Ernest Roy Warland 

Photo courtesy of British Union Conference.

Warland, Ernest Roy (1898–1976)

By Godfrey K. Sang


Godfrey K. Sang is a historical researcher and writer with an interest in Adventist history. He holds a B.A. in History from the University of Eastern Africa Baraton and a number of qualifications from other universities. He is a published author. He is the co-author of the book On the Wings of a Sparrow: How the Seventh-day Adventist Church Came to Western Kenya

First Published: January 30, 2022

Ernest Roy Warland was a missionary to Kenya and founder principal of Kamagambo School.

Warland spent 16 years in missionary service in Kenya, much of that devoted to one institution, Kamagambo. Founded in 1913, today Kamagambo is a thriving educational community with a primary school, high school, and two post-secondary institutions that offer educational and ministerial training. It is today the oldest formal teacher training institution in Kenya, in continuous operation since 1928.

Early Life

Ernest Roy Warland was born February 2, 1898, in Waterford Ireland.1 His family moved to Bristol, and in 1911, he was baptized at the Downend Baptist church. In 1912 he met an Adventist pastor, Allen Shafer, and accepted the Advent message. Together with his mother, he became a Seventh-day Adventist in 1913, joining the Bristol Seventh-day Adventist Church. While only 14, he took part in a Young People’s Missionary Society effort to do missionary work and, in less than a quarter, helped distribute 10,148 pages of tracts and leaflets, and gave invitations to meetings and other missionary work. During that effort, he helped raise Sh. 12, equivalent to £0.6,2 to be sent to a missionary in East Africa.3

He moved to Stanborough Park College in 1914, but as soon as he was admitted for his ministerial studies, the First World War broke out. He joined the war service, working in farms in the west of England. After the war he returned to Stanborough and completed his education.

Moving to Kenya

While in Southampton, England, carrying out the Harvest Ingathering (door to door collection of money to support mission), he visited the home of an elderly woman and asked for money. The woman invited him in, took his pamphlet, listened, and asked him to return at a given date. When he returned, she asked how much it would cost to send a missionary to Africa.4 He did not have the information, so left and returned with the numbers. She looked at the numbers and asked if he would go himself to Africa. This took Warland by surprise. He only said that he needed time to find a wife and then go with her.5 Warland proposed to Amy Gladys Elizabeth Bateman, who had been a member of his Young People’s Society back in Bristol. Ms. Bateman was born June 2, 1901 in Bristol. They married November 21, 1920, at the St. John’s Church, Leytonstone.6

After their wedding, he returned to the kind woman and she gave him enough money to send a couple to Kenya. In July 1921 they arrived at Gendia, and East Africa Union superintendent W.T. Bartlett sent him to work at Kanyadoto.7 There they assisted W.W. Armstrong. The work in Tanganyika was not going well, the mission work badly affected by the just ended war. It became necessary for Bartlett to ration the missionaries in Kenya so as to send others to help out in Tanganyika. He decided to send Spencer Maxwell at Kamagambo to the Pare missions in Tanganyika, and this prompted the move to send Warland to Kamagambo.

The Kamagambo Years

In August 1921 Warland began his work in Kamagambo. He immediately reorganized the school there, which had been founded in 1913 by pioneer missionary Arthur A. Carscallen. Warland’s kind benefactor sent more money to build a church at Kamagambo, and much of Warland’s initial program there was constructing the church using his benefactor’s money. Soon a fine church and school stood at Kamagambo. When the woman died a few years later, she had sent about £2,000, which has the 2021 purchasing power of about £116,580, or KSh. 17,791,793.75.8

Warland divided his time between the school and the mission. In 1922, Grace Clarke joined him at Kamagambo and started a girl’s school. The two schools ran concurrently until they merged in the late 1950s. Warland created readers and primers used in the school, developing a curriculum that involved both practical and academic training.

Kamagambo Training Institute

In 1928, Warland sought and obtained government licensing to train teachers. This makes Kamagambo the oldest teacher training institution in Kenya still in operation. This was the third institution on the same campus. Teachers from Kamagambo were much sought after to fill out positions in the new schools being established across Kenya. Kamagambo also began informal pastoral training in 1929, offering short courses. In 1940 the first theology students graduated. When Warland left in 1936, he was replaced by S.W. Beardsell as principal.9

Return to England

Warland returned to England in 1936 and became a pastor at the South England Conference as director for the Sabbath School, Lay Activities, Youth, and Education departments.10 In 1946 he served the North England Conference in various departments. In 1950 he served as director for Sabbath school and Lay activities departments of the British Union Conference. In February 1963 he partially retired and served five years at the Voice of Prophecy Bible school. He retired in 1967, though he continued as a member of the Reading Committee for the Stanborough Press.11


The Warlands’ first child, a son named David, was born in 1922 in Kenya. Their second daughter, Esther Amy, was born June 24, 1924, also in Kenya. Their third child, Muriel Joyce, was born in 1928, and Ruth was born in 1933. On March 29, 1932, Muriel Warland died at the age of three. She had returned with her parents from England and developed whooping cough, then contracted malaria which became cerebral. She was treated by Dr. Madgwick, but did not make it. She was laid to rest at Kisii cemetery in a funeral conducted by Pastor W. Armstrong.12 A fifth child was born in 1934 but died in February 1935.

Later Years

After his retirement, Warland’s health began to fail. He died February 6, 1976 in Herts. He was cremated at Garston in Liverpool. He was survived by his wife Amy Gladys and children David, Esther and Ruth. David was in Australia at that time while Esther and Ruth were in England. Amy Gladys died February 15, 1990, in Watford.


Armstrong, W. W. “At Rest: Warland.” Missionary Worker, April 22, 1932.

Bartlett, W. T. “Progress in Kenya Colony.” Missionary Worker, August 3, 1921.

“Brother E. R. Warland and Sister G. Bateman were married….” Missionary Worker, December 1, 1920.

Europeans in Africa. Accessed May 27, 2021.

Robinson, Virgil E. Third Angel Over Africa. Unpublished manuscript, Helderberg College Library.

Vine, R. D. “At Rest: Pastor Ernest Roy Warland.” British Advent Messenger, March 5, 1976.

Warland, Roy. “Bristol.” Missionary Worker, January 13, 1913.


  1. “Europeans in Africa,” accessed May 27, 2021,

  2. Sh. 12 was £0.6 equivalent to £72.498 in present purchasing power (2021) or KSh. 11, 065 (as of May 27, 2021),

  3. Roy Warland, “Bristol,” Missionary Worker, January 13, 1913, 4.

  4. Virgil E. Robinson, Third Angel Over Africa, unpublished manuscript, Helderberg College Library.

  5. Ibid.

  6. “Brother E. R. Warland and Sister G. Bateman were married…,” Missionary Worker, December 1, 1920, 12.

  7. W. T. Bartlett, “Progress in Kenya Colony,” Missionary Worker, August 3, 1921, 1.

  8.  £1 in 1922 is worth £58.59 in 2021. Her donation has the purchasing power of £116,580 and KSh. 17,791,793.75 at the exchange rate of 1:152.61 as of May 27, 2021,

  9. Virgil E. Robinson, Third Angel Over Africa, unpublished manuscript, Helderberg College Library.

  10. R. D. Vine, “At Rest: Pastor Ernest Roy Warland,” British Advent Messenger, March 5, 1976, 14.

  11. Ibid.

  12. W. W. Armstrong, “At Rest: Warland,” Missionary Worker, April 22, 1932, 7.


Sang, Godfrey K. "Warland, Ernest Roy (1898–1976)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 30, 2022. Accessed March 31, 2023.

Sang, Godfrey K. "Warland, Ernest Roy (1898–1976)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 30, 2022. Date of access March 31, 2023,

Sang, Godfrey K. (2022, January 30). Warland, Ernest Roy (1898–1976). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved March 31, 2023,