Larger font
Smaller font

General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

 - Contents
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font


    F. M. WILCOX

    WITH the general features of our work all are more or less familiar. A few items by way of illustrating its development are all this report will aim to present. The work of the Foreign Mission Board embraces operations in sixteen different fields, comprising seven organized conferences, which are more or less independent and self-supporting, and nine mission fields which are under the direct supervision of the Board. A brief, specific notice of each one of these fields will assist in better understanding the present state of our work, and the progress it has made.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.1

    For convenience, we will consider the world by its great geographical divisions; namely, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia, North and South America, and the Islands of the West Indies and Polynesia.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.2


    No Authorcode

    It was to the states of Europe that the truth was first carried from the American shores. Twenty years ago our first laborer was sent out. Our present work in Europe includes four organized conferences and two mission fields. In 1874 Elder J. N. Andrews began labor in Central Europe. A conference was organized in 1884. The latest returns give the number of churches as twenty-one, with a membership of 505. There has been a most gratifying gain in contributions during the last year, the tithe alone increasing by about $1400.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.3

    All are familiar with the persecution that has recently taken place in Switzerland. Nothing has ever occurred in the history of our work in that country which has given to it the impetus that has come by the recent trial. And in this connection it might be well to observe that the greatest progress in this mission field has been shown in Turkey, the country above all others which has the most stringent and oppressive laws. Twenty-five canvassers are at work in this conference.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.4

    Scandinavia. — In the Scandinavian peninsula are three organized conferences. Their combined membership is 1445, divided into forty churches. There has been a most encouraging gain in receipts for carrying forward the work. A school building has been erected at Frederickshavn, Denmark, in which the three conferences have united. The readiness manifested in raising means for this enterprise was truly commendable. Our Scandinavian brethren responded most liberally. The first school year is nearly completed, and all feel that the establishment of this our first high school in Europe will prove a rich blessing to the work, especially to the cause in Scandinavia.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.5

    Finland has been entered by laborers from the Scandinavian mission field. We have now one church in Finland, with scattered Sabbath-keepers in different parts of the country. In a letter just received comes the encouraging report of over $3600 worth of books sold in this country during 1894. From the institute just held at Helsingfors, fifteen canvassers have gone forth to scatter the seeds of truth in that northern country.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.6

    German-Russian. — Some of the most encouraging experiences in connection with our foreign work have occurred in the German-Russian mission field. In both of these great countries the Message has been making rapid progress during the last year. At the time of the last General Conference we had only 178 members in Germany, with thirty-five isolated Sabbath-keepers, and the annual tithe was $1030. The last six months there has been an increase of 109 members and fifty Sabbath-keepers, so that in Germany to-day we have 494 Sabbath-keepers and 405 members. Thus, since our last session, our work, numerically considered, has more than doubled in this country. But this growth becomes still more important when we come to consider that we have churches established in two of the leading cities of the empire, and six other cities of over a hundred thousand people have likewise been entered with the truth.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.7

    This field sadly needs more laborers. There are only two ordained ministers and four licentiates to carry forward work for the 51,000,000 people in the German empire.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.8

    While the growth in the Russian mission field has not been so marked, there are reasons for this. No general meeting has been held for three years until last October. Since the time of that meeting, our work has gone forward with gathered strength. At the time of our last session, there were 451 members in Russia, with fifty isolated Sabbath-keepers. At the general meeting held last October there were forty-three additions. There are now 533 members in seventeen churches, with fifty isolated Sabbath-keepers, raising the total number of Sabbath-keepers in Russia who are in sympathy with our work to 583. Four ordained ministers, three licentiates, and one Bible-worker are laboring in this field.GCB February 20, 1895, page 257.9

    Austria, Hungary, Rumania, and Holland are likewise included in this mission field. In Austria a beginning has been made in Bohemia. Our Bohemian publications are being circulated with some success. Ten Sabbath-keepers are now found in Hungaria. A church organization has been effected in Rumania, consisting now of fifty-one members. One ordained minister is at work in this field.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.1

    In Holland one laborer is at work, and nine Sabbath-keepers are rejoicing in the truth.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.2

    During the last two years a mission school has been carried forward in Hamburg, to prepare workers for this great mission field. At the present time twenty-four students are enrolled. Seven of these are from Russia and fourteen from Germany. As is generally known, mission property has been acquired in Hamburg, and the work is on a good financial basis. The erection of a chapel in this city to accommodate the church, which now numbers about 160, will greatly aid in our public work.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.3

    Thirteen canvassers are now laboring in Germany, and four are at work in Russia. One interesting item as regards our work in this field is the fact that most of our printing is done by outside publishing houses, who give us their influence in circulating our publications. Thus we have no capital invested in publishing plants.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.4

    Great Britain. — Our work in Great Britain has been taking on new and encouraging developments during the last year. Six conference laborers are employed, and about thirty canvassers are selling publications. The truth is now planted in such important centers as London, Liverpool, Great Grimsby, Bath, and Southampton. The public effort made at Southampton has been quite phenomenal in our history. The two largest halls in the city, both used at the same hour, have not been sufficient to accommodate the crowds who have attended our meetings. The city is deeply stirred, and over seventy have already taken their stand for the truth.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.5

    An especially good work has been done in the distribution of our literature, particularly in the house-to-house sale of Present Truth, which by this means has attained a weekly circulation of over ten thousand copies. Many facts have come to light showing that the influence of this journal is widely felt. Several are known to have embraced the truth directly as the result of its perusal. While the financial depression has affected the work of our agents, fairly good sales have been made, and the call now is for additional consecrated workers from this field to enter the densely populated towns of these three countries.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.6

    That now is the time of seed-sowing is evident, for already talk of persecution against our office in London for Sunday labor is heard. In every country the storm-cloud is gathering, admonishing all of the shortening of probation’s period, the time for active labor. At last reports there were about five hundred Sabbath-keepers in this field. The tithe for the year ending June 30, 1894, amounted to over $5000.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.7


    No Authorcode

    India. — Outside of Asia Minor, we have as yet no organized work on the great Asiatic continent. Since the last General Conference, two canvassers have been laboring in India. This work was begun somewhat as an experiment, but it has been doubly demonstrated that our publications can be sold in the Orient as well as in the western hemisphere. Marked success has attended the work, some $8000 worth having been sold during the last eighteen months. Some workers from Australia have recently connected with the Indian work. One of these has entered with good success upon the sale of “Patriarchs and Prophets” and “Thoughts on Daniel.” One Bible-worker has recently gone to this field.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.8

    China. — From Hong Kong, China, our missionaries are still sending out the silent messengers of truth. They report many interesting experiences, showing the good results of the work they are doing. Several are known to have embraced the truth from reading, during the last year. One of these is a sergeant on a British warship. As soon as his present commission expires, he hopes to enter some department of the work. In the interior of China a Swedish missionary has recently embraced the truth, and offers himself for service under the direction of our Board.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.9

    Means have already been provided for opening the work in India by the donations from our Sabbath-schools, and it is encouraging to note that China will come in for its share of attention from our schools for the last six months of this present year.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.10

    As the needs of this great continent are considered the prayer to the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the harvest seems especially applicable.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.11


    No Authorcode

    Our work in Africa is carried forward in one conference and two mission fields. The conference in South Africa has been organized but two years. During the last General Conference term, twelve workers have been sent to this field from America. Two of these have gone into the interior as self-supporting missionaries, while others have entered various departments of the work of the conference. The conference has a flourishing school and an orphans home in operation, and a sanitarium building in process of erection. While the membership at present is small, numbering only 184, a good foundation has been laid for successful work in the future.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.12

    Some fifteen months ago two laborers were sent to the Gold Coast of West Africa, to open up the work. After remaining five months, one of them was compelled to return on account of frequent and obstinate attacks of malignant malarial fever. The other brother is still at work. He reports a good interest along the Coast to hear the truth. A ripe field exists for medical missionaries. Several laborers have been selected, one of whom is a physician, who will go from this conference to reinforce the work on that Coast.GCB February 20, 1895, page 258.13

    In the interior of Africa it has been our purpose to establish a mission for some time. Last May two brethren from Cape Town visited the country, making observations of the land, climate, etc. Several brethren from America and South Africa accompanied them, whose purpose it was to locate settler’s claims, and carry forward self-supporting missionary work. This they did, so that in darkened Matabeleland the truth has representatives who are endeavoring to let their light shine. Earnest calls have come from the field for teachers and other laborers. It is hoped that the near future will witness the establishment of our work in this region, with its many openings for labor.GCB February 20, 1895, page 259.1


    No Authorcode

    Australia. — A most encouraging gain is reported from this field. One hundred and sixty-four have been added to the membership of the Australian Conference, and new additions are constantly made. As the result of the camp-meeting held at Melbourne one year ago, something like one hundred new Sabbath-keepers have taken their stand for the truth. The recent camp meeting at Sydney bids fair to furnish as encouraging results. The present membership of the Australian Conference is 820. An addition of seven ordained ministers has been made to the conference list of workers during the last year. These additions have been largely due to laborers sent from this country. The tithe of this conference for the year ending June 30, 1894, was $6772.56, a gain over that of the previous year of $172.85.GCB February 20, 1895, page 259.2

    New Zealand. — New Zealand has not shared so fully in the prosperity of her sister conference, but has, notwithstanding, been making good headway in recovering herself from some of the reverses of the past, and is building a good foundation for future work. The canvassing work is on a better basis than ever before, and an encouraging gain in church membership is reported. Our people generally are alive to the work, and are determined to labor with renewed earnestness. There are eight churches in New Zealand, with a combined membership of 326.GCB February 20, 1895, page 259.3


    No Authorcode

    Chief among the important enterprises begun during 1894 stands the medical mission which was opened in Guadalajara, one of the principal cities of Mexico. From the experience of others in this line in other countries, and from our own experience as a people in Chicago, it was believed that this method would prove a valuable auxiliary in reaching the Mexican people. At the present time eight workers are connected with the mission.GCB February 20, 1895, page 259.4

    The following general summary for the year shows the character and scope of the work done: Number of separate cases treated at the mission houses, 2519; number visited at their homes, 466; total number of persons treated, 2985; number of treatments given, 13,931; operations performed, 21; receipts from paying patients, $1399.81. It will be seen by this that on an average twelve new patients have been treated for each week-day since the mission was begun. A general impression for good has been created.GCB February 20, 1895, page 259.5

    The establishment of our work in such a country as Mexico must be by the principles of education and slow development. In the line of educational work a kindergarten school is now carried on, with some thirty-five pupils in attendance. Some twenty-five of the pupils meet with us in Sabbath-school every Sabbath.GCB February 20, 1895, page 259.6


    No Authorcode

    At the last General Conference our work had just begun in Central America. Since then it has gone forward most encouragingly. In Belize and the neighboring islands are 108 Sabbath-keepers, largely the result of work since our last biennial meeting. One church of fifty seven members has been organized. Through the liberality of native brethren, two mission houses have been donated to our work. By native liberality, also, there has been erected a substantial church building, also a mission school-house, where a mission school has been carried on since last July, by workers sent out by the Board. The school at present has an enrollment of fifty-five, and is nearly self-supporting. The tithe from this field amounted to $410 during 1894. Special attention has been given by our missionaries to the sale of publications. In consequence, while no regular canvassers have been engaged in the work, some $1300 worth of publications have been sold during the last two years in that field.GCB February 20, 1895, page 259.7


    No Authorcode

    The development of our work in South America has demonstrated that very much may reasonably be expected from that field in the future.GCB February 20, 1895, page 259.8

    Argentina. — It is four years since the Board sent laborers to Argentina. These have been engaged wholly in the sale of publications, their combined sales since their entrance into the field to the present time amounting to over $10,000. This represents work done in Argentina and Southern Brazil. Several Sabbath-keeping companies have been visited, and meetings have been held in various districts. As a result, we have in Argentina to-day three organized churches, and there are several more companies in Argentina and Southern Brazil which will soon be placed on an organized basis. At Crispo, Argentina, our church numbers sixty, and the Sabbath-school has a regular attendance of something like ninety members. A deep interest prevails to-day in Argentina among the French Waldenses, and a favorable field for labor seems to exist among many of the colonies of Germans and French which are scattered throughout the country. Our native brethren and sisters are getting the spirit of labor, and an institute will soon be held at Crispo, in which it is hoped that some may be educated to go out to labor for their friends and neighbors.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.1

    Brazil. — In Rio de Janeiro, where a book depository was established last summer, several intensely interesting experiences have taken place, which show that our occupation of that field was none too early. A Portuguese colporteur, a representative of the American Bible Society, has taken his stand with us from reading “Patriarchs and Prophets,” and from some Bible readings which have been held with him. He in turn has interested a fellow colporteur, who is studying the truth with much eagerness. Had we publications in Portuguese, both these young men would gladly sell them. Until translations into this tongue can be made, they purpose to continue in the sale of Bibles. Thus has the Lord provided us with laborers in this language before we have literature to supply their needs. Is it too much to believe that he will likewise provide laborers in every language for the carrying forward of the truth in convenient printed form for distribution? Several other countries in this great South American continent have also been entered by our laborers.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.2

    British Guiana. — In British Guiana, while the work is moving hard and slowly, many evidences are seen of God’s willingness to bless. A number of additions have been made to the church in Georgetown. The church building has been extensively repaired.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.3

    Chili. — Several months ago two brethren sailed from San Francisco to open up the canvassing work in Chili. They have reached their destination, and already made encouraging sales of books.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.4

    United States of Colombia. — The United States of Colombia has likewise a representative of the truth in a brother who sailed for Bogota three months ago, to labor as Providence might indicate, as a self-supporting missionary. It is his purpose to finish a course of study in a Spanish school, at the same time laboring to advance the truth as he has opportunity. (Continued on page 261.)GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.5


    No Authorcode

    IT will be noticed in the reports of the district superintendents that each part of the field possesses its peculiar claim for attention and labor. What one lacks in territory it makes up in population, and vice versa. If one contains a greater population than others, it would seem reasonable that it should be entitled to laborers accordingly. On the other hand, if the territory be large and the population sparse, then it requires more help to reach them.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.6

    ELDER D. A. ROBINSON accompanied his written report of the work in London with some intensely interesting extempore observations. He related circumstances showing how our work is being brought prominently into notice and to the favorable attention of leading minds in England.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.7

    The gentleman at whose establishment our books are bound has read “Patriarchs and Prophets” by taking the sheets home with him. He voluntarily remarked that he thought “the book was inspired.” This gentleman has been elected to Parliament, and he is much interested in the welfare of our work.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.8

    THE minutes of the meeting of the Sanitarium stockholders which was held yesterday afternoon, do not appear in this number of the BULLETIN because of the lack of time for preparing the tabulated reports. We will say now that the meeting was an interesting one; and we all rejoiced in the prosperity of this worthy institution and in its noble work for the suffering and the poor. The reports will appear to-morrow.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.9

    WE were all glad to welcome Elder R. A. Underwood from Ohio. Ill health has seriously interfered with the labors of this esteemed brother for some years. Our readers will be glad to learn that his health is now improving, and that he is again able to resume active work in the cause he loves.GCB February 20, 1895, page 260.10

    Larger font
    Smaller font