William E. Abernathy served the church for 36 years primarily in the roles of institutional management and financial administration.
The Allegheny Conference was one of the seven conferences organized in response to the April 10, 1944 recommendation of the General Conference Committee that union conferences in the United States where the “colored constituency” was deemed “sufficiently large” organize “colored conferences…administered by colored officers and committees.” According to George E. Peters, head of the North American Colored Department, these conferences were established “to meet present-day conditions” of racial segregation and inequality and thus “help in the speedy finishing of God’s work on earth.”
W. H. Anderson was a leading pioneer of Adventist mission to the indigenous peoples of southern Africa. His achievements and his ability to communicate passion for mission did much to generate interest among American Adventists in the church’s nascent work on the African continent.
The Atlantic Conference, though short-lived (1889-1901), fostered the early development of Seventh-day Adventist work in the large cities on the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. It was parent to the Chesapeake, Greater New York, and New Jersey Conferences.
John A. Brunson was a prominent Southern Baptist minister who accepted Seventh-day Adventism in 1894, rapidly garnered wide acclaim in Adventist circles as a gospel revivalist and Bible teacher, but then returned to the Baptist ministry in 1904. Sophia Brunson preceded her husband in making a public commitment to Adventism. She became a physician who gained recognition throughout the American South for her speaking and writing on health and temperance.
E.E. Cleveland was preeminent in Adventist public evangelism during the second half of the twentieth century. As an exceptionally gifted preacher who trained thousands of pastors, Bible instructors, and ministerial students in evangelistic methods, his ministry had a global reach that transcended race. At the same time his leadership was of singular significance for the American church’s struggle to overcome its accommodation to racism during an era of rapid social change.
Charles Fitch was a prominent New England clergyman who became a leading figure in the Millerite movement and thereby linked the Second Great Awakening’s currents of revival and social reform with Adventism.
Elmer E. Franke was a gifted but controversial evangelist whose work contributed much to the early development of Adventism in New York City and elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Subsequently he broke with the Seventh-day Adventist church and founded the independent People’s Christian Church in 1916.
Elon Galusha was a prominent Baptist minister and antislavery activist based in western New York state who became an influential advocate of the Second Advent message beginning in 1843.
William Gifford was a manufacturer in the New England shipping industry whose life was remarkable both for its longevity and for prioritizing radical causes such as abolitionism and Adventism over business success.
Herbert D. Greene, pastor-evangelist, made a memorable contribution to the early development of the Black Adventist work in the United States before death at a young age ended his promising career.
Joshua V. Himes, minister and radical reformer, became “the principal promoter, manager, and financier”1 of the Second Advent or Millerite movement of the 1840s and figured prominently in two denominations that emerged out of that movement.
James H. Howard was a federal government clerk, physician, pioneer of Seventh-day Adventism in Washington, D.C. and eloquent opponent of racial segregation in the church.
The Inter-Mountain Conference was created in 1916 when the Utah Conference, part of the Pacific Union Conference, merged with the Western Colorado Conference, which had been part of the Central Union Conference. During its first four years of operation, the new conference, its territory comprised of the state of Utah, Colorado west of the Continental Divide, and San Juan County, New Mexico, was part of the Pacific Union. E. A Curtis was appointed president by the Pacific Union Conference committee. The conference office was located in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Valarie Justiss-Vance was a social worker, educator, and activist who helped lead efforts to improve race relations in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Jacob Justiss was an influential pastor, educator, and historian of black Adventism.
Florence M. Kidder began teaching at a Seventh-day Adventist school in 1903 and continued teaching in church schools for 65 consecutive years until her death in 1967.
Lilakai (Lily) Neil was the first Navajo to become a Seventh-day Adventist and the first woman to become a member of the Navajo Nation Council.
Peter Gustavus Rodgers, evangelist and pastor, was one of Adventism’s most effective spokespersons in America’s black urban communities during the first four decades of the twentieth century and a leading voice in the struggle for black equality within the church.
Alma J. Scott, a prominent Washington, D.C., social reformer, served as vice-chair of the Committee for the Advancement of the Worldwide Work Among Colored Seventh-day Adventists that helped bring about landmark change in church race relations during the mid-1940s.