Unparalleled Mission Growth


Dec. 15 - Unparalleled Mission Growth: 1900-1950 2




It had been planted on good soil by abundant waters, that it might produce branches and bear fruit and become a noble vine. Ezek. 17:8, ESV.

By 1900 rapid growth had become the Adventist way. Its roots had been set, its branches had been established, and it began to develop abundant fruit around the world.

In 1890 Adventism had 255 evangelistic workers and 27,031 members in North America and 5 workers and 2,680 members outside. But by 1910 the North American statistics show 2,326 evangelistic workers and 66,294 members, while the non-North American membership stood at 38,232, served by 2,020 workers. Two decades later the numbers were 2,509 workers and 120,560 members in North America and 8,479 workers and 193,693 members overseas. And by 1950 the number of evangelistic workers in North America stood at 5,588 and the membership at 250,939. The non-North American numbers were 12,371 and 505,773.

Those rather startling figures indicate not only rapid growth but a shift in the proportion of Adventists outside of North America. During the mid-1920s the denomination passed the point where it had more members outside the continent of its birth than it did within.

Thus the church not only preached worldwide but was beginning to become internationalized, a process still under way.

Some of the implications of internationalization were already becoming evident by 1900. One was an expansion of home bases for the sending of foreign missionaries. While that practice had begun during the nineteenth century, Daniells consciously sought to develop Adventism further in such nations as Germany, England, and Australia, in order
to make them stronger home bases for additional expansion.

The early decades of the twentieth century witnessed the German church, under the leadership of L. R. Conradi, pioneer Adventism in the Middle East and East Africa.

Australian missionaries, meanwhile, rapidly spread the message throughout much of the South Pacific. And British Adventism, with its nation's global empire and strongly developed missionary tradition, rapidly moved to plant Adventism in many parts of the world. As the century progressed, more and more missions in both developed and undeveloped nations became self-sustaining conferences that could function as home bases for additional mission outreach.

Step by step God was still leading His people.


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If we surrender our lives to His service, we can never be placed in a position for which  God has not made provision. Whatever may be our situation, we have a Guide to direct our way; whatever our perplexities, we have a sure Counselor; whatever our sorrow, bereavement, or loneliness, we have a sympathizing Friend(COL 173).