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The Church Archive of the History of Adventism in Europe

The Church Archive of the History of Adventism in Europe

Daniel Heinz, M.A., Ph.D, Director of the 'Historischen Archivs für Europäische Adventgeschichte' © Foto: ThHF

The Adventist Church currently has two large historical archives of international importance: one in the USA, one in Europe

February 25, 2020 | Friedensau/Germany. | APD.

The Historical Archive of European Adventist History—in Friedensau, Germany—receives daily mail from Europe and other parts of the world. Together with the Central Archive of the World Church Board of Seventh-day Adventists (General Conference Archives) in Silver Spring, USA, these are the only historical archives of international significance.

According to Daniel Heinz, Director of the Historical Archive of European Adventist History, inquiries usually come about special dates, personalities, places, and events that prompt the scholar with a doctorate in theology to dive into the depths of Adventist church history and give meticulous answers. This could well be in English or Russian.

Two large international church archives

The Adventist Church currently has two large historical archives of international importance: the Central Archive of the General Conference Archives in Silver Spring, USA and the archive at the Friedensau Theological College, which is supported and financed by the Inter-European Division (EUD) in Bern, Switzerland. It is the first point of contact for the whole of Europe and for the fields of work served from Europe (Africa, Middle East, and parts of Asia) to collect information on the history of Adventist church congregations. In Europe, there is no comparable supra-regional central Adventist archive like the Historical Archive in Friedensau. Also, worldwide, both institutions are unique with their international and supra-national orientation.

History of the Historical Archive

The Historical Archive in Europe—founded in Hamburg in 1937, destroyed in a bombing raid in July 1943, reopened in Darmstadt in 1980, located in Friedensau since 1997—is even older from its date of foundation than the GC Church Archive in the USA, which was officially established in 1973. Neither in South or Central America, Africa nor Asia, where Adventist churches are growing rapidly, are there such expansive transnational Adventist central archives responsible for whole continents.

Daniel Heinz, M.A., Ph.D. (born 1957), studied theology at the Seminary Schloss Bogenhofen (Austria) and at Andrews University (USA). Since 1997, he has been director of the historical archive of the Seventh-day Adventists in Europe and lecturer at the Friedensau Theological College. He wrote numerous books on the history of the Free Churches, such as: "Ludwig Richard Conradi. Missionary, evangelist and organizer of the Seventh-day Adventists in Europe". He participates in several committees, such as the working group "Evangelical Martyrs of the 20th Century" and the Russian Academy of Sciences on the topic "Religious Pacifism and Victims of Stalinism".

Guided tours through the Historical Archive are possible on the Open Doors Day. The next opportunity will be on June 6, 2020.

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