Emanuel W. Pedersen lived on four continents and in six different countries while serving at all levels of the Adventist Church organization from colporteur, teacher, and pastor in his homeland to general field secretary at the General Conference. In his lifetime of more than 100 years, he saw his Church grow from fewer than 100,000 members to more than 13 million.
Known as the friend of the youth, Steen Rasmussen played a major role in developing the youth work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, first in Scandinavia and later in the rest of Europe. As an energetic person with organizational skills and a winning disposition, he served as the head of the Home Missionary Department of the General Conference.
Sine Renlev was Denmark’s first female Seventh-day Adventist preacher. With her pleasant personality, her guitar, and her beautiful singing voice, she drew large numbers to her Bible lectures in public halls, tents, or the homes of interested people. Having become a Seventh-day Adventist in 1879, she almost immediately set out to preach the present truth, and no one could stop her sharing her newfound faith.
One approach for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to connect with the leadership and people of Saudi Arabia has been through the promotion of temperance, an area where the Adventists and Muslims have much in common. The International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism was set up in 1952, with King Saud Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia as one of five honorary world presidents. As the first worker to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Wadie Farag, assistant temperance director of the Middle East Division, succeeded in getting an interview with King Saud in his palace in Riyadh. Visits were later made to the King by W. A. Scharffenberg (executive secretary of the International Temperance Association of Seventh-day Adventists), and again in 1962 by Scharffenberg and Anees Haddad (temperance director of the Middle East Division). This was later followed by other initiatives and collaborative programs.
Børge Schantz’s denominational service included pastoral work, church administration, teaching, and lecturing at colleges and universities. He set up a global center for Islamic Studies and taught Adventist-Muslim relations. He wrote books and articles that had worldwide readership.
The plan of entering Sudan to establish the Adventist message took place as early as the 1892 General Conference meetings when Church leaders voted to send a missionary there. However, Sudan remained an unentered territory for Adventism for many years. The first Adventist missionaries were allowed to enter Sudan in 1953, and the first indigenous Sudanese was baptized in 1961.
The Sultanate of Oman is an independent monarchy on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
Diran Tcharakian was a poet, artist, author, university professor, and convinced atheist before he became a Seventh-day Adventist minister and modern-day Paul in Turkey’s Ottoman Empire. Following in the steps of Adventist pioneers Theodore Anthony and Zadour Baharian, he became known as “the new apostle” to the interior of Asia Minor, where in the end he sacrificed his life for the Adventist cause.
Tobias Tobiassen became an Adventist in his 40s when he began his preaching ministry. He was one of the most successful Seventh-day Adventist preachers in Denmark and Norway of his time, and later also added administrative responsibilities to his service for the church. Many were led to the Savior through his ministry.
Pioneer Seventh-day Adventist missionary V. E. Toppenberg worked 43 years in the countries of Tanganyika, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Eritrea.
As an evangelist, Bible teacher, administrator, and editor, Axel Varmer played a key role in leading people to Christ, training young people, and building up the Seventh-day Adventist church in Denmark. His book, I Skyggen af Store Begivenheder (In the Shadow of Great Events), was widely sold during the World War II years and was instrumental in preparing the way for evangelism in many communities. In his later years he served the church at division level and as a missionary in Africa.
The West Nordic Union Conference was a former church organizational unit in the Northern European Division covering the territory of Denmark, Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Norway, and comprising the East Denmark, East Norway, North Norway, West Denmark, and West Norway conferences.