 - Assembly of Organization; Organization Minute, vote no. 98-088 of the higher organization - East Brazil Union of Seventh-day Adventists.

  61. Minute of the Assembly of Organization of Rio Fluminense Conference of SDA - 12/12/2012.

  62. Health fairs are developed by the SDA Ministry of Health. “The goal of this program is to collaborate in establishing a much healthier and happier lifestyle, generating not only more health, but significant savings for governments and families in health-related spending.” Accessed on March 18, 2019, https://bit.ly/2FbFmHT.

  63. Sergio Ramos, “As Feiras de Saúde” [Health Fairs], ARJ Review. 25º Assembleia Geral Ordinária [25th Ordinary general Assembly] (2015-2018): 53.

  64. Montano de Barros, “Ideais da Associação Rio de Janeiro” [Ideal of Rio de Janeiro Conference], Ilumine, year 02, (July/December 2012): 3.

  65. “Uma História de Esperança” [A Story of Hope], ARJ Review. 25ª Assembleia Geral Ordinária [25th Ordinary general Assembly], 2015-2018, 7-9, 11-63.

  66. Idem.

  67. Idem.

  68. Don F. Neufeld, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1966), 473; “Brazilian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1904), 72; “Rio de Janeiro Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, ID.: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2018), 261. For a more detailed look at all presidents, secretaries and treasurers, see Yearbooks 1904-2018.

  69. More information about the Rio de Janeiro Conference can be found on: https://arj.adventistas.org/ or on social media: Twitter: @adventistasrio, YouTube and Facebook: Adventistas Rio.

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Guedes, Leônidas Verneque, Alex Moreira Severino. "Rio de Janeiro Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 16, 2021. Accessed April 19, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5I3N.

Guedes, Leônidas Verneque, Alex Moreira Severino. "Rio de Janeiro Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 16, 2021. Date of access April 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5I3N.

Guedes, Leônidas Verneque, Alex Moreira Severino (2021, April 16). Rio de Janeiro Conference. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5I3N.