our history since 1914, we have seen the merciful hand
of God with us in every crisis. He has given us many victories.
Hereunder are the most noteworthy events which transpired
Period: 1921 1934
Some of the first Sabbath School quarterlies printed
by our pioneer brethren deal with the book of Revelation.
From top to bottom: Romanian (1922), German (1923),
the organization of the SDA Reform Movement in 1925, and
especially before the meeting in Wuerzburg (1921), Reformers
and so-called Reformers did a great deal of unofficial
publishing. But we can identify some official publications,
Sabbath School lessons began to come out already in 1915.
However, the earliest lessons we have in our library were
published in 1922. Beginning with the fourth quarter of
1922, the first two quarterlies dealt with the book of
Sabbat-Waechter (Sabbath Watchman), a monthly magazine,
appeared in 1920.
1923, Carl Spanknoebel was sent as a missionary to USA.
Also Willi O. Welp, the son of Otto Welp, immigrated to
America in the same year. Arthur W. Doerschler, the son-in-law
of Otto Welp, arrived a little later. Oscar Kramer arrived
in the United States in 1925.
Lavrik, from Bessarabia, Romania, went to Brazil in 1924
to do pioneering work.
great concern of the Reform brethren in those days (19251928)
was to send out missionaries and to occupy new territories.
Cecan from Bessarabia, Romania, went to Brazil in 1926
with his parents. He was a great help to Brother Lavrik.
Karl (Carlos) Kozel from Germany, and Iefteni (Eugenio)
Laicovschi from Bessarabia, Romania, immigrated to Argentina
far as the international center of operations was concerned,
it was decided that the General Conference should, for
the time being, share the same building where the German
Union had its headquarters, in Wuerzburg. In 1926 the
General Conference office was moved from Wuerzburg to
Isernhagen, near Hannover, Germany, together with the
German Union headquarters.
the General Conference of the Reform Movement was
organized, our Sabbath School quarterlies were edited
in the name of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform
Movement General Conference and printed by the German
Union. Translations from German were made into many
other languages. From the time that our GC headquarters
were established in USA, translations have been
made from English originals.
a bigger and much more suitable place had been secured
for the two headquarters (General Conference and German
Union), a print shop was also set up on the same property.
The establishment of the Religious Liberty Publishing
Association (Missionsverlag fuer Glaubens-und-Gewissensfreiheit)
permitted the development of the colporteur work, which
became a very active enterprise.
so many years have elapsed, we cannot easily distinguish
between the work of the General Conference and that of
the German Union in the early days of our history.
first number of the official organ of the SDA Reform Movement
General ConferenceDer Adventarbeiter (The
Advent Worker)appeared in October 1928.
publications that had been sent overseas and had been
scattered in many places generated some response. The
seed was already springing up and it was necessary to
send workers to answer the Macedonian calls coming from
different areas. And there were courageous men who said,
through their attitude, "Here am I; send me,"
showing their willingness to do pioneering work in faraway
countries, where they would have to learn a new language
and adapt themselves to different living conditions.
of Der Adventarbeiter (The Advent Worker), organ
of the SDA Reform Movement General Conference, began
in October 1928.
after the first General Conference session (1925), internal
difficulties began to arise; 1928 was a particularly difficult
year for the work in Germany and for the General Conference
administration. Wilhelm Richter, president of the German
Union, was in opposition to Otto Welp, the General Conference
president. During the second General Conference session
(1928), the whole committee of the German Union, under
the influence of Brother Richter, stood up against the
General Conference administration. Albert Mueller, Joseph
Adamczak and Kasper Kissener sided with Brother Richter.
Brother Richter was removed from his office as president
of the German Union, but his committee supported him against
the decision of the General Conference. Special efforts
were made to convince the German leaders to change their
attitude and, after a long discussion, they finally admitted
that they were in error. The leadership of the German
Union was then given to Brother Mueller. But that was
not the end of the trouble. The next day, Brother Richter
recanted his confession and continued his opposition.
He, together with some of those who continued supporting
him, were disfellowshiped. For years he tried to establish
his own group but was unsuccessful. During World War II,
for some time, he seemed to be reconciled with the leading
brethren. But toward the end of the war he fell out with
the leadership again. Disgruntled, he went back to the
Adventist Church in 1945.
for the Week of Prayer have been supplied internationally
by the SDA Reform Movement General Conference ever
since the organization was completed (1925).
General Conference was incorporated January 11, 1929.
Some of our leaders wanted to know what had become of
that registration. So, in 1963,
D. Nicolici, plus the author of this book and one more
brother went to the registration office at Burgwedel,
near Hannover, Germany, and this is what they learned:
The German Union was incorporated on March 21, 1927 (this
was a second incorporation); and it was dissolved by the
Secret State Police May 12, 1936. The General Conference
was incorporated January 11, 1929, and dissolved by the
Secret State Police May 11, 1936.
work of reformation had already gained a good foothold
in Europe, and, with the help of human and financial means
coming from the European countries, Reform missionaries
were already working in the United States, Canada, Brazil,
and Argentina. Now it was necessary to answer some urgent
calls coming from other parts of the world. According
to a report presented by T. T. Ndhlovu, from Southern
Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), at the 1931 General Conference
session, a European missionary was needed to help in the
work in the southern parts of Africa. Eugen Frick and
his wife, from Germany, accepted the call. Arrangements
were made by the General Conference Executive Committee
(meeting at Isernhagen, Germany, August 1931) for Brother
and Sister Frick to move to South Africa by the end of
charts were needed for the work in several places. Martin
Hunger, from Germany, was entrusted with the task of preparing
these missionary materials.
small missionary school had already been started at Rama,
near Wuerzburg, Germany, in 1920. Yet this was a local
initiative. So, during their meeting in August 1931, the
Executive Committee of the General Conference decided
to establish, in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany, a missionary
training center on an international basis for the preparation
of workers for the worldwide field. The date for the beginning
of the school year was set for April 1, 1932.
are some of the publications prepared in Germany
in the early days of Reform, explaining why, how,
and when the SDA Reform Movement came into existence.
A few of these booklets were translated from German
into other languages.
Executive Committee was filled with concern regarding
the preparation of young people for the work. It was evident
that each Union was not in a position to establish its
own missionary training center. So the Committee decided
(July 1932) to recommend the following plan to all Union
Conferences: Each local church and group should function
as a little school where young men and women should receive
a theoretical and practical training for the work.
Executive Committee (July 1932) still had to deal with
one of the questions that had come up during the delegation
session in 1931, namely, the latter rain and the loud
cry. In one of their resolutions, they declared with reference
to the last stage of the work of Revelation 18:14:
the basis of the Holy Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy
writings concerning the meaning of the loud cry, and the
way in which the loud cry is to come, it is our knowledge
and conviction that we are not in the loud cry at this
time. According to Early Writings, p. 271, it is evident
that the loud cry will come together with the latter rain.
However, we believe that this work of reformation is a
fulfillment of Revelation 18:1 in the sense that it is
preparing the way for the loud cry."
next General Conference Executive Committee meeting took
place in Heerlen, Holland, December 1933. Still greatly
concerned with the need to enter new fields, the Committee
sent the following recommendation to all Union Conferences:
The leaders of the different Unions should select the
most faithful and capable young men, who have already
proved that they have a burden for souls and who already
have a good experience in the colporteur work, and encourage
them to learn foreign languages. If necessary, under special
circumstances, the General Conference will cover the expenses
involved in this program. As the Bible and the Spirit
of Prophecy say that workers are to be sent out two and
two, this plan must be taken into account by our young
men when they make up their mind to start learning a language,
in agreement with one another, under the guidance of the
Union Committee. Then they can be sent out as colporteurs,
two to one country, two to another country, and so on.
Pioneering work is to be done through colporteurs.