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Manoel João Braff

Photo courtesy of Brazilian White Center - UNASP.

Braff, Manoel João (1910–1998)

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

Manoel João Braff, pastor, teacher, and dean, was born April 9, 1910, in the town of Santo Antônio, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Son of a Spanish father, Paulo João Calvo, and a Swedish mother, Guilhermina Carlota Braff, Manoel had eleven children of his own: José, Luiz, Paulino, Engrácia, João Pedro, Afonso, Leocritz, Almerinda, Elvira, Julieta and Nadir; half of them died in their childhood.1

After the family bought the book Acts of the Apostles, a Bible, and a flyer sold by the Adventist canvasser João Borba, Manoel started to study the Bible. Since he did not know of any church that totally followed the Scriptures, Manoel founded the Church of the Bible. The plan was that it would follow everything written in the Bible and would reject everything that was opposed to it.2 In one of João Borba’s travels, Manoel invited him to sleep in his house for one night. After much conversation and discussion of the Bible, João Borba continued to visit the Braff family. On learning of the church doctrines and biblical teachings, the family decided to become Seventh-day Adventists. Manoel and his brother Luiz were baptized on April 2, 1928, at the Campestre SDA Church, in Santo Antônio da Patrulha, Rio Grande do Sul, by Pastor Abraão Classem Harder.3

After his baptism he was chosen to be the director of the Adventist group of Rio dos Sinos in Santo Antônio da Patrulha. On one occasion he was invited to preach in the Campestre Church. After the worship service some members congratulated him for the sermon and advised him to study theology at Brazil College.4

He finished primary school at a Catholic Parish School in the town of Santo Antônio da Patrulha.5 While wishing to continue his studies, in 1931 he went to Adventist Taquara Academy in Taquara city, state of Rio Grande do Sul. In 1934 he took a unified intensive physical education, sports, and physiotherapy course offered by Physical Education School of Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It wasn’t until 1941 that he graduated from the course in physical education and physiotherapy. He also finished the theology course at Brazil College.6

In 1936 he was called to be a teacher in the primary school at Cruzeiro do Sul Adventist Academy. He continued teaching in other schools in Rio Grande do Sul, Santiago do Boqueirão (1942), and Escola Paroquial de Campos Quevedos (1948). He became dean and teacher at Adventist Taquara Academy in 1950. In 1951 he was called by Rio Grande do Sul Conference to assume leadership of the district of Palmeira das Missões where he remained until 1956.7 He worked in Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul in 1959. In Joaçaba, Santa Catarina, he was pastor between 1962 and 1964, and in Criciúma from 1966 to 1969. He retired in December 1970. 8 From 1971 on he was self-employed9 as an honorary minister in the South Brazil Union Conference until 198410 and in Central Brazil Union Conference from 1985 to 1998.11

Pastor and teacher, Manoel João Braff, contributed to the spread of the Adventist message through preaching and teaching in Adventist schools in the south of Brazil. During his last 20 years of life, Pastor Braff suffered from Parkinson’s Disease.12 He died August 26, 1998, in the city of Primavera do Leste, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.13


Braff, Manoel João. Biografia do Pastor Braff. 1st edition. Dourados, MS: Editora Ltda - EEP, 2013.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Years 1972, 1985-1986, 1999. Accessed January 19, 2018.


  1. Manoel João Braff, Biografia do Pastor Braff (Dourados, MS: Editora Ltda - EEP, 2013), 13, 19.

  2. Ibid., 24, 26.

  3. Ibid., 28-30, 33.

  4. Ibid., 34.

  5. Ibid., 22.

  6. Ibid., 40, 51, 56, 61.

  7. Ibid., 53, 57, 68-82.

  8. Ibid., 87, 104-116, 120.

  9. Ibid., 121.

  10. “South Brazil Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1972), 235; “South Brazil Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1985), 313.

  11. “Central Brazil Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1986), 267; “Central Brazil Union Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1999), 253.

  12. Braff, 13.

  13. Ibid.


UNASP, The Brazilian White Center –. "Braff, Manoel João (1910–1998)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2024.

UNASP, The Brazilian White Center –. "Braff, Manoel João (1910–1998)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access May 24, 2024,

UNASP, The Brazilian White Center – (2020, January 29). Braff, Manoel João (1910–1998). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 24, 2024,