Galician Mission

By Jón Hjörleifur Stefánsson

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Jón Hjörleifur Stefánsson, M.A., is a Ph.D. candidate, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

The Galician Mission was a German church unit that operated around 1909–1921. It covered the territory of Galicia (eastern part of Austrian Silesia) until 1911, and Bukovina, until 1920. In the wake of World War I and subsequent wars, its territory was assigned to Polish and Romanian church units.

Origin of Seventh-day Adventist Work in the Territory

Before Adventists began missionary work in Galicia, it had nominally been part of the territory of the Central European Conference, and then the Austrian Mission from 1902, which covered the Austrian half of the Austria-Hungarian Empire.1 At the German Union meeting at Friedensau, July 16–26, 1908, it was decided to send Louise Rowlen, from the Silesian Conference, to “open the work in Galicia.”2

Organizational History

The Galician Mission was probably organized shortly thereafter. It first appeared in the first quarter report of 1909 in Zions-Wächter. By then its members numbered 33.3 In 1910, the first time it is reported in the Yearbook, its territory was Galicia, Bukovina, and the eastern part of Austrian Silesia.4

At the German Union meeting at Friedensau, July 22–August 1, 1909, the Union was divided into the East German Union and the West German Union. The Galician Mission was assigned to the East German Union. The changes took effect the next year.5

In 1911 the territory of the Galician Mission was only Galicia and Bukovina. The eastern part of Austrian Silesia was listed under the Austrian Mission.6

For several years (1913–1915 in the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook), the Galician Mission was divided into the East Galician and the West Galician Missions. The East Mission comprised East Galicia and Bukovina, and the West Mission covered West Galicia.7

After World War I and the fall of Austria-Hungary, Galicia and Bukovina both became contested regions. Galicia became part of Poland. Both Ukraine and the Soviet Union laid claims to Galicia, leading to the Polish-Ukrainian War of 1918–1919, and the Polish-Soviet War of 1920. After a short-lived Galician SSR, Poland annexed Galicia in 1920. Bukovina became part of Romania, and Austria and Hungary eventually renounced their claims in 1920.

The Galician Mission had been a German church unit, and now reorganization was necessary. Bukovina went to the Moldavian Conference, organized in 1920.8 The territory of Poland was organized into Polish church units, and at a meeting in Bydgoszcz, October 6–9, 1921, the Polish Union Mission was organized. One of the Polish church units that joined in the union’s organization was the Silesia-Galician Conference, a merger of the Galician Mission and the Polish-Silesian Conference.9

From the middle of World War I and onwards, information about the Galician Mission is mostly missing from official church reports, which makes it hard to determine precisely which year it was abolished and the Silesia-Galicia Conference was organized.10

List of Presidents

Galician Mission Minister: No listing, 1908–1909; Ed. Enseleit, 1910; only licentiates, 1911–12.

East Galician Mission Director: A. Langholf, 1913 –14; F. Gruber 1915.

West Galician Mission Director: Ed. Enseleit, 1913–15.

Galician Mission Director: F. Gruber, 1916–17; no listing, 1918–22.

Sources

Conradi, Ludwig Richard. “Die Gründung der Polnischen Union.” Zions-Wächter, December 1921.

Conradi, Ludwig Richard. “The Meeting at Friedensau.” ARH, October 7, 1909.

Conradi, Ludwig Richard. “The Organization of the Polish Union.” ARH, March 9, 1922.

Dail, Guy. “The Eighth Annual Session of the German Union Conference.” ARH, September 10, 1908.

Dail, Guy. “Other Conferences in Europe.” ARH, November 25, 1902.

Englert, P. “Bericht der Jahreskonferenz der Schlesisch-Galizischen Vereinigung.” Der Adventbote, March 1, 1922.

Rall, Robert. “Achte Jahresversammlung der deutschen Union.” Zions-Wächter, August 17, 1908.

Rall, Robert. “Neunte Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Union.” Zions-Wächter, August 16, 1909.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1908–1923.

“Vierteljahrsbericht der Deutschen Unionn vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1909.” Zions-Wächter, May 3, 1909.

Notes

  1. Guy Dail, “Other Conferences in Europe,” ARH, November 25, 1902, 15; “Austrian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1909), 108.

  2. Robert Rall, “Achte Jahresversammlung der deutschen Union,” Zions-Wächter, August 17, 1908, 300; Guy Dail, “The Eighth Annual Session of the German Union Conference,” ARH, September 10, 1908, 13; “Galician Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1910), 104.

  3. “Vierteljahrsbericht der Deutschen Unionn vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1909,” Zions-Wächter, May 3, 1909, 157.

  4. “Galician Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1910), 104.

  5. R. Rall, “Neunte Jahresversammlung der Deutschen Union,” Zions-Wächter, August 16, 1909, 275; Ludwig Richard Conradi, “The Meeting at Friedensau,” ARH, October 7, 1909, 14.

  6. “Galician Mission” and “Austrian Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1911), 102, 115.

  7. “East Galician Mission” and “West Galician Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1913), 107.

  8. “Moldavian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1920), 141.

  9. For the organization of the Polish Union Mission and the Silesia-Galician Conference, see Ludwig Richard Conradi, “Die Gründung der Polnischen Union,” Zions-Wächter, December 1921, 206–7; Ludwig Richard Conradi, “The Organization of the Polish Union,” ARH, March 9, 1922, 11; P. Englert, “Bericht der Jahreskonferenz der Schlesisch-Galizischen Vereinigung,” Der Adventbote, March 1, 1922, 74; “Silesia-Galicia Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1923), 100.

  10. Statements about when the Galician Mission was abolished and the Silesia-Galicia Conference organized are conflicting. According to the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook of 1926 and onward, the Conference was “organized 1920.” “Silesia-Galicia Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1926), 116. Englert erroneously contradicts the reports on the organization of the Polish Union Mission by stating that the Silesia-Galicia Conference was both organized and assigned to the Polish Union on January 1, 1921. This is not possible, since the Polish Union was organized later in the year, in October. It is uncertain whether the conference was organized in 1920 or at the meeting in October 1921.

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Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur. "Galician Mission." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed May 13, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CIA6.

Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur. "Galician Mission." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access May 13, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CIA6.

Stefánsson, Jón Hjörleifur (2021, April 28). Galician Mission. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 13, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=CIA6.