Griffith, Dorlin Knowles (1925–1990)

By Dennis Pettibone


Dennis Pettibone, Ph.D. (University of California, Riverside), is professor emeritus of history at Southern Adventist University. He and his first wife, Carol Jean Nelson Pettibone (now deceased) have two grown daughters. He is now married to the former Rebecca Aufderhar. His published writings include A Century of Challenge: the Story of Southern College and the second half of His Story in Our Time.

First Published: March 23, 2023

Dorlin Knowles Griffith was a pastor, Bible teacher, and educational administrator.

Griffith was born on March 20, 1925, in Duncan, Oklahoma.1 He married Consuelo Hernandez on September 20, 1941, shortly before he began serving in the medical corps of the United States Army. He received a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Union College in 1953 and obtained a master’s degree in teaching from Andrews University in 1961.2 Dorlin and Consuela had four children: two boys, D. Wayne and Daniel; and two girls: Darlene Winter and Denise Voorhees.3

Griffith began his pastoral ministry in Oxnard, California,4 in 1953,5 and later pastored at least five other congregations of the Southern California Conference.6 He was ordained in 1957.7 Sometimes, he combined his pastoral responsibilities with teaching duties.8 From 1960 to 1963 he taught Bible classes at Newbury Park Academy.9 At Newbury Park, in addition to teaching, he pastored the Newbury Park Academy church. He conducted baptismal classes, helped students prepare sermons to preach in surrounding churches, and taught a Greek class.10

In 1963 he became the principal of San Fernando Valley Academy. He then served as superintendent of education for Georgia-Cumberland Conference (196611 to 197112) and Florida Conference (197113 to 197414). In 1974-1976 the Griffiths moved to Africa, where Griffith was president of the Ethiopian Adventist College in Africa.15 Upon their return to the United States, Griffith served the next 11 years as superintendent of education in the Gulf States Conference and later for the Southern Union Conference.16

Following his semi-retirement in 1987, he served as interim educational superintendent for the Georgia-Cumberland Conference and then later served as an associate educational superintendent.17

Griffith passed away on March 23, 1990, in Georgia.18


“Educator For Life.” Southern Tidings, May 1990.

“Obituary.” ARH, April 11, 1991.

Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Second revised edition. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996. S.v. “Griffith, Dorlin Knowles.”

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1956-1863.


  1. “Obituary,” ARH, April 11, 1991, 29.

  2. “Educator For Life,” Southern Tidings, May 1990, 9.

  3. Obituary, ARH.

  4. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1996), s.v, “Griffith, Dorlin Knowles.”

  5. Ibid.

  6. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1956), 57, 367; (1957), 57, 373; (1958), 58, 380; (1989), 60, 398; (1960), 60, 412.

  7. “Educator For Life,” Southern Tidings.

  8. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1996), s.v. “Griffith, Dorlin Knowles.”

  9. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1961), 269, (1963), 296.

  10. 1960 and 1961 Yucca (Newbury Park Academy Yearbook), cited in Don Pettibone (Griffith’s academy student), email to author, March 20, 2023.

  11. “Educator For Life,” Southern Tidings.

  12. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1967), 77; (1968), 79; (1969), 84; (1970), 86.

  13. “Educator For Life,” Southern Tidings.

  14. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1973-74), 82.

  15. Ibid.

  16. “Educator For Life,” Southern Tidings.

  17. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1996), s.v, “Griffith, Dorlin Knowles.” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1975-1987).

  18. Obituary, ARH.


Pettibone, Dennis. "Griffith, Dorlin Knowles (1925–1990)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. March 23, 2023. Accessed July 22, 2024.

Pettibone, Dennis. "Griffith, Dorlin Knowles (1925–1990)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. March 23, 2023. Date of access July 22, 2024,

Pettibone, Dennis (2023, March 23). Griffith, Dorlin Knowles (1925–1990). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved July 22, 2024,