Post 7, Valentine on Ellen White and Adventist Leaders

This post is about a scintillating, new book on the relationship between Ellen G. White and the General Conference presidents who served between 1888 and 1915.

It took me a decade to write two theses about Ellen White and her Adventist and non-Adventist contemporaries in Australia during the 1890s. My research in the primary sources led me to deeply appreciate Milton Hook’s doctoral study (1978) about the goals that created Avondale College, George Knight’s scintillating books on Adventist history, and a host of other studies. But now Pacific Press enables us to better appreciate largely unknown dimensions of our heritage with Gilbert M. Valentine’s 383-page volume, The Prophet and the Presidents.

 Valentine breaks new ground because many of his sources are new to us here in Australia. Since the Ellen G. White/Seventh-day Adventist Research Centre opened at Avondale in 1976, we’ve been able to mine the 50,000 pages of Ellen White’s manuscripts and letters. For long years Valentine has explored a treasure-trove of archival resources in the United States, unavailable “down under,” yet now starting to reach us with the help of Information Technology. At last we can better hear both sides of an intense conversation that reached across the Pacific Ocean and deeply influenced the church in Australia and New Zealand.

“The Presidents” under study led the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Battle Creek and (when it moved) Washington: the “reluctant” Ole A. Olsen, 1888 to 1897; the Civil War veteran George A. Irwin, 1897-1901; and the long-serving reformist Arthur G. Daniells, 1901-1922. Olsen visited Australia, Irwin administered the church here for many years, and Daniels long evangelised and led the church in New Zealand and Australia. However, before Valentine’s book we knew little of what they said about their relationships, as world leaders, with Ellen White while she ministered here from 1891-1900.

This book is a case study of how two spiritual gifts, prophecy and administration, interacted. Adventism was growing rapidly. Its worldwide mission was mushrooming. It faced enormous financial problems, especially apparent within its publishing and medical initiatives. Barry Oliver’s doctoral study (1989) leads us through the turmoil of re-organisation that, in 1901, facilitated a more effective church structure. Arthur White (The Australian Years, 1983) recounts Ellen White’s vision for her church, well. But now we can hear the “lost” voices of the presidents, as they struggle to lead a world movement faithfully, despite enormous odds.

However, we learn far more than the inside story of pain and promise through the experiences of Olsen, Irwin and Daniells. We watch the slow erosion of relationships between the church and E.J. Waggoner, A.T. Jones, and John Harvey Kellogg. The heroes of 1888, and the health-pioneer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, become the church’s opponents during the early 20th century. It was so difficult to retain the message of 1888 when the messengers lost their way. We still suffer from the long-term effects of the Kellogg crisis that occurs just off centre-stage in Valentine’s compelling saga.

According to historian George Knight, “Valentine’s book is at the forefront of a new genre of Adventist historiography: serious studies dealing with the complex relationships between Ellen G. White and her contemporaries.” Barry Oliver also observes on the back cover: “Dr. Gil Valentine has brilliantly exposed the sometimes tenuous relationship between prophetic and administrative gifts as the church charted a course for the future.” For Robert Olson, “This is a truly monumental study.”

Here is a book of a hundred gripping stories, some radiant with hope, some suffused with sadness. We cannot but sorrow as we see stalwarts like John N. Loughborough and Stephen N. Haskell, men who bore the burden and heat of earlier days, fail to understand how the church’s thought must continually be revised as it searches the Word and follows the leadings of God’s Spirit.

Dr Valentine earlier wrote a doctoral dissertation and a two books about Professor W.W. Prescott and the shaping of Adventism so, understandably, he weaves this “forgotten giant” into the intriguing narrative that runs from Minneapolis in 1888 to 1913, when advancing age limited Ellen White’s capacity to interact with church leaders. The story of the book is unfinished for, until the gospel reaches “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,” we must continue the task so well begun by our pioneers. We can now better understand both their efforts and our mission–from reading The Prophet and the Presidents.

Arthur Patrick, 10 September 2011

Post 6, Understanding the Book of Revelation

Adventists often access Revelation seminar materials through the Ministerial Association of their local conference or from the Resource Centre of the Australian Union Conference (PO Box 4368, Ringwood, Vic 3134, Australia). It is the intention of the South Pacific Division to market the excellent DVDs on Revelation developed by Dr Graeme Bradford (a well-known Australian evangelist) and Dr John Paulien (a world-recognised New Testament exegete and Dean of the School of Religion at Loma Linda University in the US) to local churches and conferences as economically as possible. Readers of adventiststudies.com can go to the website <revelationhope.com> to see more about the materials by Doctors Bradford and Paulien that are available at the lowest price. Currently, the Revelation program features on Hope Channel each Saturday afternoon around 4pm. It can be also picked up on broadband under Hope Channel, international live programs.

When I am trying to focus the interest of church attendees on the excellent DVD series that Dr Bradford and Dr Paulien have developed, I offer a sermon something along the following lines. (Bear in mind that this is a summary only, not a transcript.)

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ”

Scripture Reading: Revelation 1:9-18, NIV.

 I’ve read a fascinating book many times recently. Some books you need to read only once. However, I get more out of this book every time I read it, and I’ve been doing that for sixty years. Read Revelation 1:1.

So the first thing to emphasise is that this is “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” Revelation is an interesting term. It literally means a disclosure, revelation, manifestation, appearance, or a big dose of spiritual enlightenment. The verb is usually translated to uncover, to reveal, to plainly signify, to distinctly declare, to set forth, to announce, to manifest.

Our society throws the original Greek word around a lot, like in the arresting movie “Apocalypse Now.” A whole body of Jewish writing is described as “apocalyptic literature.” Just as the Bible has history (Kings, Chronicles), and poetry (Psalms), it also has apocalyptic embedded in various books of the Old Testament and the New. We Adventists know and love best the apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation.

How can we recognise apocalyptic when we see it? Well, it abounds in symbols of many kinds, including symbolic numbers. Angels populate apocalyptic. It is a literature of crisis, suffused with a sense of immediacy, urgency and expectation. It claims to offer dreams and visions about realities usually unseen by mortal eyes. It is often associated with another mysterious word, eschatology. That one isn’t so hard to understand if we break it up. Eschatology has two parts: eschatos, last, and logos, word. So eschatology is simply a word about last things, like death or the end of the world. One is a personal end, your death or mine. The other is a cosmic death, the end of the planet.

So the last book of the Bible is an apocalypse about, or a revelation of, Jesus Christ. We could expect vivid, poetic descriptions of him in such writing. There are a great many; let’s notice four examples.

Chapter 1:17-18, “the Living One”; chapter 5:6, “a slain lamb”; chapter 12:5, “a man child”; 14:14-16 “a son of man” with a sickle; a rider on a white horse who is “King of kings and Lord of lords,” 19:11,16.

Who could write an apocalypse about Jesus? It would help a bit if you knew him well on earth, and had written a book about him and letters to your friends about him. Cf. John 20:30-31; I John 1:1. It would help even more if you saw panoramic visions of him as Living Redeemer, Slain Lamb, Gatherer of Earth’s Harvest, King of Kings. John the Beloved Apostle fits the need so well!

A sermon at best can be an effective starter for our journeys through the coming week. I’d like nothing more than that you actually picked up the Bible and read Revelation this week. You’ll be mystified, frustrated, enthralled, inspired and much more. Almost all human learning happens when we try to overcome some obstacle, some barrier. Parts of Revelation certainly pose obstacles for us to overcome. But some parts are so clear we can be sure about what they mean. Here, for starters, are seven things that may be of some help to you as you read this scintillating apocalypse. (Seven, because you’ll find so many sevens in Revelation!)

  1. The first thing I’d like you to notice is that Revelation is a mosaic. We don’t know much about mosaics in our culture, though we do speak of mosaic tiles. A mosaic is a picture made of small pieces of stone or glass, of different colours, inlaid to form a design. John’s culture abounded with mosaic pictures. He wrote a book that is a mosaic of gemstones from the Old Testament. At the College Church we have a half-dozen or more “Educational Events” each year that I coordinate. The first one for this year was a presentation by our newest doctor in the Faculty of Theology who has spent years studying Revelation. I guess I was astounded as to how much of the Book of Revelation, both in ideas and language, is simply a mosaic of Old Testament gemstones put together in a fresh setting.
  1. The next thing you need to notice is that the Book of Revelation is a war story. It isn’t a peaceful book, I’m afraid. It is a volume of conflict, between good and evil, righteousness and sin, Christ and Satan. As Adventists, ever since 1858 we have been aware of Ellen White’s growing list of books about The Great Controversy Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels. Revelation, the final book of the New Testament is a book about conflict, a great war in which the armies of the Living God take the field, and win. It is a war in which every one of us is engaged from the day we are born until the day we die. It is also a strangely different war: a lamb wins by being slain, and redeeming us to God–by his blood.
  1. Revelation is a narrative of crisis. All kinds of important things are up for grabs. The destiny of individuals. The justice of God. The fate of the planet. The well-being of the universe. To read it is to be drawn into a compelling narrative.
  1. Revelation is also a tale of two cities. The Old Testament depicts a long struggle between Babylon and Jerusalem. One is the city of pride, possessions, self-sufficiency, earthly power. The other is the City of the Prince of Peace. The literal Jerusalem fails, so God revises the hopes of his people with the promised heavenly Jerusalem, the New Jerusalem that comes down from God out of heaven.
  1. Revelation includes a series of hymns of praise. It constantly focuses on creation and redemption; see chapters 4, 5, 15, 19, for some instances.
  1. Revelation is far more than a story of war, a narrative of crisis, a tale of rival cities, a sublime hymnbook. Yes, there is plenty of tension in it. But Revelation is primarily a Book of Resolution. The towering problem of sin is met, the planet and its people are restored. There will be no more tears, death. The entire universe will be clean, one pulse of harmony and gladness will beat throughout God’s vast creation.
  1. So we must end where we began. John’s Book of Revelation is an apocalypse of Jesus, an unveiling of the Risen Lord, slain, but victorious. He came, he is coming to earth a second time. And a third time. He is restoring Eden. He is giving his people a New Jerusalem.

Life in the Christian communities of the first century was precarious. So far as we know, when John wrote Revelation, the other eleven disciples and the Apostle Paul were already long dead, perhaps none of them from natural causes. Acts 12:2 tells us that Herod had James “put to death with the sword.” Peter, tradition suggests, was crucified upside down. Paul was beheaded. But John, the youngest of the disciples survived, it seems, for sixty years after the crucifixion. Then the Roman authorities decided they must get rid of him. How? Fry him. Evidently they prepared a huge cauldron of boiling-hot oil, and strong men lifted the aged saint high and threw him in. The Lord looked after John just as well in the bubbling oil as he cared for the three Hebrews in the burning fiery furnace back in that other apocalypse, Daniel. What to do with the unfryable Apostle John? Banish him to the rocky island in the Aegean Sea, Patmos.

Revelation 1:9-11. The seven churches were just like ours: College Church, Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Mona Vale, Hillview, Kanwal and more. Revelation 1:3 is a promise for us all: “Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy.”

Arthur Patrick, 30 September 2011

 

 

Post 4, The Dead Sea Scrolls, Adventists and the Bible


On 28 September 2011, Angus McPhee sent an email to me (and others) informing us that “thanks to Google,” we can now better explore the Dead Sea Scrolls, online. I am a fan of Google because it makes available such a wealth of information, but I hadn’t noticed that it now facilitates a line-by-line reading of the famous scrolls discovered between 1947 and 1956, billed as “the greatest archaeological discovery of the twentieth century.” I do not need to describe the scrolls for my readers, since the site identified by Angus McPhee offers a short video that puts this discovery in historical perspective. You may like to visit http:dss.collections.imj.org.il/dss_video for an expert introduction to the scrolls.

However, it is fruitful to ask a number of questions. Angus McPhee is a rather well-known Adventist pastor. (See his website, for instance: angusmcphee.com.) Why would he be so excited about the better availability of the Dead Sea Scrolls for intelligent but non-specialist readers?

First, Pastor McPhee has avidly used the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary during his ministry. (This reference work is ongoing, we anticipate the availability of Volume 13 soon.) The first eight volumes were printed between 1953 and 1960. My late father gave me volume one on 23 February 1955. The publication of the Commentary marks an important transition in Adventism. At last we had a better way of interpreting Scripture in terms of what are sometimes called “the vest-pocket rules of exegesis.” That is, we were challenged to understand the significance of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek languages in which God gave us His Word. We now had a more effective resource with which to study the context of every verse in the Bible. We now were helped toward understanding the history of each period within which the biblical documents were written, and what the rest of the Bible said on the subject matter of each passage. In short, we began to ask more thoroughly what the Bible meant before asking what the Bible means.

Second, Pastor McPhee’s ministry demonstrates his penchant for a high view of Scripture. Another studious pastor, Mark Pearce, has written a thesis for an Australian University that helps us understand the abiding threat of the Fundamentalism into which we retreated in the turmoil of the earlier twentieth century. The Commentary was one of the factors that called us to realise the problems of both extreme Fundamentalism and extreme Liberalism. It helped us to develop a more viable, Evangelical understanding of Scripture that took fuller account of the wealth of evidence that has more recently become available from the study of biblical languages, ancient history, and many other sources. The results are profound. For instance, I have, since 1970, delighted in exploring the primary sources of the Millerite movement, now conveniently available to everyone in microform. How much William Miller would have been helped in his interpretation of Daniel 8:14 if he had had access to what is now known about the meaning of the word translated “cleansed” in the King James Version.

Back to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our worldwide church has more than 300 scholars who are members of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies, as well as many others who are members of the Adventist Theological Society. (I offer a context for understanding such groups in my “Recent Tensions in Seventh-day Adventism” article, referenced elsewhere on this website.) These dedicated scholars are able to help us interpret the Dead Sea Scrolls far more effectively than was possible when the Commentary was first published. Most Adventists are convinced about the value of what Ellen White liked to call “present truth.” We must keep aware of the way the Lord has led us in the past if we are to fearlessly pursue our present role on planet earth.

Striking a related note, it is also a source of excitement to me that we can now better appreciate the value of the Septuagint, not least because Dr Bernard Taylor of the Loma Linda University Church is one of the world’s finest scholars in this branch of study. Pastor McPhee’s succinct e-mail can function as a reminder of how much we need each other in the discipline of Adventist Studies if we are to effectively put together all the biblical evidence that relates to our identity and mission.

Arthur Patrick, 30 September 2011, updated 31 January 2013

 

Post 3, Getting Started with Adventist Studies

If you have read the 3 September 2011 post on this site, you will be aware that it recommends A Brief, Annotated Introduction to the Field of Adventist Studies for Higher Degree Students (available in its printed and electronic forms from Avondale College of Higher Education) as an overview of Adventist Studies and an introduction to basic sources for effective study of the discipline. Therefore, this post does not need to emphasise the importance of general works by capable historians such as Richard W. Schwarz, Floyd Greenleaf, Gary Land and George Knight. You will also be aware of the abiding value of the two-volume Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia.

 Only a few individuals will find this site before its official launch on 22 October 2011, the 167th anniversary of the Great Disappointment and the painful birth of Sabbatarian Adventism. However, those few may expect some examples of the type of material that will be fostered here.  Hence, this post will outline some preliminary options for those who seriously want to get started with satisfying study.

During 2005, a number of well-informed Adventists believed that it may be possible, given the lapse of 25 years, to understand the Glacier View event constructively. The attempt met a ready and warm-hearted response from a great many people. However, one church official wrote a vigorous rebuke to me on General Conference stationery, and even threatened legal action to suppress interpretations that did not meet his mind. After reflecting on the dilemma, I offered a colloquium to Avondale’s academic staff entitled “Adventist Studies: Fractious Adolescent or Maturing Adult.” With the benefit of the feedback received, I then drafted a journal article, “Contextualising Recent Tensions in Seventh-day Adventism: ‘A Constant Process of Struggle and Rebirth’?” The draft was submitted to the Journal of Religious History in November 2006; the editors had it refereed in detail and gave me helpful suggestions that I incorporated before the article was again refereed, accepted for publication and queued for  inclusion in a suitably themed issue. Dr David Hilliard wrote a masterful overview for the selected issue of the Journal, and the article was duly printed last year (Volume 34, Number 3, September 2010, pages 272-288).

That Journal article offers a useful umbrella for the content of this site. The value of primary sources is emphasized, diverse opinions are respected, but a centrist understanding based on the entire body of available evidence is fostered.  The Journal of Religious History is accessible worldwide in good libraries; the article (in its original form, before suggestions were received from the referees and editors) is available on the website of Avondale College of Higher Education.

The value of the said article lies considerably in its copious footnotes that facilitate access to a wealth of material. For instance, some readers will want to follow up the vibrant discussion of the most-controversial book ever published by Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine. The paper that I presented, at the 50th anniversary conference of that book’s first printing, is available on the Internet, along with the balancing effect of all the other papers delivered at that historic conference (2007). Surely, with the hindsight of fifty years, and with the help of several penetrating doctoral studies, we can rise above controversy and offer mature understandings of the book and its continuing waves of influence.

It has been my privilege for a number of years to be an Australian asked to participate in what is primarily a North American initiative, “The Ellen White Project” (see GOOGLE, again). The far-sighted aim of this project is to submit a manuscript to a major academic publisher, offering a scholarly introduction to the life and writings of Ellen White.  The twenty-one chapter authors presented their drafts at the Portland (Maine, USA) conference in October 2009, at which time we received the assessments of 41 respondents, half of them scholars from beyond the Adventist community. My chapter on Ellen White as author was commissioned to include a meeting of the issue of plagiarism “head-on.” After many months of editing it is now accepted; I hope the entire book will be published in 2012. In the interim, there is an array of discussion about this exciting project on the Internet.

I will follow up these brief comments with further posts, prior to the official launch of this website next month (October).

Arthur Patrick, 11 September 2011

Post 2, About the Author/Moderator

Dr Arthur Nelson Patrick is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Avondale College of Higher Education, Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia. After graduating from Avondale (Diploma of Theology and Teaching, 1956; Bachelor of Arts, Theology, 1957), he began intermittent graduate study while engaged in parish ministry in New Zealand (1958 to 1967). Interaction with Adventist congregations intensified his sense of need to better understand Seventh-day Adventist history and thought by further study in the United States of America. After ministry in the State of Illinois, he completed an MA degree in Systematic Theology and a Master of Divinity degree at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA, plus a Doctor of Ministry degree at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis (1973). Thereafter Patrick lectured in the Faculty of Theology at Avondale (1974-1991), con-currently directed the Ellen G. White/Seventh-day Adventist Research Centre on the Avondale campus (1976-1983), or filled such other posts as Registrar of the College (1984-1991) and interim Senior Pastor of the College Church (1988). Further study at the University of New England (MLitt, 1984) and the University of Newcastle (PhD, 1992) nurtured Patrick’s interest in Adventist Studies. For almost five years another passion (Clinical Pastoral Education) facilitated his role as Senior Chaplain at Sydney Adventist Hospital (Wahroonga, New South Wales), before two years as a visiting professor at La Sierra University in California. Since his official retirement (1998), Patrick has volunteered for various tasks that support the mission of the church in general and Avondale College of Higher Education in particular, including the co-supervision of PhD students.

Post 1, Adventist Studies: Exploring Adventist History and Thought

A website for thinking believers

This website is designed for persons who are interested in Adventist Studies: that is, research into the background, history, thought, polity and practice of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. While it intends to provide reliable information for the occasional scholar who may visit it, its primary aim is to be of service to general readers.

What You May Expect From This Site

This website will report or review studies of Adventism that are in process, or completed, as papers, theses, dissertations, articles or books. It will give particular attention to (and, at times, make accessible) significant articles from Adventist and other periodicals and journals. The moderator invites readers to suggest studies that may be of interest to persons likely to access the website. While at the outset the offerings will be modest, it is anticipated that fresh posts will be added frequently; thus the site will have more value, over time, for those who are interested in the rapidly developing discipline of Adventist Studies.

The current moderator is Dr Arthur Patrick, who enjoys consultation on such matters with the Senior Pastor of the Avondale College Church (Dr Bruce Manners, until the end of 2011), a number of College Church members, as well as pastoral and scholarly friends elsewhere in Australia and overseas. The moderator assumes sole responsibility for the content of the website; no other person or institution should be deemed responsible for any idea that is expressed.  The content of the website will always aim for integrity and transparency, even when a controversial matter is under consideration. As an Honorary Senior Research Fellow of Avondale College of Higher Education, the moderator’s writings are widely published in Adventist magazines and journals, on the Internet (accessible via GOOGLE), and elsewhere.

The Cooranbong area (New South Wales, Australia) is blest with several entities that faciliate effective research related to Adventist history and thought. These are directly or indirectly affiliated with Avondale College of Higher Education. The Avondale Library provides access to a wide range of print and electronic sources. While catering primarily to Avondale students and faculty, the Library also offers limited services to students from other tertiary institutions, community members and Avondale alumni. Its website is www.avondale.edu.au/library.

Research about Adventism, Facilitated Since the 1970s

During 1972, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists voted to support effective research by developing specialised facilities to serve the various geographical sections of the world. Facilities for the South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists (SPD) were developed on the campus of Avondale College of Higher Education in two stages: the Adventist Heritage Room in 1974 (now called the Adventist Heritage Centre) and the Ellen G. White/Seventh-day Adventist Research Centre in 1976. Both entities serve the territories of the SPD, embracing the region often described as Oceania–Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Kirabati and other islands nations of the South Pacific as far east as Pitcairn Island.

The Adventist Heritage Centre (AHC)

This facility houses primary and secondary resources, including artefacts relating to the operation and activities of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, its entities, and members within Oceania. The AHC was identified as a “nationally significant collection” for Australia in 2007 due to its unique and extensive resources in multiple formats– documents, films, photographs, serials, textiles, recordings, artefacts, etc. The AHC is involved with the collection and supervision of artefacts housed in the South Pacific Islands Museum, located in Avondale Road, Cooranbong.

The AHC is currently staffed by a curator, Ms Rose-lee Power and part-time assistants.  They assist researchers and visitors, as time permits.  A major project at the moment is the restoration of the 180B Cessa, Andrew Stewart, a much-loved plane that began its service during 1964, piloted by Pastor Len Barnard in Papua New Guinea.

The Adventist Heritage Centre’s email is [email protected]; the Centre’s web page is http://adventist-heritage-centre-452.adventistconnect.org/ and it maintains such web pages as Adventist Heritage Centre, http://heritage.adventistconnect.org/ and South Sea Islands Museum, http://www.ssimuseum.adventistconnect.org/. It also has a Face Book page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Adventist-Heritage-Centre/163727220309489. All the Centre’s books and pamphlets are listed in the Avondale College Library catalogue: http://www.avondale.edu.au/library/.

The Ellen G. White/Seventh-day Adventist Research Centre

This facility houses primary sources in microform and as originals, as well as historical and up-to-date literature and secondary studies relating to four areas: the history and thought of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church; the life and writings of Ellen Gould White (1827-1915).

The Centre is staffed by a director, Dr John Skrzypaszek, and an Administrative Assistant, Mrs Marian de Berg. Dr Skrzypaszek teaches in the Faculty of Theology at Avondale College of Higher Education and often speaks at special events organised by the SPD, union and local conferences, individual congregations and scholarly organisations. Mrs de Berg assists researchers on the Avondale campus and others who may, for instance, need her help to electronically transfer documents.

The Reseach Centre’s staff also supervises the management and development of  Sunnyside, the Australian home of Ellen G. White from December 1895 to August 1900, located in Avondale Road, Cooranbong.

The Research Centre’s e-mail address is [email protected]

For a fuller definition of “Adventist Studies” as offered to undergraduate and particularly postgraduate students (up to PhD level) at institutions such as Andrews University and Avondale College of Higher Education, see the brochure A Brief, Annotated Introduction to the Field of Adventist Studies for Higher Degree Students (Cooranbong: Avondale College of Higher Education, 2009), also available on the Avondale College website.

Educational Events  Each year, the Avondale College Church offers a sequence of Educational Events for its members and their friends. Often these events are led by overseas or local scholars who are making a significant contribution to an aspect of the church, its thought or mission.  At the 20 August 2011 event, the guest speaker was Dr David Trim from the Washington, D.C. area, currently the General Conference Archivist, Statistician and Director of Research. The 10 September 2010 speaker was Dr Wendy Jackson; the October 22 presenter will be Dr Rick Ferret. Plans for 2012 include input from Dr Rolf Pöhler, internationally acclaimed as preacher, speaker, author and lecturer; well known for his teaching at several European Adventist seminaries. This site will on occasion seek to offer meaningful reports about such speakers and events. Usually audio recordings will be available from Mrs Joy Taplin, Office Administrator for the College Church, at the e-mail address [email protected]