North American Regional Department

The following historical outline of the development of our North American Re­gional Department was used by F. L. Peter­son in a report at the General Conference worship, and was of such interest that we requested him to share it with our workers in the field.

Associate Secretary, General Conference

(The following historical outline of the development of our North American Re­gional Department was used by F. L. Peter­son in a report at the General Conference worship, and was of such interest that we requested him to share it with our workers in the field.—Editors.)


1871 One of the first Seventh-day Adventists known to work in the South among the four million colored peo­ple was Silas Osborn, in Kentucky.

1883 The first Seventh-day Adventist col­ored church in all the world was organized at Edgefield Junction, Ten­nessee. The donation on the first Sab­bath was 25 cents.

1889 A. Barry, a former slave who accepted the message by reading the Review, raised up a company in Louisville, Kentucky.

1889 C. M. Kinney, the first ordained col­ored minister in the denomination, was sent to shepherd the Louisville flock. He died August 3, 1951.

1892 Fifty colored Seventh-day Adventists in the South paid a tithe for the year of about $50.

1895 A missionary boat built and manned by James Edson White (a son of Mrs. E. G. White), W. O. Palmer, and F. W. Halliday, became the morning star in the lives of hundreds of col­ored people along the Mississippi River. The boat was named The Morning Star.

This missionary venture was financed by the sale of the book Gospel Primer, familiar to every Seventh-day Advent­ist child of those days.

1896 For the training of colored workers, the General Conference established Oakwood Manual Training School near Huntsville, Alabama.

1901 Anna Knight was sent to India as a missionary.

1902 T. H. Branch was sent to Nyasaland-Malamulo in East Africa as a mis­sionary.

1909 The North American Negro Depart­ment of the General Conference was organized. There were 900 members.

1918 The first Negro to be elected secre­tary of the department was W. H. Green.

1931 B. W. Abney was sent as a missionary to South Africa.

1935 The Message Magazine had its be­ginning.

1936 Riverside Sanitarium and Hospital was opened at Nashville, Tennessee.

1942 The name North American Negro Department changed to North Ameri­can Colored Department.

1944 Voted to organize colored conferences in unions where the colored constit­uency is considered by the union con­ference committee to be sufficiently large, and where the financial income and territory warrant this action.

1954 Name of department changed from North American Colored Department to North American Regional Depart­ment.

1958 Dedication of Phillips Memorial Hos­pital for Negroes in Orlando, Florida.

1958 Oakwood College was accredited by Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges.

Comparative Statement

Chart available in PDF version of this issue.

Fourteen families and four single young women of the Regional Department have been sent out to overseas service since 1931.

The largest Regional Conference is Alle­gheny—membership, 8,280.

The highest delivery record in the his­tory of the publishing work was made by the Allegheny colporteurs in 1959. Amount, $300,437.31.

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Associate Secretary, General Conference

December 1960

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