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Episode 5: A Better Way - Part 1

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

A painting of the Morning Star, a riverboat built by James Edson White (James and Ellen's son) to bring education to the Black population along the Mississippi River, post-Civil War. When angry mobs appeared, the boat could move to safety up or down river.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church officially formed in May 1863, right in the throes of the American Civil War. Adventism was born into a tumultuous time for the country and for Christianity - American churches were splitting on the issue of slavery.

Adventists decided to take a clear moral stance - abolition. But for the Adventists, this belief was more than just lip service.

How deep do Adventism's abolitionist roots go? And what happened once the war was over?

Guests: Pedrito Maynard-Reid, and Kevin Burton

Special thanks to: Brittany Huset, Steven Huset, and James Gigante for lending their voices to bring the writings of Ellen White, Uriah Smith and Joseph Bates alive.


Dive Deeper

This book is the definitive text on the struggle of Black Adventist leadership and parity within the Adventist church. Author Dr. Calvin B. Rock details early Black Adventist history starting after the Civil War and brings us to today, taking the reader every step of the way along the 'push for parity."

Dr. Rock has served the church in many capacities - as a pastor, conference administrator, Oakwood University President, and General Conference Vice President. He combines his pastoral heart, insider knowledge church administrative process, and personal lived experience to show the complex history and legacy of Regional Conferences and Adventism and race.

This book is at the very top of our suggested reading list for all Adventists - especially those in North America.

Published in March 2021, this article details new historical research unearthed by historians Kevin Burton, Douglas Morgan, and Benjamin Baker showing the connection between Frederick Douglass, the Millerites, and later, the Adventists.

And old woman sitting outside next to an old wooden star.
Anna Knight sitting next to the "star" from the Morning Star riverboat, circa 1950s. Courtesy of the Center for Adventist Research.

Article | Anna Knight - ESDA

Rachel “Anna” Knight was an African-American Adventist missionary nurse, teacher, colporteur, Bible worker, and conference official.

She was the first female African-American Seventh-day Adventist missionary to be sent anywhere. She was sent to Calcutta, India in 1901.

Her legacy as a pioneering Adventist woman stands to this day.

From the Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists.

Book | The Life of Joseph Bates - Adventist Archives

This autobiography details the life of Adventist pioneer, sea captain and abolitionist Joseph Bates.

It includes his innermost thoughts and personal convictions in the fight for abolition, and his petitioning, advocacy, and preaching work.

It also details is journey to Millerism and early years of the Adventist church.

All the quotes from Joseph Bates in this episode came from this book.

Article | John Byington - ESDA

John Byington was first General Conference President (voted in 1963) who also operated a stop on the Underground Railroad.

"Prior to his conversion to Sabbath-keeping Adventism in 1852, he played leading roles in reforming the Methodist Church, shaping the anti-slavery movement in America, promoting abolitionism through the Liberty and Free Soil parties, and helping fugitive slaves escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad."

Explore | Gallery

Archival photo of the Morning Star, taked in 1898. Courtesy of the Center for Adventist Research.

A rare colorized image of the Morning Star, transferred onto a glass "lantern slide." Sent to us by Michael Campbell, photo courtesy of the Adventist Archives.


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Twitter: @htcwpodcast

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