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Frederick Carnes Gilbert.

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Gilbert (Cohen), Frederick Carnes (1867–1946)

By Benjamin Baker


Benjamin Baker, Ph.D. (Howard University, Washington, D.C.) is the author/editor of seven books and 150 articles and is the creator of two websites on Adventist history. He has taught history, religion, education, literature, and English at eight universities.

First Published: January 29, 2020

Frederick Carnes Cohen was a pioneering Jewish Adventist evangelist, administrator, and author in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was probably on his arrival to America that Frederick changed his surname to Gilbert.

Early Life (1867-1886)

Frederick Carnes Cohen was born on September 30, 1867, in London, England, to Falk and Miriam Cohen (1825-1883; 1829-1913). Both of his parents were of Jewish ethnicity and strict adherents of Orthodox Judaism.1 Falk and Miriam had married at a young age in Suwalki, Poland, then a territory of the Russian Empire; but after experiencing virulent anti-Semitism there, the couple fled to Germany in hopes of a more tolerant atmosphere. The persecution was severe there too, and after a very brief stay the couple migrated to England. In Britain the Cohens at last found tolerance and even prosperity for those of their ethnicity, as represented in the political career of the popular Jewish Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. In England the Cohens had eight children.2

Frederick had a strict Orthodox Judaic upbringing, being trained by a rabbi in the Talmud Torah, having a Bar-Mitzvah, donning phylacteries, and even entertaining a career as a rabbi. Because of the persecution that his parents and ancestors received at the hands of Christians, as well as the instruction he received in school, Frederick was unusually strident in his hatred of Christianity. As a child he suffered from severe asthma and lung disease and was hospitalized near death several times. Tragically, when Frederick was 15 years old, his father died.3

Migration to the United States (1886-1889)

Considering himself an “orphan,” Frederick decided to relocate to the United States after being encouraged to do so by close relatives and his physician, who believed that the sea voyage and climate in America would be more conducive to his health. Although his father had warned him before he died that America was a “godless land,” where “a man will lose his religion…in a very short time,” Frederick set sail from England in May of 1886. On his way across the Atlantic he resolved to stay true to his Orthodox Jewish tradition. On the voyage he sustained an injury which necessitated ten days in the hospital after he embarked in New York City.4 It was probably on his arrival to America that Frederick changed his surname to Gilbert.

Staying with relatives in New York City, “this great Jewish metropolis of the world,” Frederick obtained “employment among Gentiles” in a clothes factory. He immediately faced pressure to work on the Sabbath, which he did, symptomatic of a slacking in his observance of Judaism. After nearly a year of relative prosperity, Frederick was fired from his position and entered upon a period of desperation in which he was friendless, unemployed, and hungry. When a labor organization furnished him funds to relocate to Boston, Massachusetts, Frederick jumped at the offer.5

In the Boston area Frederick followed up on a recommendation from an acquaintance to stay with a Christian family called the Fiskes. Because Frederick was desperate for living accommodations, though he was still negative toward Christians, he nevertheless persuaded G. F. Fiske to let him board at his home, although Fiske was initially averse to it. The Fiskes were Seventh-day Adventists, and as Frederick learned more about this unfamiliar faith, he immediately recognized vital similarities between it and Orthodox Judaism, of which he was still very fond, even though he was a backslider. More than anything else, it was the Christian compassion and lifestyle of the Fiskes that impressed Frederick during the years that he lived with them. He wrote: “They lived their religion more than they talked it… [T]heir lives were indeed a living exposition of the Christian religion. For two years I had been with this family; they claimed to believe the bible, and they acted it; they taught Jesus was the Savior of all men, and they showed their faith in this by following His example…They had a very different spirit from many others who called themselves Christians.”6

When one day G. F. Fiske remarked to Frederick, “You ought to be a Christian,” the young man was launched into spiritual tumult.7 To accept Jesus was to forsake his ancestral heritage and to go against everything he was taught growing up. Yet, the very next morning Frederick accepted Christ into his heart. In his later ministry and writings Gilbert would repeatedly say that he accepted Christ because he believed in Judaism, not in spite of it, and that he saw in Christ a perfect fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. As expected though, his new faith put him at odds with his Jewish relatives, including his mother, who disowned him. Meanwhile the persecution at the shoe factory in which he worked became violent. Although his faith in Christ was fresh, Frederick’s resolve was steely. On April 16, 1889, Frederick Gilbert was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church by Orville Orlando Farnsworth.8 Gilbert was not the first Jewish convert to the Seventh-day Adventist Church; a Polish immigrant of Jewish ethnicity named Marcus Lichtenstein had converted to the faith around 1871.9

Early Ministry (1889-1907)

After his baptism the 23-year-old Gilbert quit his factory job and took up literature evangelism. For nine months the new convert canvassed books and studied the Bible intensively. Although often weary, hungry, and homeless, he recalls that “those months of labor were among the most blessed of my life.”10 It became clear to him that his life work was to be in ministry, particularly focusing on winning Jewish people to Christ.

In preparation for a life in ministry Gilbert enrolled in South Lancaster Academy in 1890, financing his studies through work, loans, and the generosity of friends. While a student, Gilbert wrote an article for the Adventist Review titled ‘“Remember’ the Sabbath” that prefigured his place as the resident Adventist authority on Hebrew and the Torah, and able apologist of the Church’s distinctive doctrines.11 In the summer of 1893 Gilbert sold books and did Bible work with the New York Conference and, while attending camp meeting, was encouraged by veteran minister Sands Harvey Lane to do public evangelism. This vote of confidence greatly influenced Gilbert. In 1894 Gilbert finished his studies at South Lancaster.12

In June 1894 Gilbert embarked upon his public ministry in Boston, then a city of approximately half a million people, to a Jewish population of approximately 20,000, at the time primarily immigrants from Eastern Europe.13 He spoke in Yiddish in open air meetings and engaged in extensive public debates with rabbis and skeptics in scenes that he likened to Christ’s interactions during his public ministry. He also paid personal visits to rabbis and attended synagogues. Gilbert utilized the power of the written word, publishing his first tract, “Hebrews, and Rights of Conscience,” during this time. The first one thousand copies were paid for by funds raised from a Sabbath morning appeal made in a Boston Adventist church by George B. Wheeler, Gilbert’s partner in ministry.14 Gilbert received other kinds of support for his ministry from the Adventist Church. At the 31st General Conference Session in Battle Creek, Michigan, on March 3, 1895, he shared a talk on his background and work;15 and progress reports on his ministry to the Jews were featured in the Adventist Review.16 On July 1, 1896, Gilbert was issued a ministerial license for the New England Conference by President Hampton Watson Cottrell.17

Despite these affirmations from his church, in the Jewish neighborhoods of Boston, Gilbert reported persecution for his attempts to preach the gospel. Bottles and rocks were hurled at him, and he received fist poundings and letters with death threats. It seems from reports of the day that Gilbert won some to the faith; but despite sound methods on his part, his very public ministry was more of a sensation and scandal to Jews in Boston. After two years of this, church leaders, and Gilbert himself, thought it best that he do ministerial work among the Goyim, or Gentiles, which he did for the next decade with the New England Conference.18 Yet in those initial years Gilbert was honing methods to best reach the Jews: learning the Jewish mentality; stressing their ancient heritage as God’s chosen people; presenting Christ as the fulfillment of the Jewish scriptures; distributing New Testaments; highlighting the similarities between Judaism and Adventism; and providing aid for refugees and orphans.

On March 16, 1896, Frederick Gilbert married Ella May Graham, with H. W. Cottrell as presiding minister.19 Born in Mansfield, Connecticut, on July 11, 1865, Ella was the daughter of William H. and Mary Thayer Graham, both of whom had been Millerites and were among the first Sabbatarian Adventists. In an early life marked by trailblazing moments, Ella was present with her mother at the Boston port when John, Charles, and Mary Andrews set sail for Switzerland on September 15, 1874. She was baptized by Stephen Nelson Haskell in 1877 and was one of 19 charter students of South Lancaster Academy at its opening on April 19, 1882. Along with three other women, she was a member of the school’s first graduating class in 1888.20 A little more than half a year after his marriage to Ella Graham, Gilbert became a naturalized citizen of the United States.21 The Gilberts had four children: Ruth Marjorie (Miller, 1897-1979), Miriam G. (Tymeson, 1902-1984), William Paul (1903-1958), and Louis B. (1910-?).22

As often happened with gifted ministers in late 19th century Adventism, Gilbert’s star quickly rose. At the New England Conference camp meeting held at West Newton, Massachusetts, from June 9-19, 1898, he was ordained to the gospel ministry.23 In the years before and after the turn of the century Gilbert held evangelistic meetings, helped establish churches, and lectured extensively throughout New England, often with ministerial mentors George B. Wheeler (1840-1904), Miles D. Matson (1858-1908), and Arba Hill Clark (1850-1903), all who, unfortunately, died during or shortly after their labors with him.

Much more than just an evangelist to Jewish people, Gilbert enjoyed impressive success among a wide variety of people, with baptisms and new churches coming from his efforts.24 An article by him or updates on his labors were featured in virtually every issue of the Atlantic Union Gleaner, the official periodical of the Atlantic Union Conference, which began publication in 1902. That same year Gilbert published his first book, Practical Lessons from the Experience of Israel for the Church of To-day and later a pivotal tract, “Israel’s Deliverer.”25 Practical Lessons would have a second edition in 1914, 826 pages in all.26 Gilbert’s writings were sophisticated works that provided deep insights into the Old Testament and Jewish history, culture, and tradition, with parallels for the present day always in mind. The uniqueness of his works can be seen in the moniker he printed under his name on the title page: “A Hebrew Christian.”

Inevitably, Gilbert turned his full attention back to his main burden. In late 1905 he and Albert E. Place (1856-1950) negotiated rent for a building in the south end of Boston in a large Jewish neighborhood.27 The Jewish Mission would be funded by Gilbert’s book sales of Practical Lessons and donations from church members.28 Interest in the work for Jews among Seventh-day Adventists was generated not only by Gilbert, but by Ellen G. White, who notably stated in a talk at the 1905 General Conference Session on May 27 that “The time has come when the Jews are to be given light.”29 Based on White’s charge, Gilbert’s home conference, Atlantic Union,30 took the following action at their 1905 yearend meetings: “That we consider the publication of the Jewish tract, “Israel’s Deliverer,” by F. C. Gilbert, as a right step in this direction, and that other literature for the Jews be prepared, and that definite steps be taken by this Conference to start, in the near future, more public and evangelistic work for this people.”31 Just months later it was reported that some four million pages of Gilbert’s tract had been dispersed among the Jews of New England.32

On April 17, 1906, the Jewish Mission was dedicated, the largest project to date geared toward the Jewish people that the denomination had undertaken, with conference officials and Adventist leaders, as well as other Christian leaders, participating and in attendance.33 Gilbert, superintendent of the mission, was joined by seven other staff: Jennie L. Person, Weet Reemt Uchtmann, Minnie A. Sanderson, Mary Wheeler, Benjamin Chadwick, Laura B. Carahoff, and Ella Gilbert. Many of these reports on the mission were published in the Atlantic Union Gleaner.34 Gilbert’s modus operandi for the mission was to “follow the methods laid down by the Saviour as far as possible,” in the belief that “the work of Jesus on earth was among the Jews…and the conditions which existed among the Jews in the time of Christ are identical with those of the present day.”35

The Jewish Mission performed numerous functions for the Jewish neighborhood, its residents mostly from Russia. The mission held religious meetings, both inside and open air, in which Gilbert (and sometimes Uchtmann) lectured on Bible topics and Jewish history. It also held Sabbath School and church services, provided medical care, took in orphans, fed the poor, offered sewing classes, published Gilbert’s tracts and a monthly magazine, The Good Tidings of the Messiah, and distributed literature. The outdoor meetings caused considerable unrest—Gilbert reporting of violent assaults due to the content of his messages—and police officers had to be present to keep the peace, which sometimes they failed at doing. Apart from the considerable humanitarian services the mission performed, Gilbert reported many hard-won converts to the faith.36

The mission expanded to include the Good Tidings Home, a refuge center in Concord, Massachusetts, for Jews who were persecuted for accepting Christianity. It was managed for a time by Anna Vanderbilt (1873-1943), a Jewish convert to Adventism.37

In his time in Boston, Frederick Gilbert cultivated a relationship with Ellen G. White. Gilbert was a staunch believer in the prophetic gift exhibited by White, throughout his ministry lecturing on the Spirit of Prophecy, promoting the distribution of her writings, and even publishing a book titled Divine Predictions of Mrs. Ellen G. White Fulfilled.38 In the first decade of the 20th century he wrote and spoke with White a number of times, apprising her of his burden and work for the Jews. White’s opinion of Gilbert was high. Once she said of him: “We need one hundred such men where we now have one.”39 And another time she said, “the ministry of Elder Gilbert is accepted of God and he needs encouragement by words and means to continue the work.”40 To Gilbert, who had a couple of bouts with severe illness, she once wrote with maternal care: “You must be guarded. Do not tax your powers so severely. Hitherto the Lord has been with you, and He will continue to bless your efforts, and will lead others to unite with you in your work. But you are in danger from more sources than one. Your enemies will be incensed against you because this truth is being carried to the Jews.” 41 On one occasion White wanted to give money to Gilbert to assist him in the construction of the Good Tidings Home, but she had already made pledges to other projects.42 On June 30, 1909, she visited the Good Tidings property, and her assistant Dores Eugene Robinson wrote positively about the occasion and Gilbert and his team’s efforts.43 There are additional mentions of Gilbert and his ministry in several of White’s correspondences that bear out that she followed his ministry with interest and told others of his successes. For his part, Gilbert would continually cite quotations from Ellen White to persuade the church to support the work for Jewish people.

The Jewish Department (1907-1922)

With the reorganization of the General Conference from 1901-1903, and the organization of the North American Division in 1910, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was better equipped organizationally to fulfill its mission of giving the gospel to “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.” It had long been the belief of early Adventists that the Church originated in the United States because it was a “melting pot” of peoples from all over the world. And so, in the first decade of the 20th century when extensive Church reorganization was occurring, more systematic and targeted strategies were sought to reach America’s myriad ethnic groups.

Along these lines, the Central New England Conference formed a Jewish Department in 1907, directed by F. C. Gilbert, secretary, who was still based in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. This department received an annual appropriation of $750 from the Atlantic Union, and $1,000 from the General Conference44 to carry on a program of evangelization of Jewish people in New England. This program included systematic literature distribution through mail and literature evangelists, open air and evangelistic meetings, church workers giving Bible studies, initiatives like Ingathering, religious liberty advocacy, and support of the Jewish Mission and Good Tidings Home, as well as other outreach centers.45

Gilbert was simultaneously the Jewish Representative for the Atlantic Union Conference, which also had a Scandinavian Representative, Milian Lauritz Andreasen, and a Negro Representative, James Kemuel Humphrey. These men were what may be termed missiological specialists, focusing on the sizeable ethnic groups in the union territory.46 This was a part of a wider missional strategy of the General Conference, which inaugurated the North American Foreign Department, on whose Advisory Committee Gilbert was a member, at the 36th General Conference Session on May 28, 1905.47 At the 37th General Conference Session on May 20, 1909, in the fourth meeting of the North American Foreign Department, Gilbert urged that a Jewish department be placed under the North American Foreign Department.48 On March 25, 1911, Gilbert’s recommendation was implemented and the Jewish Department, with F. C. Gilbert as superintendent, was organized under the North American Foreign Department.49 Gilbert’s work, begun in the Jewish enclaves of Boston, was now a fixture in the Church’s administrative structure.

By 1911, something of an established phenomenon in Adventism, F. C. Gilbert released his autobiography, From Judaism to Christianity and Gospel Work among the Hebrews. Basically self-published by his imprint in South Lancaster, From Judaism to Christianity is a 384-page work that blends autobiography with a primer on Jewish history and customs, as well as Gilbert’s reflection on his work for Jews and how it should be done in the future. The volume has many compelling storylines—Gilbert’s immigration to America, his hard road in a strange country, his acceptance of Christianity, estrangement from his family, reconciliation with his mother, and finally his successful ministry to his people. There are also controversial ideas from the outspoken minister, such as this: “The reason why we [Jews] have been so persecuted, and have had all these troubles these many years is because we rejected our only hope and Messiah, Jesus Christ, and we crucified Him. As long as we reject Him, and do not believe in Him as our Saviour and Messiah, we shall continually be in trouble.”50 Indeed, From Judaism to Christianity is a valuable primary source of the struggles of a complex young man trying to reconcile his traditional religion with his newfound Savior, all while in a foreign and often hostile land, forsaken by those he loves. As Ellen G. White once said of Gilbert, “He always has a very interesting history to relate,”51 and backed by Gilbert’s adopted Church, sales of this unique and important work did well. From Judaism to Christianity is today an Adventist classic.

In his administrative role as leader and spokesperson of the Jewish work for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, Gilbert expanded his vision beyond just New England to wherever Jewish people were in the United States. At the 1913 General Conference Session he reported of a movement of Russian Jews to the American South, urged that Jews be evangelized in every union conference, and noted that “there are [Jewish Adventist] believers in several of the States of America.”52 F. C. Gilbert remained in South Lancaster in his time with the Jewish Advisory of the North American Division. He was still a member of the executive committees of the Atlantic Union Conference and the Massachusetts Conference and was for some years primarily an employee of the Atlantic Union.53 In a time of organizational flux, there were considerable alterations to the Jewish department. In 1913 the title was changed to the Jewish Department Advisory Committee and later to the Jewish Advisory Committee. On June 12, 1918, the General Conference Committee voted that the Jewish Advisory Committee be placed under the Department/Bureau of Home Missions, effectively making it a department of the General Conference.54

Now among Adventism’s most valued ministers, the General Conference sent Gilbert on numerous trips each year to speak at camp meetings, conduct revivals and tent meetings, and represent the General Conference on committees and in meetings. Gilbert was also appointed a member of the General Conference Executive Committee and a delegate to General Conference sessions. In his capacity as a GC administrator, Gilbert not only spoke about and promoted the Jewish work, but the work of the entire world Church.

General Field Secretary (1922-1946)

At the 40th General Conference Session on May 24, 1922, the delegates voted to create a new position—that of general field secretary of the General Conference. The job description was voted into the Constitution and By-Laws of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists as Article VI: “The term ‘general field secretary’ shall be used to designate such persons as may be employed by the General Conference to travel extensively both at home and abroad in the interests of the general work.”55 A general field secretary was to be an officer of the General Conference, along with the president, vice president, secretary, associate and assistant secretaries, treasurer, associate and assistant treasurers, auditor, and statistical secretary. In line with his stature and facility as a Church ambassador, F. C. Gilbert, along with four others, was voted in as the first general field secretary.56

In 1922 Frederick and Ella Gilbert moved from their Massachusetts home of some 25 years to Takoma Park, Maryland, less than a mile from the nation’s capital. The couple became fully ensconced in the General Conference whose headquarters building was then located on the property of Washington Missionary College (now Washington Adventist University), along with the Review and Herald Publishing Association, the Washington Sanitarium (now Washington Adventist Hospital), and later a seminary (Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary). The Gilbert’s second daughter, Miriam Tymeson, would become a fixture in the community. She was a longtime educator who founded the John Nevins Andrews School and influenced generations of Church leaders.57

F. C. Gilbert was now an international Church administrator and his itinerary as a general field secretary reflected it. In 1923, after he assisted with evangelistic meetings in Canada, Gilbert set sail for China on February 22, tasked by the General Conference Committee to “labor for a number of months in the interest of the work” in the Far Eastern Division.58 In China and Japan Gilbert attended biennial meetings, met with Adventist leaders, surveyed the state of the work, encouraged church workers and members, gave talks, and participated in evangelistic efforts. While in the ship leaving China for Japan on September 1, Gilbert experienced the Great Japan Earthquake, or Great Kanto Earthquake, which devastated the Japanese archipelago and claimed the lives of more than 140,000. Gilbert was terribly shaken, pronouncing, “Perhaps this is the worst disaster that has happened in this world since the flood.”59 After several days he visited church workers and members, as well as various buildings owned by Adventists, in an effort to determine the damage. Apparently, there were no Adventist fatalities. From this official international first trip to his last, Gilbert published updates on his travels in the Adventist Review.

Like Gilbert’s nine-month trip to the Far East, his new position would demand extensive travel—weeks for a camp meeting or Week of Prayer in the United States or Canada, and months for a tour of the work in a country abroad. So extensive were Gilbert’s travels that at one point in May 1931 he had exhausted his budget, and the GC Officers voted that he incur no further expenses until a new budget was approved.60 Often his wife Ella accompanied him on his trips, as on their year-long visit to Europe and the Middle East in 1931-1932. His other major international trips were to the Inter-American Division in 1934-1935, India in 1939, and the South American Division in 1943. Gilbert was a ubiquitous guest speaker at Adventist gatherings, a tireless evangelist, and a skilled fundraiser for missions. In his time as general field secretary, he remained superintendent of the Jewish work, keeping uppermost the interests of the Jewish work and being a tireless advocate for its advancement. He would only resign from that position in 1944 when his health would not permit him to continue. 61 As general field secretary Gilbert was also a member of numerous boards and committees, and he wrote scores of articles and several popular books, including the 1937 Messiah in His Sanctuary.62 His prodigious work ethic is illustrated in a vote by GC Officers in 1933: “F. C. Gilbert states that he has never taken a vacation in twenty-five years, and requests the privilege of taking two weeks off from August 1 to 15. Agreed, That we approve Brother Gilbert’s plan for a vacation.”63

Inevitably, Gilbert’s hectic schedule took a heavy toll on him. In the last years of the 1930s he often had to cut short trips or cancel them altogether due to illness. A severe stroke in 1943 significantly curtailed his travel schedule and marked the beginning of the end. Then, five days into the New Year of 1944, Ella, his beloved wife of almost 50 years, died after a months-long battle with illness. On December 21 of that year, F. C. Gilbert resigned as the Associate Secretary of the Bureau of Home Missions for the Jewish Department due to his health. The vote by the General Conference Committee to accept his resignation offered Gilbert “sincere appreciation of the loyal and self-sacrificing service he has rendered during the fifty-five years of his connection with the work, not only in his special Department, but through his general ministry here in the homeland and in the overseas fields he has frequently visited.”64

Gilbert would never have a chance to resign from his post as general field secretary. On the Sabbath morning of August 31, 1946, he died aged 78 his home in Takoma Park, Maryland. In his almost quarter century as a general field secretary, F. C. Gilbert had an influential voice in both great and small decisions of the world Church, raised tens of thousands of dollars for mission work, was a major participant in the internationalization of Adventism, was instrumental in the baptism of hundreds of souls, and was a beloved elder statesman of the Church in a critical era of its existence. On his death the minutes of the General Conference Committee say of him, among other things, that “He was an earnest, devoted worker, counting no task too arduous to undertake.”65 Gilbert was, along with Charles Decatur Brooks, the longest serving general field secretary of the General Conference.


F. C. Gilbert was an important figure of second generation Seventh-day Adventism. Converted just around the time when the movement was beginning to comprehend its worldwide mission, Gilbert was integral in initiating a systematic mission program for the people of the Jewish diaspora. His enthusiasm and indomitability for the reception of the gospel among his people is a common feature of the trailblazers of the Church, who often received only tepid support for their burdens from the Church. Yet Gilbert was able to make his work a part of the administrative program of the Church, and by so doing he was able to keep it before leaders and members. An effective evangelist of the spoken and written word, Gilbert utilized a cerebral approach to soul-winning, seeking to convince both Jew and Gentile of the rightness of the gospel through an in-depth survey of Jewish history and tradition, with the focus always leading to the Messiah. As one of the first general field secretaries of the world Church, like some Church leaders before him and many after, Gilbert was able to effectively transform and transition from a rather narrow missiological focus to a global one.


“Central New England Conference Proceedings.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, October 23, 1907.

Coe, Charlotte Pederson. “A Woman of Quality—A Teacher of Distinction.” Columbia Union Visitor, October 15, 1984.

“Constitution and By-Laws of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.” General Conference Bulletin, May 25, 1922.

Farnsworth, E.W. “Atlantic Union Report and Memorial.” General Conference Bulletin, May 24, 1909.

Farnsworth, E. W. “The Jewish Mission.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, March 21, 1906.

Frederick Carnes Gilbert Papers. Personal Collection 2. General Conference Archives, Silver Spring, Maryland.

General Conference Committee Minutes. Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. Accessed September 2017.

“General Conference Proceedings.” General Conference Bulletin, March 4, 1895.

Gilbert, F. C. Divine Predictions of Mrs. Ellen G. White Fulfilled. South Lancaster, MA: Good Tidings Press, 1922.

Gilbert, F. C. “Experience in the Japanese Disaster.”ARH, October 4, 1923.

Gilbert, F. C. “From America to China.” ARH, July 19, 1923.

Gilbert, F. C. From Judaism to Christianity and Gospel Work Among the Hebrews. South Lancaster, MA: Good Tidings Press, 1911.

Gilbert, F. C. “Make Friendly Calls upon our Jewish Neighbors and Friends.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 21, 1943.

Gilbert, F. C. Messiah in His Sanctuary. Takoma Park, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1937.

Gilbert, F. C. Practical Lessons from the Experience of Israel for the Church of To-day. South Lancaster, MA: South Lancaster Printing Company, 1902.

Gilbert, F. C. Practical Lessons from the Experience of Israel for the Church of To-day. South Lancaster, MA: Good Tidings Press, 1914.

Gilbert, F. C. ‘“Remember’ the Sabbath.” ARH, November 3, 1891.

Gilbert, F. C. “Rhode Island.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, January 14, 1903.

Gilbert, F. C. “Slocumville and Westerly, R.I.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, February 25, 1903.

Gilbert, F. C. “South Framingham and Boston.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, October 1, 1902.

Gilbert, F. C. “The Jewish Mission in Boston.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, March 14, 1906.

Gilbert, F. C. “The Jewish Work.” General Conference Bulletin, May 16, 1913.

Gilbert, F. C. “The Time Has Come.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, February 28, 1906.

Gilbert, F. C. “The Work in Everett.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, February 18, 1903.

Gilbert, F. C. “Work Among the Jews.” ARH, November 12, 1895.

Jewish Mission Workers. “Dedication of the Jewish Mission in Boston.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 25, 1906.

“Joint Meeting of the Two Conferences.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, November 25, 1907.

Lichtenstein, M. B. “Effects of Tobacco.” The Health Reformer, June 1871.

Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1915. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

“North American Foreign Department.” General Conference Bulletin, May 24, 1909.

Ella Graham Gilbert obituary. Review and Herald, February 17, 1944.

F. C. Gilbert obituary. Review and Herald, September 26, 1946.

Palmer, E. T. “New England Conference and Tract Proceedings.” ARH, August 23, 1898.

Robinson, D. E. “Visit in Central New England.” ARH, December 2, 1909.

Sarna, Jonathan D. The Jews of Boston. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1910.

“Twelfth Meeting.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, Extra, November 13, 1905.

“Twenty-Eight Meeting.” ARH, June 8, 1905.

Washington, DC Passport Applications. National Archives and Records Administration.

White, Ellen G. “Our Duty Toward the Jews.” Manuscript, 87, 1907. August 16, 1907. Ellen G. White Estate.

White, Ellen G. “The Need of Home Religion.” ARH, June 29, 1905.

White, Ellen G. “Work Among the Jews.” Manuscript 1, 1908. February 3, 1908. Ellen G. White Estate.

White, Ellen G. E. G. White to G. W. Reaser. February 2, 1908. Letter 62, 1908. Ellen G. White Estate.

White, Ellen. G. E. G. White to W. C. White. September 1, 1904. Letter 391. 1904, Ellen G. White Estate.


  1. Falk Cohen apparently used the surname “Albersmith,” as well. See 1906-1924 US passport applications, roll 2167, certificate 243976-244349, Washington, DC, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA),, accessed September 2017,

  2. F. C. Gilbert, From Judaism to Christianity and Gospel Work Among the Hebrews (South Lancaster, MA: Good Tidings Press, 1911), 15-19.

  3. Ibid., 38-62.

  4. Ibid., 62-65.

  5. Ibid., 66-70.

  6. Ibid., 90.

  7. Ibid., 93.

  1. F. C. Gilbert obituary, Review and Herald, September 26, 1946, 20.

  2. See M. B. Lichtenstein, “Effects of Tobacco,” The Health Reformer, June 1871, 283-284. Note G. W. Amadon’s “Note to the Above.”

  3. From Judaism to Christianity, 14.

  4. E.g., F. C. Gilbert, ‘“Remember’ the Sabbath,”ARH, November 3, 1891, 674.

  5. From Judaism to Christianity, 124, 126.

  6. F. C. Gilbert, “Work Among the Jews,”ARH, November 12, 1895, 732.

  7. ARH, December 10, 1895, 800. For Jewish population figures in Boston, see Jonathan D. Sarna’s The Jews of Boston (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005), 343.

  8. “General Conference Proceedings,” The General Conference Bulletin, extra, March 4, 1895, 463.

  9. F. C. Gilbert, “Work Among the Jews,”ARH, January 14, 1896, 29.

  10. Ministerial License, “Ministerial License, Fred C. Gilbert,” September 4, 1896, box 6848, record group 21, folder “PC 2 Gilbert Collection unprocessed,” General Conference Archives.

  11. From Judaism to Christianity, 126-144.

  12. 1910 United States census, Worcester, Massachusetts, enumeration district 1766, roll T624_628,, accessed September 2017,

  13. Ella Graham Gilbert obituary, Review and Herald, February 17, 1944, 19.

  14. 1906-1925 U. S. passport applications, roll 2167, certificate 243976-244349, NARA,, accessed September 2017,

  15. 1910 U. S. census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, enumeration district 1766, roll T624_628,, accessed September 2017,

  16. E. T. Palmer, “New England Conference and Tract Proceedings, ARH, August 23, 1898, 13.

  17. See for instance, F. C. Gilbert, “South Framingham and Boston,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, October 1, 1902, 6; F. C. Gilbert, “Rhode Island,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, January 14, 1903, 23; F. C. Gilbert, “The Work in Everett,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, February 18, 1903, 85; F. C. Gilbert, “Slocumville and Westerly, RI,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, February 25, 1903, 99-100.

  18. F. C. Gilbert, Practical Lessons from the Experience of Israel for the Church of To-day (South Lancaster, MA: South Lancaster Printing Company, 1902).

  19. F. C. Gilbert, Practical Lessons from the Experience of Israel for the Church of To-day (South Lancaster, MA: Good Tidings Press, 1914).

  20. F. C. Gilbert, “The Time Has Come,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, February 28, 1906, 2-3.

  21. F. C. Gilbert, “The Jewish Mission in Boston,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, March 14, 1906, 5-6.

  22. E. G. White, “The Need of Home Religion,”ARH, June 29, 1905, 8.

  23. Gilbert was directly under the Central New England Conference, which was organized in 1903.

  24. “Twelfth Meeting,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, November 13, 1905, 5.

  25. E. W. Farnsworth, “The Jewish Mission,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, March 21, 1906, 2.

  26. Jewish Mission Workers, “Dedication of the Jewish Mission in Boston,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 25, 1906, 4-5.

  27. “Central New England Conference Proceedings,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, October 23, 1907, 6.

  28. From Judaism to Christianity, 238.

  29. Ibid.,238-262.

  30. Ibid., 293-302.

  31. F. C. Gilbert, Divine Predictions of Mrs. Ellen G. White Fulfilled (South Lancaster, MA: Good Tidings Press, 1922).

  32. E. G. White to W. C. White, September 1, 1904, Letter 391, 1904, accessed September 2015,

  33. E. G. White, “Our Duty Toward the Jews,” Manuscript, 87, 1907, August 16, 1907, accessed September 2015,

  34. E. G. White, “Work Among the Jews,” Manuscript 1, 1908, February 3, 1908, accessed September 2015,

  35. E. G. White to G. W. Reaser, Letter 62, 1908, February 2, 1908, 1, accessed September 2015,

  36. D. E. Robinson, “Visit in Central New England, ARH, December 2, 1909, 8.

  37. E. W. Farnsworth, “Atlantic Union Report and Memorial,” General Conference Bulletin, May 24, 1909, 133.

  38. “Joint Meeting of the Two Conferences,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, November 25, 1907, 8.

  39. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1910), 20.

  40. “Twenty-Eight Meeting,”ARH, June 8, 1905, 6.

  41. “North American Foreign Department,” General Conference Bulletin, May 24, 1909, 1.

  42. General Conference Committee, March 25, 1911, 366, General Conference Archives, accessed September 5, 2015,

  43. From Judaism to Christianity, 106.

  44. E. G. White to G. W. Reaser, Letter 62, 1908, February 2, 1908, 1, accessed September 2015,

  45. F. C. Gilbert, “The Jewish Work,” General Conference Bulletin, May 16, 1913, 58-59.

  46. See for instance, General Conference Committee, May 29, 1918, 40, General Conference Archives, accessed September 5, 2015,

  47. General Conference Committee, June 12, 1918, 54, General Conference Archives, accessed September 2015,

  48. “Constitution and By-Laws of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, General Conference Bulletin, May 25, 1922, 245.

  49. Ibid., 249.

  50. See Charlotte Pederson Coe, “A Woman of Quality—A Teacher of Distinction, Columbia Union Visitor, October 15, 1984, 4-5.

  51. F. C. Gilbert, “From America to China,”ARH, July 19, 1923, 19-20.

  52. F. C. Gilbert, “Experience in the Japanese Disaster,”ARH, October 4, 1923, 12.

  53. “Expense of F. C. Gilbert,” Officers’ Council, May 10, 1931, 129.

  54. Gilbert was active in this position until his resignation. See, for instance F. C. Gilbert, “Make Friendly Calls upon our Jewish Neighbors and Friends,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, April 21, 1943, 2-3.

  55. F. C. Gilbert, Messiah in His Sanctuary (Takoma Park, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1937).

  56. “F. C. Gilbert’s Vacation,” Officers’ Meeting, July 25, 1933, 292.

  57. “F. C. Gilbert—Resignation,” General Conference Committee, December 21, 1944, 1701.

  58. “Death of F. C. Gilbert,” General Conference Committee, September 1, 1946, 152.


Baker, Benjamin. "Gilbert (Cohen), Frederick Carnes (1867–1946)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed December 01, 2022.

Baker, Benjamin. "Gilbert (Cohen), Frederick Carnes (1867–1946)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access December 01, 2022,

Baker, Benjamin (2020, January 29). Gilbert (Cohen), Frederick Carnes (1867–1946). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved December 01, 2022,