Knight, Frank (1890–1976)

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.

First Published: January 29, 2020

Frank Knight was born in 1890 on New Zealand’s North Island, the son of Sidney and Margaret (Watson) Knight.1 He joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church about 1912 and spent the year 1913 selling denominational books door-to-door in his home country. Monthly records show he sold Heralds of the Morning with some success. The same report indicates that Knight’s future wife, Irene Montague, was also on the team of New Zealand canvassers.2

In 1914, Knight attended Australasian Missionary College. Showing promise as an evangelist and preacher, he was appointed in 1915 to join the Sydney City Mission team. Remarkably, during the 1915/1916 New Year council session of the Australasian Union Conference he was appointed to be Missionary Volunteer (MV) secretary and to assist the Home Missions secretary. This made him as an ex officio member of the Australasian Union Conference executive committee3 only one year out of college. He was ordained on September 5, 1917, in the Wahroonga church.4

Knight’s duties at headquarters included visiting camp meetings in Australasia in order to address the youth5 and the promotion of denominational periodicals such as Signs of the Times.6 He held the position for three years, from 1915 through 1917, and then took time out to restore his health.7 Late in 1920, it was reported that he would resume his role as MV secretary.8 Knight worked in this capacity for twelve months or more, but then had to again step aside because of health issues. He accepted ministerial work in the New South Wales Conference for 1922,9 and the Queensland Conference from 1923 through 1927.10 In 1928, he was listed as an honorary minister in Queensland.11

The reason for Knight’s indifferent health was that he had contracted a severe case of dermatitis that manifested itself on his hands in particular. Despite wearing gloves, he grew increasingly embarrassed when expected to shake hands with church members. He eventually chose to resign from the ministry.12

After his resignation, Knight engaged in a number of business enterprises in Australia, England, and America, proving to be quite an entrepreneur. He sold exercise equipment and health products, and had an interest in a gasoline company.13 In pursuit of business, he took his wife, sons Leon and Paul, and daughters Tui and Valerie, to London in 1934. There his wife, commonly known as Rene, became ill and died on February 20, 1936.14

In 1940, Knight settled in America, serving as first elder of the Adventist church in New Providence, Tennessee, while his two daughters were attending Southern Junior College.15 Later, he moved to California.16 Knight died in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1976. His son Leon had predeceased him. Left to mourn were his three remaining children and his second wife, Esther.17

Sources

Anderson, A[lbert] W. “South Australian Camp Meeting.” Australasian Record, April 3, 1916.

“An Ordination Service.” Australasian Record, September 24, 1917.

“A private cable to Pastor A. W. Knight…” Australasian Record, March 9, 1936.

D’ray, Nita. “Visiting Medical Institutions in U.S.A.” Australasian Record, September 17, 1951.

“Frank Knight.” FamilySearch, Intellectual Reserve. 2019. Accessed December 18, 2019. https://www.familysearch.org/tree/find/name?search=1&gender=male&birth=NewZealand%7C%7C0&self=frank%7Cknight%7C0%7C0.

Knight, A[rthur] W. “Frank Knight.” Australasian Record, July 12, 1976.

Knight, F[rank]. “Where I Live I’ll Grow.” Australasian Record, May 29, 1916.

“Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work.” Australasian Record, November 3, 1913.

Myers, Cecil K. “Missionary Volunteer Department.” Australasian Record, October 21, 1918.

Pretyman, C[ecil] H. “The Recent Meetings of the Australasian Union Conference Committee.” Australasian Record, November 29, 1920.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbooks. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1915-1928.

Turner, W. G[ordon]. “News from Pastor W. G. Turner.” Australasian Record, February 12, 1940.

Watson, C[harles] H. “Union Conference Council.” Australasian Record, January 31, 1916.

Notes

  1. “Frank Knight,” FamilySearch, Intellectual Reserve, 2019, accessed December 18, 2019, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/find/name?search=1&gender=male&birth=NewZealand%7C%7C0&self=frank%7Cknight%7C0%7C0.

  2. E.g., “Monthly Summary of Australasian Canvassing Work,” Australasian Record, November 3, 1913, 6.

  3. C[harles] H. Watson, “Union Conference Council,” Australasian Record, January 31, 1916, 5-6.

  4. “An Ordination Service,” Australasian Record, September 24, 1917, 7.

  5. E.g., A[lbert] W. Anderson, “South Australian Camp Meeting,” Australasian Record, April 3, 1916, 5.

  6. F[rank] Knight, “Where I Live I’ll Grow,” Australasian Record, May 29, 1916, 6-7.

  7. Cecil K. Meyers, “Missionary Volunteer Department,” Australasian Record, October 21, 1918, 14-16.

  8. C[ecil] H. Pretyman, “The Recent Meetings of the Australasian Union Conference Committee,” Australasian Record, November 29, 1920, 8.

  9. “New South Wales Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1923), 165-166.

  10. E.g., “Queensland Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1927), 217-218.

  11. “Queensland Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1928), 253-254.

  12. John Knight, interview by Milton Hook, Wahroonga, New South Wales, January 5, 2020.

  13. Ibid.

  14. “A private cable to Pastor A. W. Knight…” Australasian Record, March 9, 1936, 8.

  15. W. G[ordon] Turner, “News from Pastor W. G. Turner,” Australasian Record, February 12, 1940, 6-7.

  16. Nita D’ray, “Visiting Medical Institutions in U.S.A.,” Australasian Record, September 17, 1951, 3.

  17. A[rthur] W. Knight, “Frank Knight,” Australasian Record, July 12, 1976, 15.

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Hook, Milton. "Knight, Frank (1890–1976)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed February 27, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7I7H.

Hook, Milton. "Knight, Frank (1890–1976)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access February 27, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7I7H.

Hook, Milton (2020, January 29). Knight, Frank (1890–1976). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved February 27, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=7I7H.