Battle Creek, Michigan/USA [ANN; CD EUDNews]. Delegates of the Adventist denomination’s Executive Committee, in a replica of the meeting house where Seventh-day Adventist Church pioneer and prophet Ellen G. White once spoke for 10 hours on the Great Controversy, met on Friday, April 12, to commemorate the church’s 150th anniversary.
The second meeting house is located on the campus of the Adventist Historic Village in Battle Creek, the birthplace of the Adventist Church and the site of this year’s Spring Meeting, a biannual business session of the church’s Executive Committee, its top governing body.
Delegates received a crash course in Adventist History, with a side of some of the more obscure events surrounding the church’s early formation, a strong urging to learn lessons from the past and, above all, a call to rekindle the enthusiasm early Adventists felt for the Second Coming of Christ.
"We must never lose the sense that Jesus’ Second Coming is soon," Adventist historian and director of the Ellen G. White Estate, Jim Nix told delegates. “This is what our pioneers fervently believed.” Nix explored the church’s early roots in Battle Creek during a morning presentation.
Meeting in the city where the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference was first organized, members of the world church's Executive Committee heard a direct call from Adventist world church president Ted N.C. Wilson, to not forget the lessons learned from Adventist history.
Wilson spoke during a Sabbath sermon on April 13, 2013, at the Seventh-day Adventist Tabernacle in downtown Battle Creek, Michigan, part of a weekend planned to commemorate 150 years since leaders of the then-nascent movement voted to organize the loosely knit confederation of believers into a General Conference.
"We are celebrating 150 years here in Battle Creek because we don’t want to forget who we are, where we came from and what God has in store for us as His people -- a unique people with a unique message at a unique time in Earth’s history," Wilson said. "Jesus is coming soon! All the signs point to the climax of Earth’s history. It is time to proclaim the three angels’ messages with Holy Spirit power."
"I join my voice,"says Bruno Vertallier, Inter-European Region President,"to those who believe in the second coming of Jesus. The Father knows when this will happen and I feel secure in His promise. Whether Jesus comes tomorrow or later, it does not change my faith and expectation in that great event."
Ella Simmons, an Adventist educational system veteran now in her second term as a general vice president of the Adventist world church, traced the development of the church’s education system, now a network of 112 colleges and universities and about 8,000 schools worldwide, serving an estimated 1.7 million students. Establishing a denominationally-based school system was an afterthought forearly Adventists, many of whom questioned the value of investing in education when the end of the world was supposedly imminent.
On April 14, delegates of the 2013 Spring Meeting voted to elect Dr. Peter Landless, a physician and pastor, as director-elect of the Seventh-day Adventist world church’s Health Ministries department. Landless will replace current director Dr. Allan Handysides, who has announced he will retire in September.
Wholeness and health have been an emphasis of the Seventh-day Adventist church since the 1860s when the church began. The health ministry of the Adventist Church includes a healthcare delivery system of church-operated clinics and hospitals throughout the world. There are top-quality medical universities and schools of learning, along with "bare-essentials" clinics serving the developing world. Through all of these avenues, the goal of Health Ministries is to make people whole in an imperfect and disease-ravaged world. Health Ministries advises the church on health issues and is proactive in providing resources to the world church on health. Because health and wellness are a positive support for spiritual well-being, this ministry is as vital to the work of the church as any other.
The Spring Meeting ended when delegates reviewed and accepted 10 recommendations that came out of that summit. They include refocusing on Christ’s method of meeting physical needs before spiritual ones, and finding ways to integrate these methods into curriculums and practices at the church’s education institutions. The document also pledges to support the work of “centers of influence,” where such ministry is already taking place.
If you want to learn more about the 2013 Spring Meeting, please connect to the following link: http://news.adventist.org/en/archive/category/meetings/2013-spring-meeting
pictures: 1. Ted Wilson, GC President (ANN); 2. John Harvey Kellogg, prominent member of the early Adventist Church and Kellogg's Corn Flakes inventor (Wikipedia);