General Conference Bulletin, vol. 5




The thirty-fifth session of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists convened in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Oakland, March 27, 1903, at 2:30 P. M. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.1

A. G. Daniells in the chair, G. A. Irwin, J. N. Loughborough, H. W. Cottrell, W. T. Knox, on the stand. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.2

Opening hymn, No. 97, “O Worship the King.” GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.3

J. N. Loughborough read 2 Chronicles 20:1-25, as a Scripture lesson. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.4

Prayer by G. A. Irwin. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.5

Hymn No. 1169 was sung, “How Sweet Are the Tidings That Greet the Pilgrim’s Ear. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.6

The Chair: Before entering upon business, we will give Brother Knox an opportunity to say a few words to the delegates and visitors who have come to the conference. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.7

W. T. Knox: In behalf of the Pacific Union Conference, the California Conference, and the Oakland church, I am very pleased this afternoon to welcome the delegates and the visitors to this conference. I welcome them to the coast, to California, to this city, to the Oakland church, and to our homes. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.8

It has been a long time since California, or any other part of the Pacific Coast, has enjoyed such a privilege as this. Some fifteen or sixteen years ago,—in 1887,—a like occasion occurred, when the General Conference convened in this same place. We do, I assure you, esteem it a privilege to assume the responsibility of providing for this most important meeting: for while we recognize that connected with such a gathering there are manifold responsibilities, we recognize, also, that there are abundant blessings. We anticipate that much of the blessing of God will attend this General Conference meeting, and we are glad to be able to share these blessings with you in our homes. I know that I express the minds of all the brethren and sisters of the Oakland church when I say that they desire you to feel that their homes are your homes. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.9

Again we welcome you to this land of sunshine and flowers: and while we can not promise you all the sunshine that fame has given to California, we feel safe in assuring you of the sunshine of God’s presence. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.10

C. H. Jones, in behalf of the Pacific Press Publishing Company, also spoke words of welcome, inviting the delegates to visit the printing office and become more familiar with its working. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.11

The list of delegates was read, 88 members responding to the roll-call, out of 134 appointed. It was stated that many delegates were delayed by irregular running of trains, and were expected to arrive within a few hours. A full list of delegates in attendance will appear in a later issue. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.12

The Chair: Since the last meeting of the General Conference we have organized 12 union conferences and 23 local conferences. Most of these local conferences are within the territory of the union conferences. Four of them are not; the River Platte, Brazilian, Jamaican, and East Caribbean Conferences are outside of any union. Now what shall we do? We have thirteen union conferences, and only one has been, in a formal manner, made a member of the General Conference; that is the Australasian Union, that was formed five years ago, and was admitted as a union conference. If I remember rightly, no conference was admitted as a union at the last session. Some began their organization, submitted constitutions, but none applied to the Conference for admission as unions. The Conference committee has given the matter a little study this week, and it seems to me that it would be well if we were to take action here regarding each union conference. This would leave an undoubted and indisputable record for all days to come. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.13

The following union conferences are organized within the territory of conferences making up the General Conference, with the addition, in some cases, of mission fields:— GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.14

Atlantic Union.—Chesapeake, Greater New York, Maine, New England, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.15

Canadian Union.—Maritime, Ontario, Quebec; mission field, Newfoundland. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.16

Lake Union.—Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Indiana, North Michigan, East Michigan, West Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin; mission field, Superior Mission Field. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.17

Southern Union.—Alabama, Carolina, Cumberland, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee River. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.18

Northern Union.—Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota; mission field, Manitoba and Northwest Territories. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.19

Central Union.—Colorado (including New Mexico), Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska (including Wyoming). GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.20

Southwestern Union.—Arkansas, Oklahoma (including Indian Territory), Texas. GCB March 30, 1903, page 1.21

Pacific Union.-Arizona, British Columbia, California, Montana, Southern California, Upper Columbia, Utah, Western Oregon, Western Washington; mission fields. Alaska, Hawaii. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.1

Australasian Union.-Victoria, New South Wales, New Zealand, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, West Australia. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.2

British Union.-North England, South England; mission fields, Ireland, Scotland, Wales. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.3

German Union.-West German, East German, South German, German Switzerland, South Prussia, Rhenish Province; mission fields, Holland and Flemish Belgium, Austrian, Hungarian, Balkan, North Russian, Central Russian. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.4

Scandinavian Union.-Sweden, Norway, Denmark; mission fields, Finland, Iceland. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.5

South African Union.-Cape Colony, Natal-Transvaal; missions, Basutaland, Matabeleland, Nyassaland. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.6

R. A. Underwood: I move that we recognize these union conferences named, with their territory defined, as the various parts of the General Conference. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.7

The Chair: Brother Conradi, will you make a statement with reference to the European field? GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.8

L. R. Conradi: Since our last General Conference we have organized three union conferences in Europe: the Scandinavian field, with 12,000,000 of people and about 2,000 Sabbath-keepers; they have three conferences, the oldest conferences in Europe, and as mission fields they have Iceland and Finland. In the British Union Conference there are over 1,000 Sabbath-keepers, and two organized conferences, the North England and the South England; and three mission fields, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The third union organization is the German Union Conference. This includes the old German Conference and the Russian mission field. At the present time the German Union Conference has six organized conferences and six mission fields. Besides the three organized union conferences we have a union mission field, the French-Latin Mission Field. This includes the old Central European Conference, which simply refers to French Switzerland; and, as separate mission fields, Italy, and now a beginning has to be made in Spain and Portugal. Then there is the Oriental mission field, taking in Egypt, Turkey, and Palestine, which have not yet been fully organized. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.9

The Chair: Word has only just come to us of the organization of the South African Union Conference. The Mission Board having voted to place Nyassaland under the general supervision of this union, it really embraces the territory of British Central Africa, and running along the Zambesia, taking in Barotseland, and southward to the Cape. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.10

The motion to recognize the union conferences named as parts composing the General Conference was unanimously carried. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.11

The Chair: Now we have three local conferences that have never been admitted to the General Conference. The River Platte and the Brazilian Conferences, of South America, and the Jamaican and East Caribbean Conferences, in the West Indies. While no formal application for admission has been made by the two former conferences, they were mission fields under the Board before they organized. They have done a noble work in the last two years in putting their work into organized form and in working toward the point of becoming self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.12

It was suggested that the secretary of the Mission Board make application for conferences organized in mission fields. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.13

W. A. Spicer: I shall say simply in behalf of the River Platte and Brazilian Conferences that, unquestionably, they are a part of us, and would desire to have their names entered in the list as belonging to the family of the General Conference. I have just visited the West Indian field, so that I can bring personal assurance of the desire of the two new conference there to be members of the General Conference. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.14

In Jamaica I found nearly 1,200 Sabbath-keepers, with about seventeen organized churches. All heartily favored the idea of banding together as a conference, and, while still they will require some support from the Mission Board funds, they all agree that the conference form of organization will help to develop their own resources and workers, so that as soon as possible, as they desire, they may be self-supporting, and join us in pushing the work on to other regions beyond. So in the East Caribbean Conference also, with eighteen churches and about 750 members. In that were united three mission fields, the Lesser Antilles, Trinidad, and the field of the Guianas in South America. These believers love the third angel’s message, even as do we, and they stand heartily with us on the march toward the kingdom of God. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.15

It was voted very heartily to receive these four conferences into the General Conference. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.16

The following recommendations were adopted:- GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.17

That the time from Friday evening to Sunday evening be devoted to a presentation of the subjects of the message, the field, and the finishing of this work committed to us. That the evening meetings begin at 7:30 o’clock. That the sessions of the Conference be as follows: 8 to 9 A. M., social worship or instruction; 9:30 to 11:30 A. M., and 3 to 5 P. M., Conference business. That Brethren Daniells, Irwin, Cottrell, Knox, and G. I. Butler act as chairmen during the sessions of the Conference. That twenty-five members be nominated from the floor of the Conference, to act with the presidents of union conferences as a committee of counsel, and to appoint the standing committees; and that in making the selection no member shall nominate more than one candidate. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.18

It was agreed, in the discussion of the province of this committee, that it should in nowise be a small conference within the larger conference, but should appoint the standing committees, and act only in an advisory way, in case special counsel is needed. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.19

Moved by J. E. Jayne, and carried, that those union conferences whose presidents are absent be represented on the Advisory Committee by the vice-presidents of these conferences, and that these vice-presidents shall not be included in the twenty-five additional names nominated from the floor. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.20

The following-named delegates were nominated as members of the Committee of Counsel: J. W. Collie, W. A. McCutchen, H. Shultz, W. J. Stone, A. T. Jones, H. H. Burkholder, N. P. Nelson, R. A. Underwood, Wm. Covert, N. W. Allee, A. G. Haughey, A. J. Breed, C. H. Jones, E. H. Gates, W. W. Prescott, P. T. Magan, W. R. Simmons, W. D. Salisbury, David Paulson, C. Santee, G. B. Thompson, Lewis Johnson, J. H. Kellogg, G. F. Haffner, M. E. Cady. GCB March 30, 1903, page 2.21

On motion of G. A. Irwin, two additional delegates from the Australian Union Conference were admitted, A. T. Robinson and Dr. M. G. Kellogg. GCB March 30, 1903, page 3.1

On motion of E. R. Palmer, the Conference invited A. D. Gilbert, from Great Britain, to act as a delegate. GCB March 30, 1903, page 3.2

Further questions as to delegates, it was suggested, should be dealt with by some standing committee on delegations, to be appointed by the Advisory Committee. GCB March 30, 1903, page 3.3

It was voted that the following-named persons act as a committee to furnish reports for the press: W. M. Healey, J. W. Collie, G. B. Thompson. GCB March 30, 1903, page 3.4

The meeting adjourned to the call of the chair. GCB March 30, 1903, page 3.5

A. G. Daniells, Chairman.
H. E. Osborne, Secretary.