General Conference Daily Bulletin, vol. 1
November 14, 1887
VOLUME 1. - OAKLAND, CAL., - NUMBER 1
The First Day’s Proceedings
THE twenty-sixth annual session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists began in the church, on the corner of Twelfth and Brush Streets, Oakland, Cal., at 9 A. M., November 13, 1887, President Geo. I. Butler in the chair. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.1
Prayer was offered by Elder O. A. Olsen. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.2
The following conferences and mission fields were represented by the following delegates:- GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.3
CALIFORNIA - E. J. Waggoner, A. T. Jones, N. C. McClure, C. H. Jones, J. N. Loughborough, M. J. Church.
COLORADO - J. D. Pegg.
DAKOTA - A. D. Olsen.
IOWA - J. H. Morrison, L. McCoy, L. T. Nicola.
ILLINOIS - R. M. Kilgore.
INDIANA - J. W. Covert, J. P. Henderson.
KANSAS - S. S. Shrock, Oscar Hill, A. G. Miller, J. W. Bagby.
KENTUCKY - J. H. Cook.
MICHIGAN - A. R. Henry, U. Smith, W. C. Sisley, E. S. Griggs, C. Eldridge, D. H. Lamson, H. W. Miller, Wm. Ostrander, J. Fargo, F. E. Belden.
MINNESOTA - G. C. Tenney, H. P. Holser.
MAINE - J. B. Goodrich.
MISSOURI - D. T. Jones.
NEW ENGLAND - A. T. Robinson.
NEW YORK - M. H. Brown.
NEBRASKA - A. J. Cudney, J. P. Gardiner.
NORTH PACIFIC - J. Fulton, J. E. Graham.
OHIO - R. A. Underwood, D. E. Lindsey, Wm. Chinnock, J. F. Robbins.
PENNSYLVANIA - L. C. Chadwick.
TEXAS - Henry Hayen.
TENNESSEE - J. M. Rees.
UPPER COLUMBIA - H. W. Decker.
WISCONSIN - A. J. Breed, P. H. Cady.
The following persons having labored in mission fields, or having been under the employ of the General Conference during the whole or part of the past year, were received as delegates from their respective fields of labor:- GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.4
SCANDINAVIA - O. A. Olsen.
CENTRAL EUROPE - W. C. White.
AUSTRALIA - J. O. Corliss.
FLORIDA - Samuel Fulton.
HAWAIIAN ISLANDS - A. LaRue.
PACIFIC ISLANDS - J. I. Tay.
BROOKLYN MISSION - J. F. Hansen.
Elder E. W. Farnsworth was received as a delegate at large, and Elder H. Shultz to represent the German work in America. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.5
The Conference in Norway, which was organized at the time of the camp-meeting in Moss last June, made a request through Elder O. A. Olsen to be received into the General Conference. Brother White stated that the reason why a Conference has not been organized in Norway before was because Elder Matteson’s labor has necessarily been confined mostly to the publishing work in Christiania. There are, however, four churches in Norway, containing 205 members, and there are forty Sabbath-keepers not connected with churches, and arrangements have been made whereby continuous labor may be put forth in that field. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.6
Elder Olsen made interesting remarks, stating that there are good prospects of a steady growth of the work in Norway. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.7
By vote of the Conference the Norway Conference was received. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.8
On the recommendation of Elder Underwood, the West Virginia Conference, which has just been organized, with five churches and upwards of one hundred and fifty members, was voted into the Conference. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.9
It was voted that the chair appoint the usual standing committees, viz., on Nominations, Resolutions, Credentials and Licenses, Religious Exercises, and Auditing. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.10
The President then made an extended address, outlining the progress of the work during the past year, and suggesting matters for action at this session of the Conference. Among the items was the statement that a test case in regard to the Sunday persecutions in Arkansas had not been carried before the Supreme Court of the United States, because the obnoxious law had been repealed; but there is a growing sentiment in favor of Sunday legislation, which indicates that erelong trouble will be made for us. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 1.11
The paper in the Holland language was started in February, in accordance with the vote taken at the last session of the Conference, and has met with remarkable success, having already upwards of 2,600 paying subscribers. Calls for reading matter are coming in from the Dutch in various parts of the world. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.1
Following the addresses, the President named the standing committees as follows:- GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.2
NOMINATIONS. - J. Fargo, J. B. Goodrich, J. Fulton.
RESOLUTIONS. - U. Smith, W. C. White, O. A. Olsen.
AUDITING. - A. R. Henry, D. T. Jones, H. W. Decker, J. H. Morrison, H. W. Miller, J. W. Raymond.
CREDENTIALS AND LICENSES. - R. A. Underwood, R. M. Kilgore, S. H. Lane.
RELIGIOUS SERVICES. - J. N. Loughborough, L. McCoy, William Ostrander.
On motion of Elder Underwood, it was voted that a committee of nine be appointed to consider the week of prayer and holiday gifts, the President to be Chairman of the committee. The committee was named as follows: G. I. Butler, W. C. White, O. A. Olsen, R. A. Underwood, C. H. Jones, W. C. Sisley, J. H. Cook, J. O. Corliss, A. J. Cudney. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.3
It was voted that a committee of five be appointed by the chair, to act with the members of the General Conference Committee, as a committee on distribution of labor. The following persons were appointed: G. C. Tenney, E. S. Griggs, J. M. Rees, A. D. Olsen, Samuel Fulton. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.4
R. M. Kilgore moved that a committee of five be appointed to consider the training of canvassers and mission workers. On motion of W. C. White this was amended to nine, and carried. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.5
Meeting then adjourned to the call of the chair. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.6
At 2:30 P. M. the Conference assembled at the call of the chair. Prayer by Elder R. M. Kilgore. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.7
The minutes of the preceding meeting were read, and after some minor corrections, were accepted. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.8
The President then named the following persons as members of the committee to consider the training of canvassers and Bible workers: G. I. Butler, W. C. White, O. A. Olsen, R. A. Underwood, A. T. Robinson, F. E. Belden, H. W. Miller, H. P. Holser. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.9
Elder Butler then stated that some perplexing questions had come up during the year, which should be considered. One is this:- GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.10
What shall be the attitude of this denomination in regard to the color line? GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.11
Before this was discussed, Elder A. T. Jones read the following resolution, which was adopted at the last session of the California Conference:- GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.12
WHEREAS, We believe that the Third Angel’s Message must go to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; and, GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.13
WHEREAS, The islands of the Pacific, as well as other parts, demand attention from our people; and, GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.14
WHEREAS, It is difficult to reach them at all by present means of transportation, therefore, GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.15
Resolved, That the brethren of this Conference favor the purchase of a missionary ship adapted to the wants of the work among these islands, and that we request the General Conference to take the matter under consideration at its coming session. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.16
He then read the following resolution, and moved that it be referred to a committee of five, who should consider it and make recommendation to the Conference:- GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.17
An Act to Provide for the More Efficient Transportation of Missionaries to the Islands of the Pacific Ocean - GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.18
WHEREAS, The professed faith of Seventh-day Adventists requires them to carry the message of truth for this generation to all kindreds, tongues, and people, and as the islands of the Pacific Ocean are peopled with many thousands who have never heard the tidings of the soon-coming King; and there are no regular means of transportation whereby missionaries may be sent to these islands; and, GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.19
WHEREAS, It is thought by many that the time has fully come in the history of this work when these islanders should receive that consideration which shall result in an organized effort to carry them the truth for these days; and believing that our people everywhere stand ready to give substantial assistance to every legitimate project for the spread of truth; therefore, GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.20
1. It is recommended by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists assembled, that a vessel of suitable size and construction for missionary purposes be purchased, or built, and equipped for missionary work among the islands of the Pacific Ocean. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.21
2. That the cost of building and equipping said vessel for a two years’ cruise shall not exceed the sum of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.22
3. That such a vessel be made ready for service early in the year 1888. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.23
4. That the duly elected officers of this body for the coming year constitute a committee who shall be empowered to put in execution the provisions of this bill, and also to appoint other persons, as their judgment may dictate, to act with them in carrying out the project. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.24
The motion was carried, and C. H. Jones suggested that as Elder Corliss had given the matter considerable thought, and was well acquainted with the situation, he be asked to address the meeting at length upon the subject. This suggestion was favorably received, and Brother Corliss was requested to occupy the time, when Brother C. Eldridge stated that it is an important matter, and one in which all the people are interested, and suggested that he be asked to speak on it Monday evening, provided it would not interfere with the plans of the Committee on Religious Exercises. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.25
This matter being thus left, the question of the color line was taken up by Elder A. T. Jones, who took the position that no color line should be recognized. Elder J. M. Rees made a few remarks, stating the situation in Tennessee. There is no trouble in the church, but if a minister should go into a place and have the colored people mingle in the congregation with the whites, he would have no white people to talk to. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.26
Elder D. H. Lamson then offered the following:- Resolved, That this Conference recognize no color line. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 2.27
An animated discussion followed, in which the following delegates took part: A. T. Jones, J. O. Corliss, S. H. Lane, E. J. Waggoner, R. A. Underwood, and J. H. Cook. On the one side it was argued that the existence of a color line is a great evil, and that it should not be recognized; that there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, but that all are one in Christ Jesus, and that if the people of the South do not want to mingle in a congregation with the colored people, let them stay away. On the other hand, it was argued that the color line does exist, and that nobody can obliterate it, and that inasmuch as this Conference cannot legislate for anybody outside of Seventh-day Adventists, we should take things just as we find them, not arousing any unnecessary prejudice, but preaching the truth to all who come, leaving the Spirit of God to obliterate the color line in the hearts of those who may be converted by the truth. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.1
E. J. Waggoner moved to amend the resolution by substituting the following:- WHEREAS, The Bible says that there is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither bond nor free, but that all are one in Christ Jesus, therefore, GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.2
Resolved, That it is the decided opinion of this Conference, that when the colored people of the South accept the Third Angel’s Message, they should be received into the church on an equality with the white members, no distinction whatever being made between the two races in church relations. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.3
The amendment was carried. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.4
It was then moved and carried to refer this resolution, as amended, to a committee of three, who should consider the matter carefully, and recommend proper action to the Conference. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.5
The chair then named the following persons as the committee to consider the matter of a missionary ship: A. T. Jones, Clement Eldridge, M. H. Brown, J. O. Corliss, L. C. Chadwick. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.6
Elder D. T. Jones then presented the following resolution:- WHEREAS, It is a matter of the greatest importance that all questions involving important issues should be acted upon only after due deliberation, therefore, GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.7
Resolved, That we adopt the following rules to assist in governing our deliberations during this Conference:- GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.8
1. All resolutions and reports of committees after their first reading shall, without discussion, be placed upon file, and at a subsequent meeting shall be read the second time, and shall then be open for amendment, discussion, and final action. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.9
2. Important resolutions and reports of committees too long to be retained in the mind may be printed, by order of the Conference, and each member supplied with a printed copy. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.10
3. When immediate action is necessary, these rules may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Conference. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.11
In moving the adoption of this resolution, Brother Jones stated that it is impossible that the delegates should, on the spur of the moment, grasp the scope of any question sufficiently to enable them to discuss it profitably or to act upon it intelligently. After some discussion, it was voted to refer the resolution to the Committee on Resolutions. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.12
The chair then appointed the following persons as the Committee to recommend action upon the color line. U. Smith, E. J. Waggoner, A. R. Henry. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.13
After announcing appointments, the meeting adjourned to call of the chair. GCDB November 14, 1887, page 3.14