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Dr. Russell Standish, c. 2006

Photo courtsey of Dr. Tim Standish.

Standish, Russell Roland (1933-2008)

By James Darcy Standish

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James Darcy Standish runs a firm focused on complex legislative issues, and serves as president of the Byington Center. He earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Georgetown University, his M.B.A. from the University of Virginia and his bachelors degree from Newbold College, England. He’s served at the South Pacific Division, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and as executive director of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. He is married to Dr. Leisa Morton-Standish, North American Division director of Elementary Education. They have three children.  

First Published: July 23, 2020

Dr. Russell Standish was a physician, teacher, ordained pastor, missionary, author, and principal participant in the Seventh-day Adventist theological controversies between 1970 and 2000.

Early Life

Russell Roland Standish, along with his identical twin brother, Colin David Standish, was born on October 27, 1933, in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.1 The birth took place in a converted home that served as a hospital. At the time of birth, Newcastle was a working class city best known for its steel mills. Due to ongoing economic impact of the Great Depression, both of his parents were unemployed, and his family was living in the modest home of his maternal grandparents.

Russell’s father, Darcy Standish, was the son of a single mother who grew up in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, where his largely German family worked in the vineyards. He grew up in Kapunga Cottage, a tiny worker’s cottage with no electricity, water, or indoor plumbing. Darcy spoke fluent English and German. His family was brought into the Seventh-day Adventist Church by a German Adventist pastor in 1915 when Darcy was two years old. On the five-mile trip to church on Sabbath, neighbors who bitterly opposed their leaving the tightly knit German Lutheran community sometimes threw tomatoes and eggs at them.

Darcy studied for the ministry at Avondale College, where he met his wife, Hilda Baily. Hilda grew up in Newcastle with an abusive alcoholic father who had immigrated to Australia from Northern Ireland and a pious Scottish mother. Her mother joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1899, fourteen years after the first Adventist missionaries arrived in Australia. Her father despised Adventists and abused his wife and children for attending church. Late in life, after the death of Hilda’s mother, her father converted to Adventism. Russell, "reflecting on his grandfather’s conversion wrote: What a thrill it was when my grandfather finally, after almost 50 years of bitter opposition, gave his heart to the Lord.”2

Both Hilda and Darcy worked full-time while attending Avondale College. Hilda worked at the sanitarium factory packing Weet-bix. At the time rules regulating interactions between female and male students were exceedingly strict. In writing of his parents’ experience, Dr. Standish states that outside of meal times, “It was absolutely forbidden for members of the opposite sex to speak to one another in the grounds of the College.” Darcy and Hilda were expelled from Avondale College for meeting to picnic together in violation of these rules. Many years later, Dr. Standish observed that the expulsion “displayed more attention to legalities than to compassion.”3 The expulsion was devastating to both Darcy and Hilda, but particularly to Darcy, who had invested four years of his life working full-time and studying part-time toward the ministry. Darcy and Hilda were married on September 12, 1932. Thirteen months later, Russell and Colin were born.

Darcy and Hilda spent the bulk of their working lives in the employment of the Sanitarium Health Food Company, where Darcy held a number of positions, including foreman of the retail packing department and the management of successful sanitarium retail stores.

The Standish family was very poor during Russell’s early life. When Russell was two years old, Darcy secured employment on the New South Wales railroads, bringing economic security to the family. However, during the Second World War (WWII) the railroad required Darcy to work on the Sabbath. Despite the very high cost to his family, he chose to be fired rather than break God’s law. After paying tithe on his minimal severance pay, the family survived on their savings. Once these were completely depleted, Darcy was offered a job in a timber mill, making 25 percent more than he had made on the railroad. The family believed this was an answer to prayer. A court eventually overturned his, and other Adventists' dismissal, and Darcy was offered his railroad job back, but by that time he was satisfied with his new employment.

During the course of WWII, Newcastle was shelled by a Japanese submarine.4 Russell remembered the night vividly for the rest of his life.5 At the time there was a lot of explicitly racist propaganda against the Japanese, whom the Australians were fighting in the Pacific.6 However, as a boy Russell saw Japanese prisoners of war traveling through Newcastle on their way to prison camps and was deeply moved by their shared humanity.7 Throughout his life Russell was a committed pacifist.8

Russell was raised in a family built around their commitment to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Darcy served as a local church elder, taught Sabbath School, and sat on the North New South Wales Conference executive committee. Hilda was a talented musician who played the keyboards, led out in the music in their local church, and was an active Sabbath School leader.

The arrivals of Russell’s sister Delma and his younger brother Lyndon blessed the Standish family.

Russell’s early educational experience in public schools did not go well academically or behaviorally. From fifth grade on he attended a little church school where Robert Parr was principal. Standish later recalled that Mr. Parr “was a real hero” to the students for his sports prowess, humor, and sharp intellect.9 Although they lived in a community where most students left school early to go to work, Russell excelled in high school and therefore advanced rapidly through the grades.

Avondale College

Russell studied education at Avondale College10 in order to become a primary (elementary) schoolteacher, graduating when he was only 18 years old. During his studies at Avondale, Russell, like his mother before him, worked packing Weet-bix at the sanitarium factory. During his study he came very close to expulsion for a variety of pranks and rule infractions, including almost being expelled for refusing to inform on fellow students involved in a prank two weeks before graduation. He twice captained the teaching students’ team in their annual soccer competition against the ministerial students, losing both matches.

During his studies at Avondale he met fellow education student Enid Isobel Evans, who would become his wife. Another student informed him that Ms. Evans was part Japanese due to her Asian appearance. Though anti-Japanese racism was particularly strong in Australia at the time due to hard feelings left over from WWII, Russell expressed that whether or not she was part Japanese did not matter to him.11 On December 29, 1953, Russell married Enid in the Wahroonga Seventh-day Adventist Church, Sydney, Australia.12

Primary Teaching Career

After graduation at the end of 1951, Russell was sent to a one-teacher school at Mumblepeg, a tiny rural community in Australia’s outback, 30 miles from Dubbo, New South Wales. In this rural location, he met swagmen (hobos), drovers driving their cattle to market, and farmers. The temperature frequently exceeded 40 degrees Celsius. He played on the local cricket team that won the district cricket competition that year. During flooding he helped rescue marooned sheep in the area. He also took particular concern for a young underprivileged student. Over 50 years later, he found the student, who had grown into a successful man and who remembered his time at the tiny Adventist school as among the happiest of his childhood.13

After he married Enid Evans at the end of 1953, she moved to Albury, where both of them taught at the Adventist primary school. Due to church policies at the time, Enid’s pay was decreased after she married Russell, as married women were paid less than single women.14

University Studies

In 1955, Russell entered the University of Sydney, intending to become a high-school teacher. He initially studied history, with an emphasis on the Reformation and the Renaissance, working full-time while studying at night. In 1958 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with honors, tying for second place in the class. Then he received the last arts/medicine Commonwealth of Australia scholarship ever issued. Over 600 students began medicine with Russell; only 90 (15 percent) completed the course with him six years later. During his ten years of studies at the University of Sydney, Russell’s Sabbath-keeping was accommodated by the university due to interventions by a Jewish lawyer and an agnostic professor. He captained the Faculty of Arts cricket team in his final year of his B.A. study and, with his twin brother, had a distinguished table-tennis career, including: winning a series of university championships, representing the University of Sydney at events across Australia and on a tour of New Zealand, and receiving a rare “University Blue” award in table-tennis.

He was also active in the Sydney University SDA Students’ Society (SUSDASS), becoming its president in 1960. Under his leadership the society began publishing the SUSDASS Bulletin. After graduating he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership of SUSDASS in 1965. He was ordained as a deacon in Wahroonga SDA Church in 1962.

Standish graduated with his medical degree from the University of Sydney in 1964, concluding 10 years of study at the University of Sydney, four for his B.A., and the further six for his medical degree.15

Russell and Enid had three sons: Stephen Roland Miles, Timothy George,16  and James Darcy.17 

Medical and Pastoral Career

Standish’s first appointment was as a junior resident, also known as an intern, at Sydney’s Prince Henry Hospital. During his time there, he successfully appealed for the release from prison of a terminally ill nonviolent criminal so that he could die a free man.

After completing his intern year, Standish accepted an appointment as a medical officer at Wartburton Sanitarium, an Adventist hospital near Melbourne, Australia.

In 1967 Standish was invited to provide a two year period of “relief service” at the Penang Adventist Hospital in Malaysia.18 During this time he spent a period relieving at the Saigon Adventist Hospital at the height of the Vietnam War, during the Tet Offensive. He provided assistance to many wounded in the conflict. While there, his photographs near his home revealed corpses killed in the fighting laying in the streets and he reported experiencing frequent shelling.19

Not long after his service in the warzone, J. K. Irvine, the assistant secretary of the Australasian Division, wrote a confidential letter to R. R. Frame, associate secretary of the General Conference, in which he stated that should Dr. Standish return to Australia, neither Warburton Sanitarium nor Sydney Adventist Hospital would employ him. The reason stated was that Dr. Standish, despite being an “excellent doctor,” had written letters expressing concern about “the non-combatancy standards of our men in Vietnam and in another instance raising questions on Church/State relationships.”20

At the conclusion of a two year term in Penang, he traveled with his family to England, where he completed his internal medicine specialty training at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. There he studied under renowned clinician Viscount Waverly21 and became a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. He was later made a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons in London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, an honorific title in recognition of his professional achievements in medicine.22 At the conclusion of his advanced training, he moved back to Penang, where he became chief of staff at Penang Adventist Hospital.23

The Standish family returned to Australia on Christmas Eve, 1973. Despite the earlier statement from the Australasian Division that he would not be allowed to practice medicine at an Adventist hospital in Australia, Standish practiced medicine at the Fox Valley Medical Centre (an outpatient clinic of the Sydney Adventist Hospital), treated patients in the Sydney Adventist Hospital, and taught Avondale College nursing students.24 He was not, however, permitted to practice in his specialty of internal medicine, as an internist was already practicing at the Fox Valley Medical Center at the time and used his influence to block the returned missionary from competing with him.25 Having qualified as an internist at one of the best programs in the world at the time, and practicing as an internist for the three years before returning to Australia, this limitation on his medical practice caused Standish professional dissatisfaction.26

In 1974, not long after returning to Australia, a group of senior pastors led by J. W. Kent, approached Standish and expressed their concern about the teachings of Desmond Ford at Avondale College. Their concerns included their view that Ford taught: Victory over temptation was not possible under God’s power, there is no literal heavenly sanctuary, the Bible contains many factual errors, and the Bible’s genealogies are incomplete and therefore the Adventist view on the age of the earth is erroneous, which, in turn, brought into question the accuracy of Ellen White’s numerous statements on the age of the earth. The group—called the “Concerned Brethren” or “CB’s”—included J. W. Kent, John Keith, George Burnside, O. K. Anderson, and Llewelyn Jones, among others.27 Standish shared their concerns and became active in advocating for a change at Avondale.

In 1974 he served as a relief physician at Bangkok Adventist Hospital.28 During those months he traveled to Laos where he was held at gunpoint by Communist guerillas and came very close to being killed.29

Due in part to his professional dissatisfaction at being blocked from practicing in his specialty at the Fox Valley Medical Center, in 1975, Standish accepted the position of deputy medical superintendent of the Austin Hospital, a major teaching hospital associated with the University of Melbourne, Australia.30

While in Melbourne he met A. John Clifford, a fellow physician, and together they wrote Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith, which analyzed Desmond Ford’s teaching on the subject and contrasted it with their understanding of the teachings of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.31 During this period, the SDA community in Australia was split, with Standish playing a very active roll speaking and writing in opposition to what he perceived as doctrinal errors presented by Ford. The split was at times very personal, with copies of an elaborate cartoon book circulated in the Adventist community portraying Clifford and Standish as obese witch doctors peddling destructive “legalism,” in contrast to Ford’s “liberating” theology.32

Standish’s defense of what he believed were the historic doctrinal positions of the SDA Church was characterized as “critical” and disruptive” by the Australasian Division of Seventh-day Adventist leadership. In 1977 the Australasian Division went so far as to block a call for Standish to be medical director at the Andapa Adventist Hospital in Madagascar on account of his “attitude.”33 Later, explaining the move, the Secretary of the Division wrote:

…there is no question on your personal morality or your professional skill, and if you could give an assurance of support for the church administration and a determination to refrain from devisive [sic] doctrinal controversy, then we would have no question on giving you an unqualified recommendation.34

Despite this initial block, later in 1977 Standish was called to be a physician at Bangkok Adventist Hospital.35 In 1979 he was made president of Bangkok Adventist Hospital.36 That same year, with his twin brother Colin, Standish made three cassette tapes explaining the rise of what was called the “new theology” associated most closely with Ford, and their concern about it.37 The tapes were widely copied and circulated and became the basis for their first co-authored book, Adventism Vindicated, a defense of traditional Adventist theological positions.38 On December 6, 1980, Standish was ordained as a pastor by the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Southeast Asia Union Mission.39

On the way from the airport to the hospital compound when the Standish family first arrived in Bangkok, the business manager stated that the hospital’s financial situation was so bad it would likely close.40 After becoming president in the middle of 1979, the first administrative decision Standish made was to stop doing normal business, including taking payments on Sabbath.41 During the first half of the year, the hospital lost approximately US $313,000.42 From the point of the decision to honor the Sabbath, the hospital began making money; in the second six months of 1979, it turned a profit of approximately US $522.000.43 In the later years of his leadership, the hospital consistently turned a profit of over US $2 million per year.44 Standish attributed this turnaround to God’s promise of blessings if we obey Him.45 Under Standish’s five years of leadership, the hospital was modernized and two new wings were built.46 Baptisms associated with the hospital’s work also increased substantially.47 He also played a part in assisting SAWS (now called ADRA) respond to the Cambodian refugee crisis and in selecting the land for what became Asia Pacific International University.48 During his time as president of Bangkok Adventist Hospital, Standish enjoyed a close personal and professional relationship with then Southeast Asia Union president, Robert Heisler.49

In 1984, the Northern European Division (now Trans-European Division) called Standish to serve as medical director of Enton Hall, a self-supporting health facility closely associated with the SDA Church, located in Surrey, England.50 The venture, while promising, was not a success, with promised private funds for the project never materializing.51

In 1986 Standish was called back to the Far Eastern Division as president of the Penang Adventist Hospital.52 Writing of his time as president of Penang Adventist Hospital, the Southeast Asia Union Messenger reported:53

[H]e succeeded in bringing the hospital out of a slump and restoring it to profitability. In addition, he pioneered the idea of bringing young Adventist east Malaysians to receive training and experience while they worked at the hospital…. He [was also] known as a powerful proclaimer of the gospel, and he was much in demand as a preacher.

Southeast Asia Union Mission and Dismissal From Denominational Work

In the late 1980s, Standish was appointed Health and Temperance director and oversaw ADRA for the Southeast Asia Union Mission.54 During this time, Mrs. Standish relocated back to London where she had employment.55

In 1991 an ad hoc committee was convened at the Far Eastern Division after the General Conference and the Far Eastern Division leadership received complaints from both the South Pacific and Trans-European Divisions that Standish’s sermons when visiting their territory were deemed divisive and that his statements undermined faith in division leadership.56 The ad hoc committee, which included Elder Robert Folkenberg, General Conference president at the time, mandated, among other things, that Standish no longer speak in the South Pacific Division or the Trans-European Division unless invited, and that he must convince his wife to return to Singapore.57

In his reply to the committee, Standish noted that he was not invited to present his ideas to the ad hoc committee and therefore had no opportunity to provide details, context, and facts that might have provided perspective on the issues discussed.58 He further noted that communications that were the basis of the committee meeting had not been provided to him.59 He indicated that he believed the requirement that his speaking be limited to official invitations would result in him having to turn down virtually all invitations in the South Pacific and Trans-European Divisions, and accepting this level of control would violate the principles provided for ministers in the book of Acts and in Ellen White’s writings.60 Further, he asked how reform can happen in the church if no one is permitted to speak openly about the challenges the church faces.61 He confided that he was doing all he could to encourage his wife to return and that the separation was causing him substantial personal distress.62

In 1992 Dr. Standish wrote two articles that caused church administrators concern. One opposed the disfellowshiping of church members for attending independent ministries meetings. Writing against the disfellowshiping, he critiqued what he saw as the misuse of a provision in the Church Manual permitting disfellowship when a church member does not comply with “properly constituted church authority”:

We believe in ‘properly constituted church authority’ and also ‘order and discipline’ within the church, but such authority, order, and discipline must be authorized by Scripture. It must not be based upon pastoral or lay desires, such as demands to desist from hearing the preaching of God’s Word.63

In supporting the work of reformers within the modern church, he cited the examples of Martin Luther and John Wesley.64 Supporting documents for the ad hoc committee’s review of Dr. Standish’s articles and statements stated he had engaged in criticism of the church leadership, that he had not acted like a team member, that he expressed the view that the church would be improved by abandoning the church manual which itself had been accepted by the General Conference in session, that he refused to comply with the requirements set forth in the ad hoc committee’s first meeting, and that “he who disregards church authority despises the ‘Voice of God,' among other things."65 He was asked to make a series of public apologies or lose his denominational employment.66 He made a public statement of clarification, stating his love and support for the organized Seventh-day Adventist Church; however, the clarification did not go as far as the ad hoc committee required.67

During the discussion on what to do about Standish’s articles, George Johnson, president of the Southeast Asia Union Mission, predicted that dismissing Standish would be seen as an “overreaction,” and offered leadership a “middle way” forward.68 He offered to transfer Standish to a physician role back in Thailand to fill an urgent vacancy.69 He noted that the mission president, Steve Bassham, and the hospital president, Ron Brody, both would welcome Dr. Standish back.70 He also noted Standish could serve productively back in Thailand until he qualified for sustentation (retirement benefits).71

As George Johnson predicted, church discipline against Russell Standish caused consternation among church members in Southeast Asia. For example, 277 church members in Penang, Malaysia, sent a petition to the Far Eastern Division in support of Standish.72 Many who signed the petition were among the most respected leaders in the Adventist community in Malaysia, including one of Standish’s proteges in hospital administration who went on to serve as president of Penang Adventist Hospital.73

Three months after the ad hoc committee met, the Far Eastern Division voted Dr. Standish permanent return, which in the case, was a de facto dismissal from denominational service.74

Reporting on events, the Southeast Asia Union Messenger stated:75

Dr. Russell Standish endeared himself to people throughout the Union…. In addition to his service in SAUM Dr. Standish accepted speaking appointments in other divisions without authorization from the leadership of those divisions and traveled freely without following normal procedural policies. This led to misunderstandings between these divisions and the FED.

Along with proclaiming the gospel, Dr. Standish sensed an urgency to call the church to a higher standard of commitment in every phase of church activity, to this end he wrote voluminously. Some of his more recent book manuscripts and magazine articles were perceived by leadership as unnecessarily critical of the church and its leaders. The FED leaders urged Dr. Standish to endeavor to maintain a more constructive approach to church leadership, but it seemed impossible for Dr. Standish and leadership to reach a satisfactory agreement on this point.

At the time of his dismissal from denominational service, Standish was months short of qualifying for sustentation (retirement benefits). Therefore the Far Eastern Division recommended the South Pacific Division provide him retirement benefits when he reached retirement age, in light of his 18.4 years of distinguished mission service (he had over 31 years of total denominational service at the time).76 The South Pacific Division subsequently denied him retirement benefits.77 He was further informed that his ordination credentials were void because he was no longer an employee of the denomination and that the General Conference would not intervene in the denial of his sustentation benefits.78 He was eventually given a modest severance pay of $48,000 (Australian) by the South Pacific Division four and a half years after he was dismissed and was denied the health insurance provided to denominational workers in retirement.79 Although he was advised that, under Australian law, he had a legal right to retirement benefits, he refused to bring legal action, citing the Bible and Ellen White’s counsels against suing brethren.80 Russell and Enid Standish divorced on April 16, 1993.81

Later Life and Death

Upon his return to Australia in September 1992, Standish recalled he did not wish to seek speaking appointments or ask for funds as he planned to support himself as a physician.82 He was, however, immediately asked to speak at Windsor Adventist Church, and from that point forward he had speaking invitations virtually every weekend of the year.83 That year he set up Remnant Ministries, an independent ministry, and began publishing the Remnant Herald.84

For the remainder of his life, he spoke around the world, and published books, often coauthored with his twin brother Colin, on a broad range of topics associated with Seventh-day Adventist theology.85 He frequently returned to preach in Southeast Asia, where he was widely respected by those who knew him during his missionary years.86

In 1995 he met an old student from his days teaching in Albury, Glenice Pete, and they were later married.87 They settled in the Dandenong Mountains, east of Melbourne.88 He also operated a small health retreat and education center named Highwood located not far from his home.89

In 2007 he was invited by Andrews University to the 50th anniversary of the publication of Questions on Doctrine, a book that he identified as a key point in compromising Adventist theology.90 The Adventist Review reported that the event enjoyed a spirit of “cordiality and healing.”91 This is not surprising as, despite their theological difference, Dr. Standish retained warm personal relationships with many of those he disagreed with, including Dr. Ford.92

He was a passenger in a car driving him from the airport to a preaching appointment in Mildura, Victoria, Australia, on May 2, 2008, when the car was struck by another vehicle, and he was killed instantly.93 He was 74 years old at the time.94 Pastor Chester Stanley, a family friend and president of the Australian Union Conference, conducted the graveside service.95 Dr. Standish is buried in Lillydale Lawn Cemetery, Victoria, the same cemetery as his mother and father.96

Sources

Ball, M. S. “Standish Evans’ Marriage.” Australasian Record, March 8, 1954.

“Bangkok Adventist Hospital Opens New Wing.” The Bangkok Post, March 17, 1983.

Bedwell, H. W. H. W. Bedwell, Secretary, Far Eastern Division, to author, May 8, 1967. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Bullock, Gordon B. Gordon B. Bullock, Associate Secretary of the Far Eastern Division letter to D. A. Roth, Associate Secretary of the General Conference, April 1, 1986. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Clark, W. T. W. T. Clark, Secretary of the Far Easter Division, letter to A. E. Gibb, Undersecretary of the General Conference, July 18, 1974. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Clifford, A. John and Russell Standish. Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Australasian Division. N.p.: Historic SDA Truth, 1976.

“Dr Standish returns Home.” Southeast Asia Union Messenger, September/October 1992.

Evans, R. A. R. A. Evans, Assistant Secretary, Australasian Division of Seventh-day Adventists, letter to B. B. Seton, Associate Sectary, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, February 17, 1977. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Far Eastern Division Executive Committee Minutes, August 17, 1992. South Asia Pacific Division Archives.

Irvine, J. K. J. K. Irvine, Assistant Secretary of the Australasian Division to Elder R. R. Frame, Associate Secretary of the General Conference, March 18, 1969. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Johnson, George. George Johnson, President of the Southeast Asia Union Mission, letter to Dr. Otis Edwards, President of the Far Eastern Division, August 11, 1992. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Paulsen, Jan. Jan Paulsen, Secretary of the Northern European Division, letter to Pr. M. T. Battle, Associate Secretary of the General Conference, January 18, 1984. Held in the personal collection of the author.

“Russell Standish, 74, Killed in Australian Car Crash.” ARH, May 6, 2008, https://www.adventistreview.org/archive-1851

South Pacific Division Minutes of Ad Hoc Committee, May 11, 1992. South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia.

Standish, James D. “Where Were the Angels?” Adventist Record, September 17, 2016.

Standish, Russell R. “Crisis.” Our Firm Foundation, vol. 7, no. 4, 16-18, 31.

Standish, Russell R. Her Last Mothers’ Day. N.P.: Self Published, 1976.

Standish, Russell R. Russell. R. Standish, letter to an Ad Hoc Committee, November 22, 1991, Held in the personal collection of the author.

Standish, Russell R. Russell R. Standish, letter to Ad Hoc committee seeking clarification, May 6, 1992. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Standish, Russell R. Russell. R. Standish, letter to an Ad Hoc Committee, November 22, 1991. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Standish, Russell R. “My Call to Ministry, Part 2.” Our Firm Foundation, January 1995.

Standish, Russell R. Russell Standish, Chief of Staff, to Pastor R. S. Watts, December 16, 1971. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Standish, Russell R. and Colin D. Standish. Adventism Proclaimed: The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Rapidan, VA: Hartland Publications, 1999.

Standish, Russell R. and Colin D. Standish. Half a Century of Apostasy: The New Theology’s Grim Harvest 1956 – 2006. Rapidan, VA.: Hartland Publications, 2006.

Standish, Russell R. and Colin D. Standish. The Gathering Storm. Rapidan, VA.: Hartland Institute Publications, 1990.

Standish, Colin D. and Russell R. Standish. Winds of Doctrine. Rapidan, VA: Hartland Publications, 1996.

Tolhurst, Athal. Athal Tolhurst, Undersecretary of the General Conference, letter to Russell Standish, January 8, 1997. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Tolhurst, Athal. Athal Tolhurst, Undersecretary of the General Conference, letter to Russell Standish, April 22, 1994. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Virtue, Robert. “75-year anniversary of the night Newcastle was shelled by Japanese submarine during WWII, ABC Newcastle, June 7, 2017.” (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-08/75-year-anniversary-of-night-newcastle-was-shelled-by-japanese/8575490).

Wilson. Lynray. Lynray Wilson, Associate Treasurer of the South Pacific Division, letter to Dr. Russell Standish, May 12, 1994. Held in the personal collection of the author.

Notes

  1. Unless otherwise credited, the information in this article is taken from an auto biography by Russell R. Standish, published for his family in 1976, or from the personal knowledge of the author, youngest son of Russell and Enid Standish. See Russell R. Standish, Her Last Mothers’ Day (N.P.: Self Published, 1976).

  2. Standish, Her Last Mothers’ Day, 47.

  3. Ibid., 57.

  4. Robert Virtue, “75-year anniversary of the night Newcastle was shelled by Japanese submarine during WWII, ABC Newcastle, June 7, 2017,” (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-08/75-year-anniversary-of-night-newcastle-was-shelled-by-japanese/8575490).

  5. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 23, 2020.

  6. “Australian propaganda posters during the Second World War (WWII) were used to instill anti-Japanese attitudes. Using racial stereotypes and derogatory humour the posters harboured fear and caution amongst Australian society.” The Australian War Memorial (https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C95731).

  7. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 23, 2020.

  8. Ibid.

  9. Standish, Her Last Mothers’ Day, 98, 99.

  10. Then called Australasian Missionary College.

  11. Standish, Her Last Mothers’ Day, 118-119. Enid Standish’s ethnicity has been the subject of speculation her entire life. A DNA analysis on the family performed in 2019 confirmed the surprising conclusion that she has a small amount of Native American ancestry (test results provided by Dr. Timothy Standish).

  12. M. S. Ball, “Standish Evans marriage,” Australasian Record, March 8, 1954, 14.

  13. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 20, 2020.

  14. Ibid.

  15. At the time, the degree was an MBBS, which is the Latin initial for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, the typical degree awarded physicians in the British system at the time, and equivalent to the American MD.

  16. Timothy went on to earn his Ph.D. in environmental biology and public policy and has served on the faculties of Union College and Andrews University, and now serves as a senior scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute and is an adjunct faculty of Loma Linda University, and several other Adventist universities.

  17. James went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia. He served as the General Conference’s director of legislative affairs, representing the world church to the U.S. Government, before serving as executive director of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He spent five years in the South Pacific Division serving as the Division’s Communications Director, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty Director and editor of the Adventist Record. He currently is a lawyer in a private consulting firm located in Silver Spring, Maryland.

  18. H. W. Bedwell, Secretary, Far Eastern Division, to author, May 8, 1967, held in the personal collection of the author.

  19. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 23, 2020.

  20. J. K. Irvine, Assistant Secretary of the Australasian Division to Elder R. R. Frame, Associate Secretary of the General Conference, March 18, 1969.

  21. David Anderson, 2nd Viscount Waverly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Anderson,_2nd_Viscount_Waverley

  22. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 23, 2020.

  23. Russell Standish, Chief of Staff, to Pastor R. S. Watts, December 16, 1971, held in the personal collection of the author.

  24. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 23, 2020.

  25. Ibid.

  26. Ibid.

  27. Russell R. Standish & Colin D. Standish, The Gathering Storm (Rapidan, VA.: Hartland Institute Publications, 1990, 74-79.

  28. W. T. Clark, Secretary of the Far Easter Division, letter to A. E. Gibb, Undersecretary of the General Conference, July 18, 1974, held in the personal collection of the author.

  29. James D. Standish, “Where Were the Angels?” Adventist Record, September 17, 2016, 16-18.

  30. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 23, 2020; see also http://www.austin.org.au/about/

  31. A. John Clifford and Russell Standish, Conflicting Concepts of Righteousness by Faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Australasian Division (n.p.: Historic SDA Truth, 1976).

  32. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 23, 2020.

  33. R. A. Evans, Assistant Secretary, Australasian Division of Seventh-day Adventists, letter to B. B. Seton, Associate Sectary, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, February 17, 1977, held in the personal collection of the author.

  34. R. R. Standish, Medical Director of the Bangkok Adventist Hospital, letter to Aldon B. Chase, Loma Linda University Orthodontic Department, October 15, 1977, held in the personal collection of the author.

  35. R. A. Evans, Assistant Secretary, Australasian Division of Seventh-day Adventists, letter to D. S. Johnson, Associate Sectary, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, December 8, 1977, held in the personal collection of the author.

  36. Russell R. Standish and Colin D. Standish, Adventism Proclaimed: The Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rapidan, VA: Hartland Publications, 1999), 14.

  37. Russell R. Standish, “My Call to Ministry, Part 2,” Our Firm Foundation, January 1995, 28.

  38. Ibid.

  39. Russell. R. Standish, letter to an Ad Hoc Committee, November 22, 1991, held in the personal collection of the author.

  40. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 23. 2020.

  41. Ibid.

  42. Russell R. Standish and Colin D. Standish, Half a Century of Apostasy: The New Theology’s Grim Harvest 1956 – 2006 (Rapidan, VA.: Hartland Publications, 2006), 444-445. This dollar amount is adjusted for inflation to 2020 dollars.

  43. Ibid.

  44. Ibid.

  45. Ibid.

  46. Ibid; “Bangkok Adventist Hospital Opens New Wing,” The Bangkok Post, March 17, 1983.

  47. Russell R. Standish and Colin D. Standish, Half a Century of Apostasy, 446.

  48. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 20, 2020.

  49. See, for example this acknowledgement of Heisler’s role in the turn-around of Bangkok Adventist Hospital, Standish and Standish, Half a Century of Apostasy, 446.

  50. Jan Paulsen, Secretary of the Northern European Division, letter to Pr. M. T. Battle, Associate Secretary of the General Conference, January 18, 1984, held in the personal collection of the author.

  51. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 20, 2020.

  52. Gordon B. Bullock, Associate Secretary of the Far Eastern Division letter to D. A. Roth, Associate Secretary of the General Conference, April 1, 1986, held in the personal collection of the author.

  53. “Dr Standish returns Home,” Southeast Asia Union Messenger, September/October 1992, 3.

  54. Russell. R. Standish, letter to an Ad Hoc Committee, November 22, 1991, held in the personal collection of the author

  55. Bernard Engelbrecht, interview with author, March 27, 2020.

  56. South Pacific Division Minutes of Ad Hoc Committee, November 12 & 13, 1991, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia.

  57. Ibid.

  58. Russell. R. Standish, letter to an Ad Hoc Committee, November 22, 1991, held in the personal collection of the author

  59. Ibid.

  60. Ibid.

  61. Ibid.

  62. Ibid.

  63. Russell R. Standish, “Crisis,” Our Firm Foundation, vol. 7, no. 4, 16-18, 31.

  64. Ibid.

  65. South Pacific Division Minutes of Ad Hoc Committee, May 11, 1992, South Pacific Division of the General Conference Archives, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia.

  66. Ibid.

  67. Russell R. Standish, letter to Ad Hoc committee seeking clarification, May 6, 1992, held in the personal collection of the author.

  68. George Johnson, President of the Southeast Asia Union Mission, letter to Dr. Otis Edwards, President of the Far Eastern Division, August 11, 1992, held in the personal collection of the author.

  69. Ibid.

  70. Ibid.

  71. Ibid

  72. Petition in Support of Dr. Standish from Penang, Malaysia held in the General Conference Archives.

  73. Ibid.

  74. Far Easter Division Executive Committee Minutes, August 17, 1992, South Asia Pacific Division Archives.

  75. “Dr. Standish Returns Home,” 3.

  76. Far Eastern Division Executive Committee Minutes, August 17, 1992; Russell R. Standish letter to Ralph Thompson, Secretary of the General Conference, February 10, 1994, held in the personal collection of the author.

  77. Lynray Wilson, Associate Treasurer of the South Pacific Division, letter to Dr. Russell Standish, May 12, 1994, held in the personal collection of the author.

  78. Athal Tolhurst, Undersecretary of the General Conference, letter to Russell Standish, January 8, 1997, held in the personal collection of the author.

  79. Athal Tolhurst, Undersecretary of the General Conference, letter to Russell Standish, April 22, 1994, held in the personal collection of the author.

  80. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 20, 2020.

  81. Bernard Engelbrecht, interview with author, March 27, 2020.

  82. Russell R. Standish, “My Call to Ministry, Part 2,” Our Firm Foundation, January 1995, 29.

  83. Ibid.

  84. Standish and Standish, Adventism Proclaimed, 14.

  85. Standish, “My Call to Ministry, Part 2,” 29.

  86. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 20, 2020, see also “Dr. Standish Returns Home,” 3.

  87. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 20, 2020.

  88. .

  89. Colin D. Standish & Russell R. Standish, Winds of Doctrine (Rapidan, VA: Hartland Publications, 1996, 2.

  90. “Russell Standish, 74, Killed in Australian Car Crash,” ARH, May 6, 2008, https://www.adventistreview.org/archive-1851.

  91. Ibid.

  92. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 25, 1990.

  93. “Russell Standish, 74, Killed in Australian Car Crash.”

  94. Ibid.

  95. Timothy Standish, interview with author, March 25, 2020.

  96. Ibid.

×

Standish, James Darcy. "Standish, Russell Roland (1933-2008)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 23, 2020. Accessed September 29, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=C85K.

Standish, James Darcy. "Standish, Russell Roland (1933-2008)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. July 23, 2020. Date of access September 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=C85K.

Standish, James Darcy (2020, July 23). Standish, Russell Roland (1933-2008). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=C85K.