Pacific Union Recorder, vol. 1

March 27, 1902

“The California Conference” Pacific Union Recorder, 1, 17, pp. 9-12.


[Report submitted to the Union Conference.] PUR March 27, 1902, page 9.1

At the close of the annual camp-meeting in June, ten days were spent with the conference workers in studying and carrying forward the work of reorganization that had been begun imn the annual meeting. Because of its being necessary for me to meet appointments outside of the conference—in the east and north—I did not really get to work in California till August 27. Then I began with the college and church-teachers institute at Healdsburg, August 27 to September 12. In this time the college board met almost daily to consider the interests of the institution. PUR March 27, 1902, page 9.2


Healdsburg College was established to be a Christian school; to be conducted upon Christian principles only; to give a Christian education only. The present board decided positively, first of all, that the college should be conducted strictly upon the Christian principles which it was founded to represent, or else not be conducted at all—this for the reason that if this college is to be conducted as are the colleges of the world and to give a worldly education, then it is not needed at all; the time, means, and effort spent can be employed to far better advantage; and, besides, it is not fair to the youth who might attend, because a worldly institution can give a worldly education far better than can one that professes to be Christian and is worldly. PUR March 27, 1902, page 9.3

As Christianity means work (John 5:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:10), work is an essential of a Christian school: an essential of Christian education; and all honest employment is equally honorable and equally Christian (Titus 3:14, margin). Accordingly, next it was decided that every appropriate trade that could possibly be brought in, should be brought in as soon as possible. This action by the board was particularly necessary because this college was then farther behind in the use of the trades than it was fourteen years ago. PUR March 27, 1902, page 9.4

Fourteen years ago, the last school year that I was here before leaving the state, the college had a blacksmith shop and a shoe shop with tent-making and printing, also farming. At this meeting of the board last September we found that there was no shoe shop, and the blacksmith shop had been annihilated several years before; the bellows was in an attic, the anvil was in the engine room, some of the tools were scattered everywhere, the rest of them were nowhere, and the shop itself was crammed full of cord-wood. In those years—four years ago—broom-making had been brought in. Since the opening of the present school year a blacksmith and wagon and buggy repairing shop has been set up, well equipped, and with a first-class Christian blacksmith in charge. Also painting, not only house painting but carriage painting as well, as a regular trade, has been established, with a thoroughly competent leader and instructor in charge. A good Christian shopmaker, able to teach his trade to others; also a good Christian carpenter, live, active, intelligent, and thorough in the trade and able to teach it—these two are especially wanted now. We have been trying to get them, but so far have found none. As the school stands to-day, the trades and occupations that are actually in operation, in which work and instruction are given daily to the students, are: Cooking, dress-making, blacksmithing, printing, painting, tent-making, farming, broom-making, nursing. The trades that are wanted just now are carpentry, shoemaking, baking, upholstery, of the strictly Christian sort. PUR March 27, 1902, page 9.5

Further: Since work is an essential of Christianity, and so of Christian education, the board decided that we would not countenance anything that would in any way suggest that there is a distinction between work and education; we would hold steadily and uncompromisingly that education is work, and work is education. We would not recognize any such view as that work is a means to an education in the sense that a person can work his way to an education, and then when he has got his education he is above work. We would allow that work is a means to an education only in the single sense that the work itself is education; that true education is found in the very work itself. PUR March 27, 1902, page 9.6

Now, to employ teachers to instruct only in the recitation rooms, and occupy themselves with the students only in the recitation hours, while the students themselves must occupy themselves in recitation hours, and in work hours besides,—this would in itself be recognizing in the strongest way, by example, that there is a clear distinction between education and work, and that when a person has education sufficient to teach he may properly be exempt from work. This would be nothing less than the abandonment of the principle upon which the school is founded, and the putting of the mere theory in its place. And that would simply be an inconsistency that could be nothing less than destruction. PUR March 27, 1902, page 9.7

Accordingly, the board unanimously decided that we would not employ as a teacher in the college any one, man or woman, who would not spend the work hours with the students at their work, just as they would spend the recitation hours with the students in their recitations. We easily secured a full corps of teachers who cheerfully do just this thing every day. One teacher goes with the students to the wood-yard, another to the farm, another to the tent factory, another to the dressmaking, etc., etc. As a matter of course, the results are only excellent in every way. Honest work at honest trades is elevated to its proper and honorable place as an essential of true and Christian education; and discipline amongst the students is greatly improved, both in the school-room and out. PUR March 27, 1902, page 10.1

Yet all this is but a fair beginning. It is only the first two or three steps toward what is yet to be. The foundation is laid; and from this foundation of “work an essential of Christianity, honest work at honest trades an essential to true and Christian education,” there is yet to spring the important result that these trades and occupations at Healdsburg College will be made in themselves so truly educational that they will be a valuable part of the return for the tuition paid; and this will be the principal element in the school’s becoming truly self-supporting. The work will be a true and valuable part of the education for which the student pays, instead of its being counted so unbecoming and insignificant a thing that the student must be paid for doing it; a thing considered so beneath the dignity of a student that to get him to do it he must be hired, or that he must be forced by need before he will do it. When the industrial department of a school is continually prostituted to that position, there is no wonder that it is a continually losing thing. How can God bless in a school His own blessing of labor when by the management of that school that blessing is accounted akin to a curse, if not the very original curse itself? The present board of Healdsburg College is not going to ask Him to. No; we are going to exalt to its own proper place in the Father and in the Son, the divine principle and divine blessing of work, honest work at honest callings; we are going to do our best to make the work in these callings worthy of the Father and of the Son and acceptable in their sight; then we are going to ask upon this labor the blessing of the Father and the Son, and we shall have it. And, while we are endeavoring in the fear of the Father and the Son to do this, we are asking their blessing, and we are having it. PUR March 27, 1902, page 10.2

Another thing that inevitably grows out of this, or, rather, simply comes along with it, is that the school year goes on forever. And so the board also decided that when the school should open, last fall, so far as lies in us it should open never to close for any such thing as a vacation of three, four, or five months. It is an utterly incongruous thing to propose to conduct a school in which agriculture, horticulture, etc., shall be essential studies and occupations, and then in the very months when these things are in their very life and prime, have no school at all. Also to have the school to close and all scatter just when it is most thoroughly organized and in the best working order and discipline, after months of nerve-racking toil to get it so, and then in three or four months to have it all to go through again and do the same thing over again, is positively detrimental to the true interest and object of any school that has any true interest or object to attain. Under such a system the wonder is that the school has done as well as it has, educationally. Yet, further, in going to their homes and returning to school many of the students spend enough money to pay no small share—some even the whole—of what would be required to keep them in the school the length of time that they are out. But worst of all is the implication that lies in the idea of such vacations—the implication that school is a sort of prison-pen that robs people of their freedom and wears them out, and they must be allowed a vacation and an opportunity to throw it all off and be “free.” But to a Christian school such an implication is a direct reproach. It is further assent to the pernicious view that busy occupation is a curse, and idleness a blessing. A Christian school is not so. In a Christian school there prevails the very spirit of freedom. And, combined with God’s great blessing of honest work at honest trades and occupations to invigorate the body, the studies, instead of being slavish tasks, are continually-reviving inspirations. PUR March 27, 1902, page 10.3

It is true that some will have to go out to work for the means to carry them further in their education. But with the school in continuous operation, they will not have to go before it becomes necessary; and if it is not necessary they will not have to go at all, but can continue their work in school until they reach the point at which they are aiming, and so can reach it in a shorter time. Also there are many who, when other schools have vacation, will be glad of the chance to pursue studies here. And students can enter at any time. PUR March 27, 1902, page 10.4

It is certain that everything is in favor of continuous school forever, in Healdsburg College; and that is what we have purposed to have. The school is prosperous in every way so far; it is clearly paying its way; and we expect to have it continue so. PUR March 27, 1902, page 10.5

My work and that of the college board in connection with the institute closed September 12. After spending a week with the church in Oakland, a week in the southern California teachers’ institute and sanitarium interests, a week at Red Bluff camp-meeting, and attending the opening of the college, I went to the St. Helena Sanitarium October 13, where I remained and worked until November 24. PUR March 27, 1902, page 10.6


The St. Helena Sanitarium, or Rural Health Retreat, was established as a means of presenting to the world, and to represent in the world, the Christian principles of health and of the treatment of disease. Yet it is the confirmed truth that the principles which it was established to represent had never been given any fair chance in the institution. And it is the sober truth to state that in October, when I went there, not a single principle for which the institution stands was recognized in its integrity in the institution. There was an empty form of things, held and presented in a vapid theory, and even that sadly mixed up with the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It took six weeks of steady work day and night, in prayer and presentation of the truth of the Scriptures, to get the atmosphere cleared of the spiritual malaria, and the institution renovated and turned toward the light, and firmly set in the right direction. But, thank the Lord, it was accomplished. All the time I had the hearty cooperation of Elder C. L. Taylor, which was invaluable. The only reason that I can not mention the board present in this as in the college matters, is that the board was so scattered—some as far east as New York City—that there was no possibility of getting it together. But, scattered as it was, there was cooperation in the work. And not only was there cooperation of the members of the board, but also of the president of Pacific Union Conference, members of the general Conference Committee, and of the International Medical Missionary Board. Thus there was secured to take up and carry to completion to take up and carry to completion the work already begun, Dr. A. N. Loper, who for ten years had been superintendent of the Nebraska Sanitarium; and Dr. Abbie M. Winegar, who has for years been one of the faithful and leading lady physicians at the Battle Creek Sanitarium. With Dr. Winegar there came also two standard lady nurses from the Battle Creek Sanitarium. And now all who have been there from the beginning of this work of reorganization, will certify that the revolution has been complete, and that the work of reorganization, though not by any means finished, has already made the institution fairly a new place. For all this we sincerely thank the Lord, and earnestly pray that He will continue to bless the workers there and make the institution to prosper in blessing mankind with the knowledge of His “saving health.” PUR March 27, 1902, page 11.1


November 29 to December 15 Elder Corliss and I held general meetings for the people in the central part of the state. For one week, day and evening, meetings were held at Fresno; and the other week meetings were held twice a day and evening at Hanford. The people were built up and greatly strengthened in the faith and in the work of faith and labor of love, as they themselves will certify. PUR March 27, 1902, page 11.2


The week of prayer I spent in the Pacific Press and the Oakland church. In the Pacific Press I conducted with the employees a daily study of the Christian principles of business and work in such an institution. This was continued not only daily through the week of prayer, but for a week afterward, and then three times a week until February 2. A good deal was accomplished, but not near as much as must be before that shall be the Christian institution that it is called to be, and that even the world knows that it ought to be. There is, I believe, in the management of the Press a disposition to have the institution thoroughly Christian in all its business and work; and when this is so, that thing can be brought about by persistently pursuing it. PUR March 27, 1902, page 11.3


Beginning December 30 and continuing to February 2 there was held in San Francisco a general convention of the canvassers and public workers of the California Conference. The object of the convention was to carry forward the work of reorganization in the affairs of the conference proper. The first two days were spent in getting the attendants settled in the city, and the convention organized for the work that was to come. The next five days being exactly the time between the close of the first term and the opening of the second in the college, the most of the teachers in the college came down to the convention, and the five days were spent in a study and general view of the principles and work of Christian education. The next two weeks were spent in a study of the principles of conference work and organization. Following that for three days (January 20, 21, 22) the business managers, superintendents, etc., of our institutions in the conference were present, and the time was spent in the study of the work and relationship of the institutions, and of the principles to one another, to the employees, to the conference, and to the world. The rest of the time, January 23 to 31, was spent in a medical convention. About twenty of the forty doctors in the conference who are Seventh-day Adventists were in attendance. Dr. Kellogg and Dr. Paulson came from the east and spent almost the whole time with us. Although the convention had been good from the beginning and had grown better and better each successive turn, this last made this part of it the best of all. PUR March 27, 1902, page 11.4

What were the results?—The convention was a grand success. The object of the convention was attained. Some expressions of those who were present have been published in the “Recorder.” I do not believe that there is a soul who was there who will not freely say that he has in every way a larger, fuller, and better view of the work of the third angel’s message, as relates to himself, as relates to California, and as relates to the whole world. I do not believe that there is one who was present who will not say that he has a better and more certain view of the grand unity of the work in all its phases. PUR March 27, 1902, page 11.5

With these came other results: It was found that in the California Conference there are about 1,230,000 people altogether; while in the British Isles, speaking our same language, there are about 40,000,000 people,—about 40 there to 1 here. Among this 1,230,000 in the California Conference there are about 3,800 Seventh-day Adventists, while among the 40,000,000 in the British Isles there are only about 1,000 Seventh-day Adventists. In the California Conference there were about 60 workers on the pay-roll, to this 1,230,000 people, among whom are 3,800 Seventh-day Adventists; while in the British Isles there are about a dozen workers, to the 40,000,000 people, among whom there are about 1,000 Seventh-day Adventists. These 60 workers were consuming $21,000 in 8 months in their field of 1,230,000 people, while in that field of 40,000,000 people there could be had hardly more than half of $21,000 to spend in a whole year. PUR March 27, 1902, page 11.6

Again: In the area bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio, and the Potomac Rivers, and the sea, in the United States, leaving out West Virginia and Florida, there are nearly 15,000,000 people, in territory only about one-third larger than the territory of the California Conference, with its 1,230,000 people. I have not the statement of the number of Seventh-day Adventists and workers in that area of the south; but I am not prepared to believe that they are more than are in the California Conference. PUR March 27, 1902, page 12.1

Yet again: I took a pocket folding map of California, and, beginning at the northern line, I read the names of all the towns on it in each country to the southern line, asking what towns had not been worked. It was found that there were few. I then asked Brother Ireland, who has been in the conference office all these years, to make out a list of the towns in the state that have not been worked. He did so, county by county, towns with a population as low as 100. This list confirmed what we had found by the reading from the map. Some counties have nothing but the outlying, sparsely-settled country districts remaining. Some have but two or four towns remaining. Some have from four to seven towns remaining. The one county that has the largest number of towns unworked is Contra Costa, and the number is 9. There is one county in the state that has not been worked at all; it is Alpine, with a population in the whole county of only 500. PUR March 27, 1902, page 12.2

By these bristling truths it was demonstrated to every one present that, as between the California Conference and the British Isles, and as between the California Conference and the south between the Mississippi and the Potomac, there is no sort of equality, nor any sort of fair proportion, of Seventh-day Adventist people, workers, or funds. Then it was unanimously agreed that, since the whole world field is but one; since the tithes are but one, for they all belong to God; and since we brethren are all one, we should immediately break up this too easy-going system of things in California, and go or send the means to the help of the new and needy fields outside of the California Conference. And those in the convention, by a unanimous rising vote, passed a motion commissioning the conference committee to strip from the pay-roll the name of every one of them whose work had not brought into the conference fruit in fair return for the amount of means he had taken out of the treasury. This, for one reason, so that the funds of the conference treasury could be sent to fields where it could be spent to better advantage than it was being spent here. The conference committee, in council with the auditing committee, did so. About twenty were taken off the pay-roll. And, though some were surprised at first, yet I know of not one who was offended or made weak; on the contrary, we personally know from themselves that at least the great majority of them are of better courage and stronger than they were before, because of the courageous and honorable stand that they took. And I believe that all are so. In addition to this, those who remain on the pay-roll are looking for new fields only, and are finding them already outside of the California Conference. Brother Leland and his wife have already gone to the island of Hilo, of the Hawaiian group; that is altogether a new and ripe field. Brother Courter has gone to the south, to report to Brother Butler there for work wherever he can do the most. Others are preparing to go to the south, to Porto Rico, to France, to Chile, and to Mexico. We sincerely hope that soon many more will go. PUR March 27, 1902, page 12.3

And what then?—This: There will still be 3,760 Seventh-day Adventists, lovers of the truth of the third angel’s message, every one of whom must become an active and diligent worker, to do the work that remains to be done in the California Conference, when the ordained and licensed workers are gone. Some of these are gone, and others are getting ready to go. This leaves room and work and only you to do it. “Get ready, get ready, get ready.” Begin now to get ready. Scores can go out as evangelistic canvassers, to spread the printed truth, and to talk the truth to the lonely and hungry ones in the sparsely-settled districts. This is what the convention said is the thing to do to reach the people with the truth in these few and small, unworked towns and thinly-settled districts: while the ordained and licensed workers who have the power to reach and hold large assemblies go to the fields where the multitudes are. This is wise and true. Other scores and hundreds can spread the literature and speak neighborly. Christian words, and do kindly, Christian acts in the communities where they live. And if the community where you now live is so filled that there is not room for work, then please move to some new field where the truth is not known, and you can be a light and a blessing by ministry of Christian words and actions. PUR March 27, 1902, page 12.4

And has not God, for months now, been preparing you all for this very work and ministry? Why has the Lord brought it about that all of you, old and young, have been reading, studying, and understanding that most previous book “Christ’s Object Lessons”? Has this been, and is it to be, all for nothing?—Not by any means. No; God has a purpose in all this. He is making you ready. Will you be made ready? or will you dodge, shrink, fail, and—be left forever? He is making you ready; He is giving you a knowledge clear through of the book of all books best adapted to disarm prejudice and win souls to the truth as it is in Jesus; and the book, by the blessed connection which it bears, the easiest of all to introduce and sell. Every person who is studying that book in the Sabbath-school lessons is therein receiving the call from God now to His work in this conference, to fill the field and do the work that remains, as the ordained ones go on to the new fields where the multitudes are. PUR March 27, 1902, page 12.5

Get ready, get ready; to the work, to the work; we are going to keep up this call till each individual member of the California Conference becomes a real, active workers or else positively refuses to do so. PUR March 27, 1902, page 13.1

There are 54 churches in this conference. It is evident that it would take more than a year to visit each of these churches only once, spending one Sabbath with each, and spending no time at anything else. It is plain then that it would not be economical management to undertake to do that. All must be equally considered. And that this may be done to the best advantage, and at the same time visit all the members of the churches, we shall hold several tent-meetings in the California Conference the coming summer. We want all the members in the district where each meeting shall be held to be sure to attend. By that time, we shall have many other interesting things to tell you. We shall also have counsel and means to help you to do the work that may fall to you. But do not wait till then to begin to work. Begin just now, so that you shall have an experience to tell when you come to the meeting. PUR March 27, 1902, page 13.2


The resolution that was adopted at the annual conference last June, that the conference should be held early in this year, apart from the annual state camp-meeting, and composed of the delegates only, was immediately afterward, by the counsel of the Lord, declared to be not the best. It is said to be not the best to so have two gatherings. Instead of this, we are directed to hold the annual state camp-meeting with delegates and all present. Let the meeting continue the usual length of time; but let it be occupied wholly in evangelistic services, and the study of principles and the work. Then let the camp-meeting be closed, and the people disperse if they choose; and let the delegates remain a sufficient number of days longer to hold the conference and do the conference business. Having had the benefit of the whole camp-meeting preceding, to seek the Lord in prayer and consecration, and to study all together principles and the work, they will be prepared to conduct the conference affairs better than any other way. PUR March 27, 1902, page 13.3

In counseling together and with the brethren in different parts of the state, it has been decided to be best to hold the annual state camp-meeting and conference in the fall instead of in the spring, and to hold it somewhere in the central part of the state, instead of at Oakland or about San Francisco Bay, where it has been held so often, and so frequently in the same place. Crops and industries are now so variant in the state that it is though that local camp-meetings are better adapted to accommodate our people in the different sections in the spring and summer, and that to hold the state camp-meeting and conference in the fall, when all crops are mostly harvested, will best accommodate all at once. Accordingly it has been so arranged for the present year. It was also thought to be of decided advantage to have the workers who do find new fields in the conference work the full season straight through unbroken, rather than to take so much time from the field in the very best part of the season for their work. PUR March 27, 1902, page 13.4


As soon as you had elected me to the presidency of your conference, I decided that the first thing that I should do should be to get the names of all the young people in the conference between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two, that could be had, and write to each one a personal letter, and do all that could be done to get them into connection with the work and opportunities offered in the third angel’s message. Brother W. S. Sadler had been chosen as superintendent of the young people’s work in the conference. PUR March 27, 1902, page 13.5

The latest report that I have had from Brother Sadler is that he has the names of more than 500 young people, with whom he is in constant correspondence. These are enough to move this whole world; and we are going to do all that we can to get them into the true way of doing it. PUR March 27, 1902, page 13.6

In order to bring entirely up to date this report, I will state that February 11-23 I spent at Healdsburg College. I gave an address each morning in the chapel on Christian education, and met the teachers each evening at 5 in studies on the same subject. In addition to this, I gave reading lessons to the school each day, in the reading of the Bible and hymns. Friday, February 21, Dr. Paulson came. He spoke to the students in the Home Friday evening and Sabbath morning, and to the young people generally in the church Sabbath afternoon. At the close of his sermon Sabbath afternoon, a call was made for all who would give themselves to real service to God and humanity, to pass into the vestry of the church. It would have done your soul good to see the stream of noble young people pour through the open door to that vestry. I do not believe there was a dry eye in the house, under this evidence of the moving power of the Spirit of God. Then the question was asked the grown people, “The young people are thus giving themselves for service, what will you do?” And thy promptly rose to their feet in token of the same consecration. It was a blessed occasion. PUR March 27, 1902, page 13.7

Further, arrangements have been made by which the Health Food Company of St. Helena will cooperate with the college in the establishment of a bread bakery, the sale of health foods, and the fruit-canning industry. This arrangement will enable the college to give real and valuable work to the students, and so make room for more of them. PUR March 27, 1902, page 13.8

Alonzo T. Jones, President.