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Guilherme Stein, Jr. and wife, Maria Krähenbühl Stein

Photo courtesy of Brazilian White Center - UNASP.

Stein Jr., Guilherme (1871–1957)

By The Brazilian White Center – UNASP


The Brazilian White Center – UNASP is a team of teachers and students at the Brazilian Ellen G. White Research Center – UNASP at the Brazilian Adventist University, Campus Engenheiro, Coelho, SP. The team was supervised by Drs. Adolfo Semo Suárez, Renato Stencel, and Carlos Flávio Teixeira. Bruno Sales Gomes Ferreira provided technical support. The following names are of team members: Adriane Ferrari Silva, Álan Gracioto Alexandre, Allen Jair Urcia Santa Cruz, Camila Chede Amaral Lucena, Camilla Rodrigues Seixas, Daniel Fernandes Teodoro, Danillo Alfredo Rios Junior, Danilo Fauster de Souza, Débora Arana Mayer, Elvis Eli Martins Filho, Felipe Cardoso do Nascimento, Fernanda Nascimento Oliveira, Gabriel Pilon Galvani, Giovana de Castro Vaz, Guilherme Cardoso Ricardo Martins, Gustavo Costa Vieira Novaes, Ingrid Sthéfane Santos Andrade, Isabela Pimenta Gravina, Ivo Ribeiro de Carvalho, Jhoseyr Davison Voos dos Santos, João Lucas Moraes Pereira, Kalline Meira Rocha Santos, Larissa Menegazzo Nunes, Letícia Miola Figueiredo, Luan Alves Cota Mól, Lucas Almeida dos Santos, Lucas Arteaga Aquino, Lucas Dias de Melo, Matheus Brabo Peres, Mayla Magaieski Graepp, Milena Guimarães Silva, Natália Padilha Corrêa, Rafaela Lima Gouvêa, Rogel Maio Nogueira Tavares Filho, Ryan Matheus do Ouro Medeiros, Samara Souza Santos, Sergio Henrique Micael Santos, Suelen Alves de Almeida, Talita Paim Veloso de Castro, Thais Cristina Benedetti, Thaís Caroline de Almeida Lima, Vanessa Stehling Belgd, Victor Alves Pereira, Vinicios Fernandes Alencar, Vinícius Pereira Nascimento, Vitória Regina Boita da Silva, William Edward Timm, Julio Cesar Ribeiro, Ellen Deó Bortolotte, Maria Júlia dos Santos Galvani, Giovana Souto Pereira, Victor Hugo Vaz Storch, and Dinely Luana Pereira.



First Published: January 29, 2020

Guilherme Stein Jr. was the first citizen to be baptized as a Seventh-day Adventist in Brazil. He was born November 13, 1871, in the city of Campinas, Brazil.1 He was the son of Guilherme Stein, born January 1, 1848, at Bayern, Germany,2 and Ana Bárbara Krähenbühl, born May 28, 1847, in Rued, Switzerland.3 Both were from Lutheran families that emigrated to Brazil in the middle of the 19th century.4 Guilherme had eight siblings: Júlio, Simão, Reinaldo, Pedro, Suzana, Margarida, Isabel, and Ana.5

Guilherme’s formal education consisted of five years of primary studies6 at Escola Alemã de Campinas (German School of Campinas), founded by Protestant immigrants. The experience was important for his Christian formation. As a student, he expressed a great learning capacity, going beyond what teachers could teach him.7

His conversion story started in 1888. He moved from Campinas to Piracicaba, state of São Paulo,8 where he started to work at Oficina Krähenbühl,9 a business that manufactured wagons for the transportation of goods and people.10 As he was a Krähenbühl relative, he stayed with the family.11 It gave him the opportunity to become better acquainted with Maria Krähenbühl (1879-1978),12 a granddaughter of one of his mother’s uncles.13 They were married December 23, 1893,14 and their children were: Guilherme, Waldemar (who died right after birth), and Alice Irene.15

Through the Krähenbühls’ influence—they were devout Methodists—Guilherme started to study the Bible and to attend the Methodist church. Through his own study he learned that the seventh day is the real day to keep and he started to observe the Sabbath without knowing that there was anyone else in the world who believed this truth. He accepted Adventism after reading a German copy of the book The Great Controversy, sold a few years before to his wife’s grandmother, probably by the canvassers Albert B. Stauffer and Albert Bachmeyer. He then started corresponding with W. H. Thurston, representative of the book’s editors in the city of Rio de Janeiro and, through him, he received more religious literature.16

At the time there was no ordained Adventist pastor in Brazil, so Thurston asked Pastor Frank H. Westphal, who was in Argentina, to visit many groups of converted people around Brazil. Westphal arrived in Brazil in February 1895, and after passing through Rio Claro and Indaiatuba in Stauffer’s company, he went to Piracicaba in order to meet Guilherme. After receiving more instruction about Adventist doctrines, Guilherme was baptized in April 1895, by Pastor Frank Westphal, at Rio Piracicaba.17 From March to May of that year, the first Brazilian Sabbath school was organized in Indaiatuba by the newly converted members of Guilherme’s family.18

After his conversion Guilherme became involved in expanding the Adventist nucleus in Piracicaba and the area around it. In 1896 he decided to leave the Krähenbühl business to be a full-time canvasser. At the time there wasn’t much Adventist literature in Portuguese. There was a book translated from English to Portuguese in the United States, but it wasn’t well translated and it was hard to understand. It was Passos a Cristo by Ellen G. White.19 Guilherme later re-translated it under the title Vereda de Cristo.20 For this reason he canvassed with English books in the American section of the city of Santa Bárbara, state of São Paulo.21

On July 1, 1896, Pastor H. F. Graf established the International School of Curitiba, in Paraná. According to Stein, this was the first school in the state which was operated with an Adventist philosophy. It had the support of lay members, but was not officially part of the Adventist organization. Graf invited Guilherme to be a teacher and the first director of the school.22

In September 1897, again by invitation of Pastor Graf, Guilherme accepted the challenge of assisting in the foundation of an Adventist School in the district of Gaspar Alto, state of Santa Catarina, the first official Brazilian school of the denomination. He was its first director and also worked as a teacher.23

In 1899 he was transferred to Santos where he worked for a few months as a Bible instructor.24 In October he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he began publishing the first Brazilian Adventist magazine, O Arauto da Verdade. At the same time, he was involved in evangelistic work with Pastor F. W. Spies. Due to his good performance, William Thurston sent to the World Mission Board in the United States, in August 1900, a report of Guilherme’s work with the request that he be given a licensed minister credential. The request was approved in October, making him the first Brazilian minister licensed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.25

The next invitation of Pastor Graf was to the city of Taquari, state of Rio Grande do Sul,26 where a missionary school was established in August 1903. Due to physical exhaustion, Guilherme remained there for only a short time. In 1904 he returned to the state of São Paulo. He lived for a few months in the city of Elias Fausto and later moved to Rio Claro where he lived with some relatives.27

In 1908 he accepted the call to work at Sociedade Internacional de Tratados no Brasil as a writer, translator, and editor.28 He worked there until 1917 when, due to health problems, he moved near Elias Fausto where he kept working from home. As he did not feel able to return to the editorial staff, in 1918 he chose to retire. He purchased a rural property where he lived with his family.29 While retired, he kept active and dedicated himself to writing books and researching linguistic monogenism.30

Guilherme wrote the first two Adventist books by a Brazilian author: Sucessos Preditos da História Universal (1909) and O Sábado (1919).31 He also wrote O Tupi - De onde veio sua língua e sua religião, first published in 1934 by Livraria Liberdade.32 Later it was published by Sociedade Criacionista Brasileira as A Torre de Babel e seus Mistérios (1998).33

He also worked as a translator at the Brazilian Publishing House, translating the following books, among others: Vereda de Cristo (1908),34 Vida de Jesus (1910),35 O Grande Conflito (1921),36 Guia Prático da Saúde.37 He also translated many hymns for the first Brazilian Adventist Hymnal, such as those found on pages 121, 146, 158, 180, 197, 261, and 297.38 He authored children’s stories that were compiled and published in the book Pérolas Esparsas in 1912.39

Guilherme died at age 86 on October 5, 1957, and was buried in the city of Indaiatuba, state of São Paulo.40


“Guilherme Stein Jr.” National Center of Adventist History (Online), March 5, 2014.

L. Waldvogel. “Dia dos Humildes Começos (Zac. 4:10).” Revista Adventista, year 66, n. 12, December 1971, 23-24. Accessed April 28, 2016,

“Livros - Trabalhos publicados pela SCB referentes à obra pioneira de Guilherme Stein Jr.” TV Origens – SCB (Online).

M. Nigri. “Fim de Jornada: Tomba o Primeiro Adventista Batizado no Brasil.” Revista Adventista, year 53, n. 1, January 1958, 38. Accessed April 27, 2016,

“Our Work and Workers.” Signs of The Times, October 8, 1896, v. 22, n. 40, 12. Accessed November 21, 2017,

R. Lessa. “Escola Sabatina Comemora Centenário.” Revista Adventista, year 91, n. 11, November, 17. Accessed April 27, 2017,

“Stein III, Guilherme.” In Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 2nd edition, v. 2, edited by Don F. Neufeld. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996, 703.

Vieira, Ruy C. Vida e Obra de Guilherme Stein Jr.: Raízes da Igreja Adventista do Sétimo Dia no Brasil. 1ª edição, Tatuí, SP: Casa Publicadora Brasileira, 1995.

W. H. Thurston. “Brazil.” ARH, September 29, 1896, v. 73, n. 39, 10-11. Accessed November 21, 2017,


  1. M. Nigri, “Fim de Jornada: Tomba o Primeiro Adventista Batizado no Brasil,” Revista Adventista, year 53, n. 1, January 1958, 38.

  2. Ruy C. Vieira, Vida e Obra de Guilherme Stein Jr.: Raízes da Igreja Adventista do Sétimo Dia no Brasil (Tatuí, SP: Casa Publicadora Brasileira, 1995), 34.

  3. Ibid., 57.

  4. Ibid., 34, 50-71.

  5. Ibid., 39.

  6. It is important to know that none of the SDA pioneers in Brazil at the end of the 19th century had official undergraduate degrees. The first SDA Brazilians to receive official degrees didn’t get them until the 1930s.

  7. Ibid., 116-117.

  8. L. Waldvogel, “Dia dos Humildes Começos (Zac. 4:10),” Revista Adventista, year 66, n. 12, December, 1971, 23-24; and Vieira, 143.

  9. Vieira, 145.

  10. Ibid., 103-104.

  11. L. Waldvogel, “Dia dos Humildes Começos (Zac. 4:10),” Revista Adventista, year 66, n. 12, December 1971, 23-24.

  12. R. Lessa, “Escola Sabatina Comemora Centenário,” Revista Adventista, year 91, n. 11, November, 17.

  13. Vieira, 33.

  14. Nigri, 38.

  15. Vieira, 157.

  16. “Stein III, Guilherme,” in Seventh-Day Adventist Encyclopedia, ed. Don F. Neufeld (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996), 703; Waldvogel, L., “Dia dos Humildes Começos (Zac. 4:10),” Revista Adventista, year 66, n. 12, December 1971, 23-24.

  17. Vieira, 134; Francisco H. Westphal, Pionero en Sudamérica (Libertador San Martín, ER: Centro de Investigación White, 1997), 20; Floyd Greenleaf, A Land of Hope (Tatuí, SP: Casa Publicadora Brasileira, 2011), 38; F. H. Westphal, “South America – Brazil,” The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, v. 72, n. 29, July 16, 1895, 11.

  18. Vieira, 41, 137.

  19. Ibid., 142-143.

  20. Ibid., 183.

  21. Ibid., 143.

  22. Ibid., 148-149; W. H. Thurston, “Brazil,” ARH, September 29, 1896, v. 73, n. 39, 10-11; “Our Work and Workers,” Signs of The Times, October 8, 1896, v. 22, n. 40, 12.

  23. Vieira, 150-151.

  24. Nigri, 38.

  25. Vieira, 162-163.

  26. Nigri, 174.

  27. Vieira, 174-175.

  28. Ibid., 180.

  29. Ibid., 198.

  30. Ibid., 206.

  31. Ibid., 200-201.

  32. Ibid., 209, 211.

  33. “Livros - Trabalhos publicados pela SCB referentes à obra pioneira de Guilherme Stein Jr,” TV Origens – SCB, Accessed January 17, 2017,

  34. Vieira, 183.

  35. Ibid., 186.

  36. Ibid., 198.

  37. “Guilherme Stein Jr.,” Centro Nacional da Memória Adventista, March 5, 2014, Accessed January 17, 2017,

  38. Vieira, 193.

  39. Ibid., 186.

  40. Nigri, 38.


UNASP, The Brazilian White Center –. "Stein Jr., Guilherme (1871–1957)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed April 18, 2024.

UNASP, The Brazilian White Center –. "Stein Jr., Guilherme (1871–1957)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access April 18, 2024,

UNASP, The Brazilian White Center – (2020, January 29). Stein Jr., Guilherme (1871–1957). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 18, 2024,