The Abiding Gift of Prophecy


Chapter 32—Our Medical School at Loma Linda

The increasing prominence given medical missionary work in plans for gospel evangelism, as set forth by the spirit of prophecy, has been noted in a foregoing chapter. At first, when we had but few sanitariums, there was little call for physicians in the organized conference work. But in later years, as sanitariums began to multiply, and as broader views of the work opened before us, an increasing number of young men and young women wished to qualify as physicians, not only to fill places in our medical institutions, but to engage in private practice. Others desired to take a medical course that they might use their talents in mission work in foreign lands. AGP 354.1

About 1890, a group of such young men were encouraged to attend the medical department of the University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor. But soon the advantages of training these youth for medical work in a school taught by Christian teachers became apparent. For several years Seventh-day Adventist medical students were able to complete their course in the American Medical Missionary College at Battle Creek. But after a time this institution closed its doors, and we again faced great perplexity in giving counsel to those desiring to qualify as Christian physicians in our denominational work. AGP 354.2

Then later, for a time, favorable arrangements were made with the medical department of the George Washington University, in Washington, D. C. The school authorities very kindly agreed to require no Sabbath work from our students, to grant them substantial reduction in their tuition rates, together with other favors. At one time we had as high as fifteen of our youth attending this university. AGP 354.3

But it was not long until new men were placed in charge of the medical department of the university, and some of these privileges were withdrawn. Sabbath observance, while taking the course at the university, became increasingly difficult, and ultimately impossible. AGP 354.4

These experiences led us to realize more fully the need of a medical college of our own. But we did not see how an enterprise requiring so much capital could be undertaken. We were launching out in the greatest foreign missionary program we had ever attempted. We were pushing into the heart of great continents, like South America and Africa, and the islands of the sea. We were pressing our people for every dollar we could get, and we were using about all the money secured as fast as it came to us. We had no reserve capital. How, then, could we finance the establishment and maintenance of a medical college? AGP 355.1