Grave of Floyd and Ella Asbaugh.

Photo courtesy of Connie. Source: Find a Grave, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47730201/floyd-garfield-ashbaugh

Ashbaugh, Floyd Garfield (1890–1987)

By Daniel Lunkhohao Touthang, Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo, and Remwil R. Tornalejo

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Daniel Lunkhohao Touthang

Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo is a theology instructor at South Philippine Adventist College, Digos Davao del Sur, Philippines. He finished his Bachelor of Theology from Mountain View College, Valencia, Bukidnon, Philippines in 2016. He earned an M.A. in religion in church history and theology from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in 2018.

Remwil R. Tornalejo is an associate professor in the Historical-Theological department of the International Institute of Advanced Studies Seminary (AIIAS). Tornalejo has a B.A. in theology from Mountain View College, Valencia, Philippines, and M.P.S., M.Div., and M.Th. degrees from AIIAS. He had served as a pastor, Literature Ministry Seminary dean and instructor at the South Philippine Union Conference. He had served as chair of the theology department of the South Philippine Adventist College. Tornalejo completed his D.Theol. from Theological Union (ATESEA). He is married to Marilou Manatad. They have four children.

First Published: May 6, 2022

Floyd Garfield Ashbaugh was a pioneer colporteur missionary, youth leader, temperance promoter, and church administrator.

Early Life

Born May 14, 1890, in Britton, South Dakota, U.S.A., Floyd Garfield Ashbaugh was the fourth child of Frederick Thomas Ashbaugh (1858-1943) and Martha Rosella Smith (1857-1951).1 The Ashbaughs had eight children: Frederick Elliot (1880-1898), Ellis Butler (1882-1958), George Henry (1886-1955), Elbert Roland (1888-1979), Floyd Garfield Ashbaugh (1890-1987), Luella May Ashbaugh Thomson (1891-1972), Harold Bryan (1896-1983), and Helen Rosella Ashbaugh Morton (1899-1975).2

Ashbaugh spent his earlier years in three different places: Britton, South Dakota, Hecla, South Dakota, and Newark, South Dakota. 1n 1909, while Floyd was working at a vegetarian cafeteria in Los Angeles, California, Elders Luther Warren and C. E. Ford converted him, and Elder Ford baptized him during the same year.3

Education and Marriage

Floyd Ashbaugh went to public schools from 1898 until 1905. He then attended Fernando Academy in California during 1910 and 1911.4 That same year he answered a call to serve as a pioneer missionary to the Philippines. He married Ella Pearl Nelson in 1918.5 Ella Pearl was born February 2, 1888, in Neceda, Juneau, Wisconsin, to parents Hans Nelson and Marie Christine Nielson. She had a brother named Albert. Floyd and Ella had a daughter named Lolita Evangeline. 6

Ministry

Ashbaugh served as a youth leader in San Fernando during 19107 and began canvassing while studying at Fernando Academy.8 While he was actively involved in selling books in California, he received a call to work as a missionary literature evangelist in the Philippines.9 He sailed from San Francisco to the Philippines on Wednesday, November 22, 1911, along with Elder E. M. Adams and family.10

Ashbaugh pioneered the Adventist Church in the Panayan Mission, his territory being the Panay and Guimaras islands.11 He had already begun working there before E. M Adams arrived in the region.12 During his first week, he took orders amounting to 247.40 pesos, the second week 238 pesos, and the third week 324.50.13 Much of his work he did on foot, though sometimes by horse, sailboat, and rowboat. Once he had the opportunity to travel in a private carriage, “a calesa drawn by an ox.”14

In 1913, Floyd received a bicycle from the United States that helped him a lot in his canvassing and delivery work, especially during the dry season.15 His literature evangelism efforts laid a foundation for the Adventist mission, resulting in numerous conversions and baptisms in the Philippines, especially in Iloilo and the Panayan Mission.16

In 1915, Ashbaugh conducted a literature evangelism training institute at Argao, Cebu, attended by five young men.17 However, that same year, he returned to the US to continue his studies.18

Floyd attended Pacific Union College. The faculty and students of the college recognized the importance of a model society that followed General Conference Missionary Volunteer department plans, so it formed one and voted unanimously for Floyd to be its assistant leader.19 He and other leaders were actively engaged in missionary activities, including a series of evangelistic meetings that resulted in a number of baptisms.20 The society also conducted seminars and training sessions, and sent out literature evangelists during the summer.21 It also served to develop prayer life among the students and fostered a love for missions.22

In 1918 the Philippine Union Conference invited Ashbaugh to return to the Philippines, but because of his wife’s unfavorable medical report, the General Conference voted to release him from the appointment. He then served in the Southeastern California Conference as Missionary Volunteer departmental secretary from 1920 to 1926.23

In 1926, the Kentucky Conference elected him as president24 and he held the post until 1930.25 Before the end of that year he became field secretary for the Pacific Union Conference and served until 1931.26

In 1932, leadership chose Floyd G. Ashbaugh as the Missionary Volunteer secretary for the Pacific Union Conference and he remained there until 1940. Alongside this responsibility, in 1934, he was “appointed secretary of the American Temperance Society for the Pacific Union Conference.”27 In 1940, he served as the leader of the Pacific Union Conference for the Medical Cadet Core, in charge of the training Adventist young men for medical service in the military.28

Beginning in 1942, Ashbaugh, who was already a member of the War Service Commission, was commissioned to be a regional secretary of the Pacific Union Conference.29 Holding the cadet rank of colonel, he became secretary of the War Service Commission and Medical Cadet Corps in 1943, then in 1946 as a regional secretary of Army Camps and Industrial Relations located in the United States.30

In 1947, he served as regional secretary of the American Temperance Society, Religious Liberty society, and the Council on Industrial Relations of the Pacific Union Conference.31 In 1953, Elder Ashbaugh was invited to be the field secretary of the Pacific Union Conference and represent its sanitariums. He served as the Institutional Field representative of the Pacific Union from 1955 until his retirement in 1957. Ashbaugh received special recognition from the Pacific Union Conference in 1958 for his valuable contribution to the church.32

Later Life

Floyd and Ella Ashbaugh retired in the Pacific Union Conference, settling in Aptos, California. The couple celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary New Year's Day, 1968, and were honored at a reception and buffet given by their daughter, Mrs. Marvin Moore of Fresno.33

During the opening of the “Literature Ministry Seminary” in the North Philippine Union, R. H. Henning reported that Floyd Ashbaugh and Robert Caldwell had first entered the region and that a 1983 survey reported that “85 percent of the church membership became interested in Adventism through reading Adventist literature.”34

Floyd Ashbaugh not only broke records as a literature evangelist, but he also had splendid results in his work as a Missionary Volunteer secretary.

Ella Pearl Ashbaugh died May 16, 1972, at St. Helena, Napa, California.35 Floyd Ashbaugh died on January 16, 1987, (aged 96) in Fresno County, California, and was buried in Saint Helena Cemetery, Saint Helena, Napa County, California.36

Contribution

Floyd Ashbaugh left his mark in ministry as a literature evangelist, a temperance advocate, and a Missionary Volunteer and church leader. He helped pave the way for Seventh-day Adventism to penetrate the Philippines. Floyd has been credited as a contributing factor in the increase of interest in Adventism through Adventist literature in the Philippines.37

During his missionary canvassing efforts in the Philippines, Floyd had great success in selling books and broke sales records. Even though he labored in the Panayan Mission for only a few years, his work was remarkable; and the Philippine Union Conference considered it a great loss when he was not able to return.38 Ashbaugh was also recognized for his faithful service as secretary of the American Temperance and Religious Liberty societies, indicating the trust the denomination had in him.

Sources

Adams, E. M. “The Panayan Mission.” Asiatic Division Outlook March 1, 1919.

Anderson, C. D. “Medical Cadet Corps Bivouac.” Pacific Union Recorder, May 25, 1953.

Ashbaugh, F. G. “A New Temperance Program.” Pacific Union Recorder, April 9, 1947.

Ashbaugh, F. G. “Medical Cadet Corps.” Pacific Union Recorder, June 26, 1940.

Ashbaugh, F. G. “Temperance Work.” Pacific Union Recorder, March 28, 1934.

Ashbaugh, F. G. “The Hawaiian Mission.” Pacific Union Recorder, March 21, 1934.

“Ashbaugh, Frederick Thomas.” Pacific Union Recorder, July 28, 1943, 13.

“At Rest.” Pacific Union Recorder, August 7, 1972.

Bauer, C. L. “President’s Report.” Pacific Union Recorder, February 14, 1955.

Biographical Information Blank. Floyd Garfield Ashbaugh. General Conference Archives.

Cone, A. A. “Canvassing Items.” Pacific Union Recorder, June 20, 1912.

“Council on Industrial Relations,” and “War Service Commission,” General Conference Committee, June 26, 1946.

Davis, C. L. “Workers Going Forth.” Pacific Union Recorder, June 28, 1917.

“East Asia,” and “Floyd Ashbaugh released.” General Conference Committee, 1918.

“Elder Floyd Garfield Ashbaugh.” Findgrave.com. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47730201.

Finster, L. V. “Survey of the Fields for 1915-Philippine Mission.” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1916.

“From our Friends Far Away.” Pacific Union Recorder, September 18, 1913.

Hankins, W. C. “Work rapidly advancing-baptized at 136 years of age.” Asiatic Division Mission News, November 1, 1915.

Haynes, Carlyle B. “Adventists and Labor Unions.” ARH, November 27, 1947.

Henning, R. H. “Literature evangelist training centers established in Philippines.” ARH, November 24, 1983.

https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/ella-pearl-nelson-24-16srtt.

“It happened in Central.” Pacific Union Recorder, January 29, 1968.

Lloyd, Earnest. “The Prayer Bands.” Pacific Union Recorder, March 9, 1916.

“Martha Rosella Smith.” ancestry.com https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/martha-rosella-healy-or-smith-24-16srtq.

Moreno, S. M. “Publishing Work Advances in Central Philippine Union.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, August 1964.

“Pacific Union Conference Directory.” Pacific Union Recorder, July 28, 1943.

Pacific Union Recorder, November 23, 1911.

Prout, C. S. “Missionary Volunteers.” Pacific Union Recorder, September 30, 1915.

“Report of Book sales in Southern California.” Pacific Union Recorder, August 3, 1911.

Stevens, J Adams. “Northwestern California.” Pacific Union Recorder, October 12, 1916.

Stewart, Robert E. “From the Philippines.” ARH, September 23, 1915.

Schuett, Paul. “San Fernando Home-coming.” Pacific Union Recorder, December 9, 1963.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1921, 1926, 1930, 1932, 1958.

Skinner, L. A. “Medical Cadets Corps Bivouac at Gladstone,” North Pacific Union Gleaner, May 1, 1945.

Southern Union Worker, December 8, 1926.

“Student Instructs Baptist Minister.” The Missionary Worker, November 4, 1912.

“The Panayan Mission,” and “Literature Work in the Philippines Islands.” Missions Quarterly, Frist Quarter, 1916.

“The Philippines Islands.” News Letter for the Asiatic Division, May 1, 1912; May 1, 1913; September 1, 1913.

“The Philippine Islands (April 15),” “The Philippines Islands Literature Work- No. 1 (April 29),” and “Progress of the Work in the Philippines.” The Mission Leader, April 1916.

Notes

  1. Biographical Information Blank. Floyd Garfield Ashbaugh. General Conference Archives.

  2. “Ashbaugh-Frederick Thomas,” Pacific Union Recorder, July 28, 1943, 13; Geneanet.org; https://gw.geneanet.org/tdowling?lang=en&n=ashbaugh&oc=0&p=floyd+garfield; “Martha Rosella Smith,” ancestry.com https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/martha-rosella-healy-or-smith-24-16srtq.

  3. Biographical Information Blank. Floyd Garfield Ashbaugh.

  4. Ibid.

  5. “At Rest,” Pacific Union Recorder, August 7, 1972, 7.

  6. https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/ella-pearl-nelson-24-16srtt., accessed April 7, 2022.

  7. Paul Schuett, “San Fernando Home-coming,” Pacific Union Recorder, December 9, 1963, 4.

  8. “Student Instructs Baptist Minister,” The Missionary Worker, November 4, 1912, 175.

  9. “Report of Book sales in Southern California,” Pacific Union Recorder, August 3, 1911, 5.

  10. Pacific Union Recorder, November 23, 1911, 8.

  11. E. M. Adams, “The Panayan Mission,” Asiatic Division Outlook March 1, 1919, 5, 6. “The Panayan Mission,” and “Literature Work in the Philippines Islands,” Missions Quarterly, Frist Quarter, 1916, 4, 19.

  12. S. M. Moreno, “Publishing Work Advances in Central Philippine Union,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, August 1964, 12, 13. “The Philippine Islands (April 15),” “The Philippines Islands Literature Work - No. 1 (April 29),” and “Progress of the Work in the Philippines,” The Mission Leader, April 1916, 14, 15.

  13. “The Philippines Islands,” News Letter for the Asiatic Division, May 1, 1912, 1.

  14. “The Philippines Islands,” News Letter for the Asiatic Division, May 1, 1913, 6, 7; “The Philippine Islands,” News Letter for the Asiatic Division, September 1, 1913, 3, 4.

  15. “From our Friends Far Away,” Pacific Union Recorder, September 18, 1913, 7.

  16. E. M. Adams, “The Panayan Mission” Asiatic Division Outlook, March 1, 1919, 5, 6; W. C. Hankins, “Work rapidly advancing-baptized at 136 years of age,” Asiatic Division Mission News, November 1, 1915, 1, 2.

  17. Robert E. Stewart, “From the Philippines,” ARH, September 23, 1915, 17.

  18. L. V. Finster, “Survey of the Fields for 1915-Philippine Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1916), 260.

  19. C. S. Prout, “Missionary Volunteers,” Pacific Union Recorder, September 30, 1915, 3.

  20. J. Adams Stevens, “Northwestern California,” Pacific Union Recorder, October 12, 1916, 4.

  21. C. L. Davis, “Workers Going Forth,” Pacific Union Recorder, June 28, 1917, 6.

  22. Earnest Lloyd, “The Prayer Bands,” Pacific Union Recorder, March 9, 1916, 5.

  23. “East Asia,” and “Floyd Ashbaugh released,” General Conference Committee, 1918, 17, 196, accessed April 7, 2017, https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1918.pdf;. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1921), 59; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1926), 72.

  24. Southern Union Worker, December 8, 1926, 3, 4, 7.

  25. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1930), 91.

  26. C. D. Anderson, “Medical Cadet Corps Bivouac,” Pacific Union Recorder, May 25, 1953, 9.

  27. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1932), 79; F. G. Ashbaugh, “Temperance Work,” Pacific Union Recorder, March 28, 1934, 1.

  28. F. G. Ashbaugh, “Medical Cadet Corps,” Pacific Union Recorder, June 26, 1940, 12.

  29. The name “The Commission on National service and Medical Cadet Training” was changed to “The Seventh-day Adventist War Service Commission;” see “National Service Commission—Change in name,” and “War Service Commission—Personnel,” General Conference Committee, April 23, 1942, 414.

  30. “Pacific Union Conference Directory,” Pacific Union Recorder, July 28, 1943, 12; L. A. Skinner, “Medical Cadets Corps Bivouac at Gladstone,” North Pacific Union Gleaner, May 1, 1945, 1; “Council on Industrial Relations,” and “War Service Commission,” General Conference Committee, June 26, 1946, 31.

  31. F. G. Ashbaugh “A New Temperance Program,” Pacific Union Recorder, April 9, 1947, 2; Carlyle B. Haynes, “Adventists and Labor Unions,” ARH, November 27, 1947, 23.

  32. C. L. Bauer, “President’s Report,” Pacific Union Recorder, February 14, 1955, 4, 8; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1958), 49.

  33. “It happened in Central,” Pacific Union Recorder, January 29, 1968, 2.

  34. R. H. Henning, “Literature evangelist training centers established in Philippines,” ARH, November 24, 1983, 19.

  35. https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/ella-pearl-nelson-24-16srtt, accessed April 10, 2022.

  36. “Elder Floyd Garfield Ashbaugh,” Findgrave.com., accessed April 10, 2022, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/47730201.

  37. F. G. Ashbaugh, “The Hawaiian Mission,” Pacific Union Recorder, March 21, 1934, 1, 2.

  38. A. A. Cone, “Canvassing Items,” Pacific Union Recorder, June 20, 1912, 5.

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Touthang, Daniel Lunkhohao, Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo, Remwil R. Tornalejo. "Ashbaugh, Floyd Garfield (1890–1987)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. May 06, 2022. Accessed April 08, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CHI.

Touthang, Daniel Lunkhohao, Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo, Remwil R. Tornalejo. "Ashbaugh, Floyd Garfield (1890–1987)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. May 06, 2022. Date of access April 08, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CHI.

Touthang, Daniel Lunkhohao, Adlai Wilfred M. Tornalejo, Remwil R. Tornalejo (2022, May 06). Ashbaugh, Floyd Garfield (1890–1987). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 08, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7CHI.