[La Sierra University Library Heritage Room]

Seventh-day Adventist Missions Around The World:
a guide to research


In the beginning...

Look up the article in the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopediaon the country you're interested in. It will have a history of SDA work in that country and usually mention a number of names to get you started. You can also find articles on many people who took part in Adventist missions. (Her. BX6154 .S39 1996)

A second book of some use is W. A. Spicer, Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, especially volumes 3 and 4, which chronicle the progress of the SDA church outside of North America. Spicer is somewhat dated, but his notes are excellent guides to the various sources he used. (Her. BX6153 .S63 v. 3-4).

Then consult the bibliography below for a sample of items on the country or area of your interest. Keep in mind that this is only the beginning. You will need to research additional information. One quick way to do this is to do a subject search in the library catalog under "Missions" and "Seventh-day Adventists--Missions" subdivided by the country you're interested in, as for instance "Missions--China" and "Seventh-day Adventists--Missions--Germany". You can also use this to look up people you're interested in.

Another method is to consult the Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index (available in the Heritage Room, or online at http://www.andrews.edu/library/ahc/sdapi.cgi) and do a subject search for the name of the country you’re interested in. You will have to sift through these articles, since many of them are little one-paragraph reports of hospital openings and the like, but the longer ones are frequently of great value. If you are interested in a particular person, you can get articles by them with an author search, and articles about them with a subject search.

One thing to keep in mind: look carefully at the bibliographies of books on the subject you’re interested in. This will save you a great deal of work, since someone else has already gone through and found the works that they consider most useful.

Finally, check our library catalog and see if we have a thesis or dissertation on the subject of your interest. The bibliographies in these works are very comprehensive, and may lead you to sources not available any other way.


Gottfried Oosterwal's book Mission: possible; the challenge of mission today (Her. BV2495 .O58) and Jon Dybdahl's Missions: a two-way street (Her. BV3317.D92 A3 1986) both provide a useful look at current Adventist thought on missions.

W.A. Spicer's The gospel in all the world (Her. BV2495 .S6) gives an older perspective on the same subject.

Spectrum's Summer 1971 (3:3) and April 1988 (12:3) issues were devoted to Adventist missions and contain much useful information.



Branson, William H. Missionary adventures in Africa. (Her. BV3500 .B65)

Burnham, Gilbert. "AIDS hits Africa: where are SDAs?" Spectrum 23:4 (January 1994), p. 6-11.

Conference on African trends : Solusi College, November 22-27, 1963. (Her. BV3500 .A3 1963)

Makapela, Alven. The problem with Africanity in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. (Her BX6154 .M23 1996)

Ncube, Zebron M. "African Adventists' quest for self-reliance." Spectrum 13:1 (September 1982), p. 7-13.

Nelson, Leonard. The Perigrinations of a Pedagogue. (Her. LB875 .N44). Extremely interesting autobiography of an Adventist teacher in Kenya and Uganda.

Nserko, Danieri D. "Mission in Africa." Spectrum 3:3 (Summer 1971), p. 47-54.

Seventh-day Adventist contributions to East Africa, 1903-1983. (Her. BX6153.81 .P4)

Staples, Russell. "Must polygamists divorce?' Spectrum 13:1 (September 1982) p. 44-53.


Hanson, Herbert M. For God and emperor. (DT387.7 .H3)


Vanderwerff, Corrine. Kill thy neighbor : one man's incredible story of loss and deliverance in Rwanda. (DT 450.435 V36 1996)

South Africa

Branson, Roy. "Bleeding silently: Adventists in South Africa." Spectrum 17:2 (December 1986), p. 2-13.

Brunt, John. "The many voices of South Africa." Spectrum 16:5 (February 1986), p. 35-36.

Dewees, Curt. "Whites and blacks unite in South Africa." Spectrum 22:1 (March 1992), p. 3-8.

Thompson, Ronald Charles Lloyd. A history of the growth and development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa, 1920-1960. Ph.D. thesis, Rhodes University, 1977. (BX6153.85 .T5)


Nsereko, D.D.N. "Adventist revolutionary leads Uganda." Spectrum 7:4 (May 1987) p. 5-12.


Sbacchi, Alberto. "Solusi: first Seventh-day Adventist mission in Africa." Adventist Heritage 4:1 (Summer 1977), p. 33-43.

Burton, I B. The reminiscences and recollections of a pioneer; or, With the message in the dark continent, 1894-1924. (Amarillo, 1976.) Her. BX6153.85 B8



Adventist Heritage (10:2 and 16:1) and Spectrum (18:5, June 1988) have special issues covering Australia and the Pacific; they are recommended as starting points.

The book Symposium on Adventist history in the South Pacific, 1885-1918 (BX6153.9 .S95) has very good bibliographies..


Goldstone, Sydney Ross. The angel said Australia. (Her. BX6153.65 .G6)

New Zealand

Goldstone, Sydney Ross. Nothing to fear. (BX6153.92 .G62) is a brief history of Adventism in New Zealand.

Ballis, Peter H., ed. In and out of the world: Seventh-day Adventists in New Zealand (Her. BX 6153.92 .I5) is a useful collection of lectures on the topic.


Pitcairn Island (whose population, descended from the mutineers of H.M.S. Bounty, is entirely Adventist) remains the most famous Adventist mission in the Pacific, but is far from the only one.

Currie, Alexander S. "In the wake of the Pitcairn : establishing Adventism in the South Pacific Islands." Spectrum 18:5 (June 1988), p. 57-62.

Young, Rosalind Amelia. Mutiny of the Bounty and the story of Pitcairn Island, 1790-1894. (Her. DU800 .Y75)



The book Light dawns over Asia : Adventism's story in the Far Eastern Division 1888-1988 is a good starting point, with most Asian countries having a chapter. The bibliography is very useful.

Henao, Lilian, "Buddhism a Mission Challenge for Adventists" Adventist Review, April 8 2004, p. 18, provides a basic introduction to Adventist-Buddhist issues.


Thurber, Robert B. In the land of pagodas. (DS485.B81 T5)


Christian, Ed. "Eyewitness in Beijing: the re-emergence of Adventism." Spectrum 16:1 (April 1984), p. 35-45.

Crisler, Clarence C. China's borderlands and beyond. (Her. BV 3415 C7). Many stories about China’s frontier regions.

Lee, S.J. "Adventism in China: the Communist takeover." Spectrum 7:3, p. 16-22.

Lin, David. "Years of heartbreak: lessons for mission by a China insider." Spectrum 7:3, p. 22-33, and "Missionary from Cathay: David Lin's own story". Spectrum 21:5, p. 34-42.

Moore, Raymond S. China doctor: the life story of Harry Willis Miller. (R722 .M6)

Neall, Ralph and Beatrice. The rains descended and the floods came: a survey of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Communist China. (BX6153.67 .N4)

Ou, Tan Kia. Bibles and blessings in old China. (BX6153.75 T35 1972)

Tsao, Lien-Chieh. The development and history of the Seventh-day Adventist church in China since the Communist takeover. (Thesis BX6153.75 .T73 1975)

With our missionaries in China has numerous accounts by early Adventist missionaries in that country. (Her. BV2495 .W5)


Babcock, Fern Gibson. Frontline: India. (Her. BV3265.2 .B3)

Manzoor, R. Massey. "An Indian looks at missions." Spectrum 3:3 (Summer 1971), p. 57-62.

De Alwis, Brian. "India's latest export of Adventism: bullock-cart theology." Spectrum 20:4 (June 1990), p. 14-17.

Rice, Henry. Native life in India, being sketches of the social and religious characteristics of the Hindus. (DS 421 .R53)

Shepard, Loren Clayton. I'd like to do it again: mission experiences in India. (Her. BV3269 .S547)

The September 30, 1993 issue of the Adventist Review is devoted to the history of Adventism in India since 1893.


Eldridge, Retha H. From the rising of the sun. (BV 3457 .E4 A3)

Evans, Donna J. From Japan, with love. Account by a student missionary to Japan. (BV 3445.2 E93)


Wangerin, Theodora Scharffenberg. God sent me to Korea. (BV 3462 .W3 A3)


Cleveland, Clyde C. Indonesian adventure for Christ. Very good collection of stories. (BV 3340 .C56)


Melashenko, Lonnie. Bodyguards, bombs, and baptismal barrels. (BV3380 .M44)

Warren, L. Donald. Isles of opportunity : progress and possiblities in the Philippine Islands. Very useful for Adventist efforts in the Philippine Islands up to 1928, and for a look at then-standard Adventist views of what would now be called Third World nations. (Her. DS 685 .W27)


Miller, Art. Against all odds. (R722.32.M67 M55 1986)

Sorajjakool, Siroj. "In search of a god who eats rice." Spectrum 25:4 (June 1996), p. 32-3

Memory book to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Seventh-day Adventist work in Thailand (Her. BX 6153.73 .M46) contains numerous pictures and short histories of a number of Adventist insitutions in Thailand.


Brown, Bruce. "Saigon journal: the last 15 days." Spectrum 7:3, p. 34-44.



An indispensable book for the early Adventist work in Europe is Historical sketches of the foreign missions of the Seventh-day Adventists : with reports of the European Missionary Councils of 1883, 1884, and 1885, and a narrative by Mrs. E. G. White of her visit and labors in these missions. (Basil, 1886) (Her. BV2100 .H5).

Christian, Lewis Harrison, Pioneers and builders of the Advent cause in Europe. (Her. BX6153 .C5) has short biographies of many early Adventist missionaries.

A recent official history is Heirs of the Reformation: the story of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe (Her. BX6153.6 .H44)


Dabrowski, Roy. "Albania's dawn." Spectrum 22:1 (Mar 1992), p. 24-29.


Heinz, Daniel. Church, state, and religious dissent : a history of Seventh-day Adventists in Austria, 1890-1975. (Frankfurt, 1993). Her. BX6153.4 A8 H45 1993.


Patterson, Rae. Front line Bulgaria (Her. BV2930 .P37)


Branson, Roy. "Two years after the revolution: Germany and Czechoslovakia." Spectrum 22:1 (March 1992), p. 30-42.


Barham, Nigel D. "Opening the British Mission," Adventist Heritage 4:2 (Fall 1984), p. 12-18

Barham, Nigel D. The progress of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Great Britain, 1878-1974. (Ph.D. thesis, University of Michigan, 1976). Her. BX6153 .B37.

Picart, Jean. "The British Union: some comments on the issues." Spectrum 11:4 (June 1981), p. 2-12.

Porter, Dennis. "Crisis in the British Union". Spectrum 11:4 (June 1981), p. 2-12.


Blaich, Roland. "Health reform and race hygiene : Adventists and the biomedical vision of the Third Reich." Church HIstory 65:3 (1996), p. 425-440.

Blaich, Roland. "Selling Nazi Germany abroad : the case of Hulda Jost." Journal of Church and State 35 (Aut 1993), p. 807-830.

Branson, Roy. "Two years after the revolution: Germany and Czechoslovakia." Spectrum 22:1 (March 1992), p. 30-42.

Patt, Jack M. "Living in a time of trouble: German Adventists under Nazi rule." Spectrum 8:3 (1977), p. 2-10.

Patt, Jack M. The history of the Advent movement in Germany. (Her. BX6153.63 .P3)

Sicher, Erwin, "SDA publications and the Nazi temptation," Spectrum 8:3 (1977), p. 11-24.


Yialelis, Leland. "Greece: the gospel to Macedonia and beyond." Spectrum 15:3 (October 1984), p. 35-41.


Szilvasi, Jozsef. "Romanian Adventists before and after the revolution." Spectrum 20:4 (June 1990), p. 2-6.


Scriven, Charles. "The oppressed brother: the challenge of the True and Free Adventists", Spectrum 13:3 (1983), p. 24-30.

Scriven, Charles. "Soviet views of Adventism: a communist analysis." Spectrum 10:3 (November 1979). An interesting look at things from the other side.

Spectrum's November 1988 (19:2) issue dealt with "Adventists and the USSR". Issue 11:4 dealt with "Adventists in the Soviet Union."


Linden, Ingemar. Biblicism, apokalyptik, utopi. Adventismens historiska utformningi USA samt dess svenska utveckling till o. 1939. (Uppsala, 1971) There is a summary in English. (Her. BX6115 .L55.)


Lecourt, Nancy J. "Clinique 'La Ligniere': the first seventy years of Seventh-day Adventist medical work in Switzerland. Adventist Heritage 9:2 (Fall 1984), p. 3-11.



A comprehensive history is Floyd Greenleaf, The Seventh-Day Adventist church in Latin America and the Caribbean. (Berrien Springs, 1992.) Her. BX6153.56 .G74 1992 v.1-2.

Floyd Greenleaf released an updated version: A land of hope : the growth of the Seventh-day Adventist church in South America (Her. BX6153.58 .G73 2011)

Another is Walton John Brown, The foundations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Austral South America, 1785-1912 (Her. BX6153.58 B7), a dissertation with a useful 50-page bibliography.

Wesley Amundsen’s The Advent message in Inter-America is a useful general survey of Mexico, the West Indies, and the Caribbean. (BV2845 .A5)



Dyer, Mercedes. "Establishing River Plate Sanitarium." Adventist Heritage 6:1 (Summer 1979) p. 16-27

Weiss, Herold. "A native son reports from Argentina." Spectrum 15:1 (May 1984), p. 34-36.


Phillips, Glenn O. "Barbados' Battle Creek doctor: Charles J. B. Cave, 1870-1939." Adventist Heritage 5:2 (Winter 1978), p. 22-33.

Phillips, Glenn O. Over a century of Adventism, 1884-1991. (Barbados, 1991). Her. BX6153.57 P54.


Amundsen, Wesley. Sons of the Incas. (BV2853.B4 A5)


Halliwell, Leo. Light bearer to the Amazon. Stories by an early missionary to Brazil and Peru. (BV 2853 .B6 H3)

Westphal, Barbara Osborne. A bride on the Amazon. Letters home from a missionary’s wife. (BV 2853 .B6 W4)


Dabrowski, Ray. "Cuban church sees steady growth." Adventist Review, January 11, 2001, p. 18-19.

Geraty, Ronald. "Cuba: testimony of a prisoner of conscience." Spectrum 15:3 (October 1984), p. 16-23.

Rosado, Caleb. "Castro and the churches." Spectrum 15:3 (October 1984), p. 24-27.

Dominican Republic

Lee, Julie Z. "Searching for light: listening to people on the ground in the Dominican Republic." Adventist Review, June 13, 2002, p. 22-26.

El Salvador

Anderson, Eric. "El Salvador: a high-risk mission for political reform." Spectrum 15:3 (October 1984), p. 28-34.


Branson, Roy. "Home to Grenada: a seminary professor on his role in the new government." Spectrum 14:4 (1983), p. 9-13.


Adventist Heritage 12:2 was a special issue on Ferdinand and Anna Stahl, missionaries to the Indians in the Lake Titicaca area.

Stahl, Ferdinand. In the Amazon jungles (Mountain View, 1932). Her. F 3451 .A4 S8 1932

Stahl, Ferdinand. In the land of the Incas. (Mountain View, 1920). Her. F 3430 .S78

Teel, Charles. "The radical roots of Peruvian Adventism." Spectrum 21:1 (December 1990), p. 5-18.

Trinidad and Tobago

Murray, Eric John. A history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trinidad and Tobago, 1891-1981. (Port-of-Spain, 1982.) Her. BX6153.57 .M87


Huerano, Pablo E. Venezuelan Adventist University Institute: the development of a Seventh-day Adventist Educational Institution, 1962-1999. (Ph.D. dissertation, Andrews University, 2001.) Includes a chapter giving background history of Adventists in Venezuela, and a moderately useful bibliography.


Spectrum's October 1992 (22:4) issue had a special section "Muslims and Mission" which is extremely important for dealing with Adventist work in the Islamic world.

Also consult The Three Angels and the Crescent: Adventist approaches to Islamic people (Her. BV2625 .T417 1993) for a number of recent essays on the same subject.

One book from a different angle is Baldur Pfeiffer’s The European Seventh-day Adventist mission in the Middle East, 1879-1939. (BV3151 .P45)


Sutton, Scott. "The desert’s blooming." Adventist Review, November 9, 2000, p. 8-10.


Oster, Kenneth. To Persia, with love. (BV3217.O86 O87)


"The Church and the war in Lebanon." Spectrum 8:1 special issue.


Schantz, Borge. "A model for cross-cultural evangelism." Ministry, April 2001, p.18-19,30.




Adventist Heritage 14:3 (Winter 1992) is a special issue on Adventists in Canada.

United States

There is a great deal of material on Adventism in the United States. You may find it useful to look up material on Adventists in individual states in the library catalog (do a subject search for "Seventh-day Adventists – California", for example.)

Gary Land's Adventism in America : a history provides a useful introduction to the subject. (Her. BX6153.2 .A38 1986)

Richard Schwarz’s Light-bearers to the remnant has much information on Adventism in the United States. (BX6153 .S38)

Also of considerable interest is Seeking a sanctuary : Seventh-day Adventism and the American dream, by sociologists Malcolm Bull and Keith Lockhart. (Her. BX6155.4 .B85 1989)

Since Adventism originated in America, accounts of early Adventist history include a great deal about Adventism in the United States. John Loughborough’s Rise and progress of the Seventh-day Adventists is one of the earliest histories of the church and its people, and has a great deal of information that later accounts tend to skip over. (BX6153 .L6 R5)

There are many studies of the different cultural groups within North American Adventism; a good recent book on Hispanic Adventism is Manuel Vasquez, The untold story: 100 years of Hispanic Adventism (Her. BX 6153.88 H5 V37). Charles E. Dudley's Thou who hath brought us studies African-American Seventh-day Adventism. (Her. BX 6154 .D78).



Bibliography compiled by Tony Zbaraschuk (tzbarasc@lasierra.edu)

Last updated July 3, 2012