"The Missionary Leader" title page, 1914. 

Photo courtesy of Adventist Heritage Centre, Australia.

The Missionary Leader (South Pacific Division)

By Milton Hook

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Milton Hook, Ed.D. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, the United States). Hook retired in 1997 as a minister in the Greater Sydney Conference, Australia. An Australian by birth Hook has served the Church as a teacher at the elementary, academy and college levels, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, and as a local church pastor. In retirement he is a conjoint senior lecturer at Avondale College of Higher Education. He has authored Flames Over Battle Creek, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, Desmond Ford: Reformist Theologian, Gospel Revivalist, the Seventh-day Adventist Heritage Series, and many magazine articles. He is married to Noeleen and has two sons and three grandchildren.

The Missionary Leader began as a sixteen-page monthly periodical (later reduced to eight pages) published from 1914 to 1951. It provided resources for local church elders, home mission secretaries, Sabbath School superintendents, and local young people’s leaders. It was published free of charge by the Australasian Union Conference officers (later the Australasian Division1) and first edited by Anna Hindson.2 The opening number was issued in June 1914. In view of the fact it was utilitarian and did not have to appeal to the public, it remained a relatively plain periodical with a masthead and an occasional illustration during the closing years. For the same reason, it contained no advertising.

Avondale Press printed The Missionary Leader until November 1938,3 except for a period in 1920 when Signs Publishing Company (SPC) was utilized.4 SPC printed it from December 1938 through 1951.5 Avondale Press mistakenly skipped volume five when numbering issues between December 1917 and January 1918.

Hindson continued as editor until her retirement in January 1934,6 the period broken only for a few months in 1923 when Elder Albert Anderson stepped in.7 Hindson was succeeded by Viola Rogers8 who had been assistant editor from October 1930. Rogers remained until November 19389 when she transferred into Bible evangelism work in Tasmania.10 She was succeeded by Elder Reuben E. Hare until January 1941.11 Elder Thomas Mitchell followed briefly in 1942.12 Elder Andrew Stewart took up the editorship in October 1943 until February 1950.13 Thereafter, Hare returned as editor until December 1951.14

By 1938, the circulation of the periodical had risen to 2,968. Some copies were posted to isolated members, in many cases their sole spiritual support and contact with the church.15

In the final issue, December 1951, it was explained that the various departments represented in the periodical had grown large enough for each to require their own magazine. From that time onwards the Sabbath School, Home Missions, and Young People’s departments would issue separate communiques.16

All copies are extant in the South Pacific Division Heritage Centre, Avondale College of Higher Education,17 and online at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Archives site.18

Sources

“Changes for the ‘Record.’” Australasian Record, September 26, 1938.

Fulton, John E. “Foreword.” The Missionary Leader, June 1914.

Roenfelt, Erwin E. “Australasian Union Conference Secretary’s Report.” Australasian Record, September 26, 1938.

Hare, Reuben E. “As we have already intimated…” The Missionary Leader, December 1951.

Notes

  1. John E. Fulton, “Foreword,” The Missionary Leader, June 1914, 1.

  2. The Missionary Leader, June 1914, 16.

  3. The Missionary Leader, November 1937, 8.

  4. The Missionary Leader, January 1920, 8.

  5. The Missionary Leader, December 1938, 8.

  6. The Missionary Leader, January 1934, 8.

  7. The Missionary Leader, March 1923, 8.

  8. The Missionary Leader, February 1934, 8.

  9. The Missionary Leader, November 1938, 8.

  10. “Changes for the ‘Record,’” Australasian Record, September 26, 1938, 6.

  11. The Missionary Leader, January 1941, 8.

  12. The Missionary Leader, March 1942, 8.

  13. The Missionary Leader, October 1943, 8.

  14. The Missionary Leader, March 1950, 8.

  15. Erwin E. Roenfelt, “Australasian Union Conference Secretary’s Report,” Australasian Record, September 26, 1938, 1-2.

  16. Reuben. E. Hare, “As we have already intimated…” The Missionary Leader, December 1951, 16.

  17. The Missionary Leader, Shelf Periodicals, South Pacific Division Heritage Centre, Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, NSW.

  18. The Missionary Leader, Online Archives, General Conference Archives, accessed May 29, 2019, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/

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Hook, Milton. "The Missionary Leader (South Pacific Division)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed June 19, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6G4S.

Hook, Milton. "The Missionary Leader (South Pacific Division)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access June 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6G4S.

Hook, Milton (2021, April 28). The Missionary Leader (South Pacific Division). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6G4S.