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The Unknown Prophet

Delbert W. Baker, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1987, 160 pages, $12.95, hardback.

Reviewed by Ella M. Rydzewski, editorial secretary of MINISTRY magazine.

This is a book that deserves close attention in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Five years of thorough research have gone into this biography of a remarkable pioneer in the Ad vent movement. The life of William Foy, a young Black minister from New England, has been little understood by church members. He has frequently been confused with Hazen Foss, who rejected God's calling as a prophet. William Foy did not reject his calling, but between the years of 1842 and 1844 faithfully filled his special role as a messenger to God's people. Though Foy was a humble man, he proved a powerful and insightful preacher as he spoke in various churches about his experience. He received his first vision at a racially integrated prayer meeting in Boston on January 18, 1842. What is known of this and his following visions is movingly described. (According to Ellen White, Foy had four visions, but nothing is known of the last one.) It is felt that had people understood the implications of the visions, they may have been spared, or at least prepared for, the great disappointment of 1844.

After the Disappointment Foy heard Ellen White speak, and the two shared their experiences. Shortly after this, Foy dropped out of the public eye, possibly fearful of detracting from the work that had passed to Ellen White. His later years were spent quietly in pastoral work in rural areas.

This is a story that should be read and reflected upon by Seventh-day Adventists. It represents assurance of God's personal inter est in His people and can motivate them to needed revival and preparation for the awe some times ahead.


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Reviewed by Ella M. Rydzewski, editorial secretary of MINISTRY magazine.

February 1988

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