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The Church: Its Organization, Order and Discipline

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    Why Reorganization Was Necessary

    As the message extended to other parts and to distant lands, a necessity arose for a reorganization of the entire field. Hence, steps were taken in 1897 pointing in that direction. But the work was hindered to some extent by a perversion of the instruction given through the Testimonies. Because it was said that “many things could be better decided on the ground in distant fields than to refer everything to Battle Creek,-to the president of the General Conference,” that “the field was so large that no one man could act as president of the General Conference with the idea that he must decide the local matters in distant fields,” and that “those in the fields should seek the Lord for guidance,” that “the field and work should be divided,” some seemed to think that now it was to be every man for himself, and no General Conference president, and no committees of council to have a voice in the work.COOD 157.4

    At last a more definite idea of what was meant by the reorganization prevailed; that it meant a carrying out of the same principles of order which the Lord had directed in a smaller field, but dividing the burden among many counselors, and in the different fields. First, the fields were districted, with a superintendent to each field, members of the General Conference Committee acting in counsel with the State or mission officers in their respective field. Later, union conferences began to be organized.COOD 158.1

    The work of reorganizing has been more thoroughly accomplished during the last six years, in which time the European General Conference has been reorganized, with an executive committee of fourteen members; and the original General Conference, with its headquarters at Washington, D.C., has an executive committee of thirty-two members, representing all the various interests of the message, and taking the place of some of the general organizations, which have been discontinued.COOD 158.2

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