Baber, Granville Henderson (1852–1936)

By Pablo E. Ceballos

×

Pablo E. Ceballos

A missionary, teacher, and North American administrator, Granville Henderson Baber was the first ordained Adventist pastor to lead the South American western coast mission.

Early Years, Education and Marriage

Baber was born in West Virginia, the United States, on May 1, 1852. In 1882, he married Ella Craw, and they had two children. He was educated at Battle Creek College and was a member of the first Health and Temperance Missionary School class, which was taught by Dr. John H. Kellogg. Since his youth, he gave undeniable proofs for his pastoral vocation, going to great lengths to share God’s Word. His missionary spirit accompanied him throughout his whole life.

Missionary Work in Chile (1895-1901)

Baber left Battle Creek, Michigan, on July 15, 1895, two days after his ordination.1 When he began his missionary work abroad, he was sent by the missionary board to serve as the superintendent for the South American western coast mission.2 He arrived in Valparaíso, Chile, on October 12 of that same year, and he was the first Adventist pastor who worked in countries like Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.3

At the end of 1896, in Iquique on the Chile coastline, Baber baptized seven of the converted in the Pacific Ocean, and before returning to the central region of Chile, he ordained Julian Ocampo as pastor of a small group.4 Baber justified this quick ordination by saying that the newly converted had already been a Methodist preacher, which showed that he was a man with pastoral experience.5 In addition, since this little congregation in Huara –about 32 km from Iquique – stood too far away from its headquarters to be able to expect regular visits, someone should have the authority to baptize new believers.

Then, a few weeks later in Santiago, Baber baptized 10 more people in the canal – at the time fed by melted snow that flowed from the Andes. At the same time, Julian Ocampo prepared eight more members for baptism in Iquique. Baber baptized brothers Victor and Eduardo Thomann on December 19, 1896.6 On February 25, 1897, Granville and Enrique Balada had taken a six-week excursion around Chile, and they baptized 25 other people.7 In the same year, Pastor Baber baptized Carlos E. Kreighoff in river Traiguén. Kreighoff would later become a pillar in the Adventist Church in Chile and all over the continent's southern region.8 Kreighoff was originally from Zurich, Switzerland. He lived for almost a hundred years professing his own faith and trust in God’s kingdom triumph.

Throughout the year, Baber continued travelling to southern Chile with brother Balada. But, as hard as they worked, the number of conversions decreased and outdoor baptisms began to incite public scorn. In 1899, a fight started during one of the ceremonies between the ones who attended and the ones who mocked and booed them. In Pastor Baber’s words, the work was nearly “paralyzed.”9

In September 1899, Baber visited Iquique and other Adventists in the North of the country again. He conducted 31 consecutive nights of public meetings and baptized eleven converts. Before returning home, he visited the city of Huara. Three years earlier, Julian Ocampo had been placed in the command of the still young but promising church. Baber then faced difficulties since there were only two families and Julian Ocampo himself went missing.10

Baber was the one who carried out Julian Ocampo’s and Enrique Balada’s pastoral ordinations, but considering Ocampo’s previous Protestant experience and because of the uniqueness of Adventist teachings and ministerial methodology, this decision was considered risky. Even if, in the beginning, results seemed to justify his decisions, evangelism was not easy, and the number of members progressed very slowly.11

In November 1900, Baber conducted new general meetings in Chile with an eight-day summit in Perquenco, which he invited all Chilean Adventists to attend. In the following years, these general meetings became an annual event that would be held in the far North of Iquipe and South of Púa.12 The report from May 17 of that same year showed that three churches and eight meeting places had been established, and 150 people had become Sabbath-keepers.13

As if these challenging tasks in Chile were not enough,14 Baber also had the responsibility of Adventist establishments in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador on his shoulders. In 1901, he acknowledged that he had confined his work mainly to Chile, where his representation could be seen in a few places. A church in Iquique that was organized with about 35 members and a Sabbath School was also organized. In Valparaíso, a Sabbath School also was organized, and it was directed by E. W. Thomann, but since there was only a small number of members, they weren’t able to establish a church.15

Baber went to Iquique in April 1901 to carry out a four-month evangelism campaign, which ended up being his last event in Chile. Enrique Balada joined him in the first month. In October, in his report, Pastor Baber reported that there had been 24 baptisms and a newly organized church with 34members. However, as a result of five or six days of work and at least three evangelism series in this northern community, ten new members were baptized.16

In 1898, Baber began making plans to start a missionary newspaper.17 In mid-1899, the Mission board accepted his offer to publish the Mission review. Granville started his work with the assistance of Eduardo Thomann, a new convert, who managed the business. They published the first edition in January 1900 in a commercial printing office; but in September, their savings allowed them to buy a small press so they could print the review by themselves. Thus began the publishing work in the territory.18 Once there was no space left for the team, their work had to be done in Pastor Baber’s home in Valparaíso. Even years later, he still had the equipment, books, and magazines stored at home. Thomann, at the time, did not just publish the missionary review The Signs of Times, which had been printed at G. A. Rhode’s workshop in Valparaíso. They also produced an eight-page church periodical: The Adventist Magazine.19

Late Years

On July 25, 1900, Baber’s wife traveled to visit her family.20 Pastor Granville’s time of permanence in Chile ended in 1901, but this wasn’t the end of the printing work in Valparaíso. Pastor A. R. Ogden, along with H. F. Ketring, continued the work.21

After seven years of service as a missionary in Chile, Baber returned to the United States, apparently for health problems. On February 13, 1902, he arrived in San Francisco, accompanied by T. H. Davis.22 There, he joined the Southern Training School as Bible teacher. Fort the next eleven years, he worked for the Conference as administrator and teacher.23

In January 1906, he was appointed to the South Missionary Society along with six other representatives, including C. P. Bollman, G. I. Butler, J. E. White, W. B. Spire, E. R. Rogers, and P. T. Magan.24 In the same year, he served as a teacher at Oakwood Training School (Huntsville, Alabama). While at this institution, he was appointed as their director for a short period of time and, subsequently, he resigned under the justification that the work was unfeasible due to the number of students.25 In 1916, he became business manager and teacher at Southern Training School (Granville Academy) in Tennessee, where he worked for 11 years.26 On April 18, 1936, he died in Graysville, Tennessee.27

Sources

"A Threefold Cord." The Gospel Herald III, no. 1 (January 1906).

Baber, G. H. "Chile." ARH, September 17, 1901.

Baber, G. H. "Chile." ARH, November 19, 1901.

Baber, G. H. "Chile." ARH, December 6, 1898.

Baber, G. H. "Chilean Mission." ARH, June 6, 1899.

Baber, G. H. "Chile." ARH, September 17, 1901.

"Brief Mention." The Missionary Magazine, September 1, 1900.

Brown, Walton J. A Historical Study of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Austral South America. PhD Dissertation, University of Southern California, 1953.

Butler, G. I. "A Change of Management." ARH, December 6, 1906.

Canedo, Roberto Gullón. Historia y Análisis de los comienzos y desarrollo de la feligresía adventista en Sudamérica [History and Analysis of the beginnings and developments of the Adventist congregation in South America]1894-2011. 1st ed. Entre Ríos: Argentina, 2011.

Davis, T. H. "Chile." ARH, November 13, 1900.

Greenleaf, Floyd. Tierra de esperanza: El crecimiento de la Iglesia Adventista Sudamericana [A Land of Hope: The Growth of the Seventh-day Adventist church in South America]. Buenos Aires: South American Spanish Publishing House 2011, 87-88.

Haughey, K. R. "Asleep in Jesus - G. H. Baber." ARH, July 30, 1936.

"Items of Interest." Pacific Union Recorder, February 13, 1902.

Lloyd, Ernest. "Full of Years and Good Works - Carlos E. Krieghoff." ARH 137, no. 40 (October 1960).

Meyer, E. H. "A Review of Beginnings in South America." South American Bulletin IV (April 1928).

Moon, Allen. "The Present Demands." The Home Missionary IX, no. 10 (November 1897).

Neufeld, Don F.; ed, Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Review and Herald Publishing Association 10, 1996.

Ogden, A. R. "A Letter from Eld. A. R. Ogden." The Southern Watchman Union Record, June 30, 1902.

"Our Work and Workers." The Signs of the Times, June 21, 1899.

Peverini, Hector J., En las huellas de la providencia [In the footsteps of Providence]. Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires Publishing House, 1988.

Ríos, Leopoldo Zambra., No con ejército, no con fuerza, sino con su Espíritu [Not with an army, nor with strength, but with his Spirit]. Santiago, Chile: Servicio Educacional Hogar y Salud [Educational Service Home and Health], 1994.

Thomas, W. I. "My Study on the Field - Our Present Work in Chile." The Youth's Instructor, May 17, 1900.

"The Opening of Our Work in Western South America." ARH, May 16, 1907.

Wearner, Robert G. "Journey to Truth - Two Swiss families find new life in the New World." ARH, September 21, 1989.

Westphal, F. H. "The Organization of the Chile Conference." ARH 84, no. 27, July 1907.

Westphal, F. H. “The Opening of Our Work in Western South America.” ARH, May 16, 1907.

Westphal, F. H. "In the Austral Union Conference." ARH, September 18, 1919.

Westphal, F. H. "Our Work in the South America West Cost Mission Field." ARH, November 11, 1902.

Westphal, J. W. “The Organization of the Chile Conference.” ARH, July 4, 1907.

Notes

  1. Leopoldo Zambra Ríos, No con ejército, no con fuerza, sino con su Espíritu [Not with an army, nor with strength, but with his Spirit] (Santiago, Chile: Servicio Educacional Hogar y Salud [Educational Service Home and Health], 1994); Floyd Greenleaf, Tierra de esperanza: El crecimiento de la Iglesia Adventista Sudamericana [A Land of Hope: The Growth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America] (Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires Publishing House 2011), 87-88.

  2. F. H. Westphal, "The Organization of the Chile Conference," ARH 84, no. 27 (July 1907): 15-16; F. H. Westphal, "The Opening of Our Work in Western South America," ARH, May 16, 1907, 13; Héctor J. Peverini, En las huellas de la Providencia [In the footsteps of Providence] (Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires Publishing House, 1988), 93; Roberto Gullón Canedo, Historia y Análisis de los comienzos y desarrollo de la feligresía adventista en Sudamérica [History and Analysis of the beginnings and developments of the Adventist congregation in South America] 1894-2011, 1st ed. (Entre Ríos: Argentina, 2011), 24.

  3. Peverini, 66; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., vol. 10 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1979), 10-113; O. Oppegard, "The Scandinavian Work in Argentine," The Missionary Magazine 11, no. 11 (November 1899): 496; Allen Moon, "Our Work and Workers in South America," The Missionary Magazine 10, no. 3, (May 1898): 112; H. B. Lundquist, "How the Work Progressed in Chile," ARH, November 9, 1972, 18; A. V. Olson, "Conference Sessions in Chile," Australian Record, May 31, 1954, 16; A. V. Olson, "Conference Sessions in Chile," ARH, April 15, 1954, 32; H. E. Rogers, "Illuminating Statistical Facts - South America," The Ministry 11, no. 12 (December 1938): 13.

  4. Peverini, 49.

  5. Allen Moon, "The Present Demands," The Home Missionary IX, no. 10 (November 1897): 232.

  6. Robert G. Wearner, "Journey to Truth - Two Swiss families find new life in the New World," ARH, September 21, 1989, 24.

  7. Peverini, 49; Greenleaf, 88.

  8. Peverini, 87; Ernest Lloyd, "Full of Years and Good Works - Carlos E. Krieghoff," ARH 137, no. 40 (October 1960): 8.

  9. Greenleaf, 88.

  10. Ibid.

  11. Greenleaf, 88-89; G. H. Baber, "Chile," ARH, December 6, 1898, 7-8; "Our Work and Workers," The Signs of the Times, June 21, 1899, 10.

  12. Walton J. Brown, "A Historical Study of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Austral South America" (PhD Dissertation, University of Southern California, 1953), 173-174; Greenleaf, 48.

  13. W. I. Thomas, "My Study on the Field - Our Present Work in Chile," The Youth's Instructor XLVIII, no. 20 (May 17, 1900): 158.

  14. "Our Work and Workers," The Signs of the Times, June 21, 1899, 10; G. H. Baber, "Chile," ARH, September 17, 1901. 608; T. H. Davis, "Chile," ARH, November 13, 1900, 33-34; J. W. Westphal, “The Organization of the Chile Conference,” 15, accessed January 28, 2020, http://bit.ly/2RCb1tD.

  15. G. H. Baber, "Chile," ARH 78, no. 27 (July 1901): 428; G. H. Baber, "Chile," ARH, September 17, 1901, 608; G. H. Baber, "Chile," ARH, November 19, 1901, 756; Greenleaf, 87-88.

  16. Greenleaf, 87-88.

  17. G. H. Baber, "Chile," ARH, December 6, 1898, 7-8; G. H. Baber, "Chilean Mission," ARH 76, no. 23 (June 06, 1899): 363; "Our Work and Workers," The Signs of the Times, October 18, 1899, 11.

  18. Seventh-Day Adventist Encyclopedia (1996), 147; J. W. Westphal, "In the Austral Union Conference," ARH, September 18, 1919, 27-28.

  19. F. H. Westphal, “The Opening of Our Work in Western South America,” 13; F. H. Westphal, "In the Austral Union Conference," ARH, September 18, 1919, 27-28; E. H. Meyer, "A Review of Beginnings in South America," South American Bulletin IV (April 1928): 3-5; Greenleaf, 69.

  20. "Brief Mention," The Missionary Magazine, September 1, 1900, 431.

  21. Greenleaf, 69; F. H. Westphal, "Our Work in the South America West Coast Mission Field," 13.

  22. "Items of Interest," Pacific Union Recorder, November 13, 1902, 23; A. R. Ogden. "A Letter from Eld. A. R. Ogden," The Southern Watchman Union Record, June 30, 1902, 10.

  23. J. W. Westphal, “The Organization of the Chile Conference,” ARH, July 04, 1907, 15; K. R. Haughey, "Asleep in Jesus - G. H. Baber," ARH, July 30, 1936, 22.

  24. "A Threefold Cord," The Gospel Herald III, no. 1 (January 1906): 2.

  25. G. I. Butler, "A Change of Management," ARH, December 6, 1906, 26.

  26. Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia (1996), 147.

  27. K. R. Haughey, "Asleep in Jesus - G. H. Baber," ARH, July 30, 1936, 22.

×

Ceballos, Pablo E. "Baber, Granville Henderson (1852–1936)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed September 22, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CGF5.

Ceballos, Pablo E. "Baber, Granville Henderson (1852–1936)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access September 22, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CGF5.

Ceballos, Pablo E. (2021, April 28). Baber, Granville Henderson (1852–1936). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved September 22, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CGF5.