White Sea Mission

By Jón Hjörleifur Stefánsson

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

The White Sea Mission was a Russian church unit that operated from 1912 to 1926.

Territory and Statistics1

Period: 1912–1926

Territory: Governorates of Arkhangelsk, Kazan, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, Vologda, and Yaroslavl (from 1925)

Membership: 170

Churches: 9

Organizational History

The White Sea Mission was organized in 1911 and started operating as 1912 commenced.2 It became part of the Russian Union.3 The mission comprised the Governorates of Arkhangelsk, Kazan, Kostroma, Nizhny Novgorod, and Vologda. No headquarter address is listed.4 The territory was cut off from the Middle Russian Mission, except Kazan Governorate, which came from the Ural Mission.5 At the end of the first quarter, the membership was 26.6 Initial officers were Director K. L. Schamkov and Secretary-Treasurer of Sabbath School and Missionary Departments P. Brandt.7

In 1913, at the European Division Council at Budapest, commencing October 30, it was decided to divide the Russian Union into the East and West Russian Unions. The changes took effect January 1, 1914.8 The White Sea Mission became part of the East Russian Union.9

Due to the Russian Civil War, reports from the Russian unions are missing from the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook from 1918 to 1921. In 1920 the North Russian Union was organized and the White Sea Mission became part of it. An address was listed for the first time: Bolschaya Pokrovka 52, Q. 3, Nizhny Novgorod.10

In 1925 the Yaroslavl Governorate (from the Northwest Russian Conference)11 was added to the territory description. The address reported was 29 Konuschkovskaya, Moscow.12

In 1927 the mission was demoted to a field and its territory changed13 enough for it to be regarded as a new church unit. The White Sea Field retained territory which was previously the Arkhangelsk Governorate (Arkhangelsk Governorate, Murmansk Oblast, Republic of Karelia [referred to by its capital’s name, Izhevsk]), Vologda Governorate and “Weliko-Ustjuksk” (which was part of Vologda Governorate). It now also comprised Permsk and “Ustj-Sysoljsk.”14 Upper Volga Conference covered the Kostroma and Yaroslavl Governorates.15

List of Presidents

K. M. Schamkov, 1912–1913; church unit not listed, 1914; O. E. Reinke, 1915–1916; J. Lvov, 1917; church unit not listed, 1918–1921; no president listed, 1922; W. S. Dyman, 1923–1924; W. P. Balash, 1925–1926.

Sources

“Berichte der Russischen Union vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1912.” Zions-Wächter, May 20, 1912.

Conradi, Ludwig Richard. “European Division Council in Budapest.” ARH, December 18, 1913.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1905–1929.

Notes

  1. For period and territory, see the present article. For other statistics, see “White Sea Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1926), 124.

  2. “White Sea Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1913), 112.

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid.

  5. If it indeed did—Kazan Governorate is listed in both church units in the Yearbook. “White Sea Mission” and “Ural Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1913), 112, 121.

  6. “Berichte der Russischen Union vom 1. Januar bis 31. März 1912,” Zions-Wächter, May 20, 1912, 214.

  7. “White Sea Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1913), 112.

  8. Ludwig R. Conradi, “European Division Council in Budapest,” ARH, December 18, 1913, 12.

  9. “White Sea Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1915), 110.

  10. “North Russian Union Conference” and “White Sea Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1923), 103, 104.

  11. “Northwest Russian Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1924), 106.

  12. “White Sea Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1925), 116.

  13. I did not have access to clear information about the administrative division of the USSR when writing this article, which is vital to comprehend the territory descriptions of Russian church units after the fall of the Russian Empire. One of the many downsides of this is that I could not determine to which church unit(s) Nizhny Novgorod belonged once the White Sea Mission became a field.

  14. “White Sea Field,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1927), 139.

  15. “Upper Volga Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1927), 139.

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

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

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