This period (1995-97) marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Regional Conferences(1945-47). Although the establishment of Regional Conferences is one of the most significant developments in Black SDA history, it is a part of a larger spiritual heritage. Gods providence in the history of how Black people have helped to build and support the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church-in spite of incredible odds-is inspirational and miraculous. It is a story that needs to be told and retold. Telling the Story is the purpose of this anthology. According to prophetic literature, the work among Black people is under a divine mandate. Ellen White wrote in Southern Work that as surely as God led the Israelites out of Egypt, so He led the Black race out of slavery. Then, to further note His continuing providence she added that it was "His desire to work still further for them and lead them into a knowledge of His truth (p. 42). As surely as God was with the Jews in the Exodus and beyond, so He was with Black people in the Emancipation and beyond. It is a wonderful story. It is the intent of the Black Caucus of SDA Administrators to facilitate Telling the Story of the Black SDA work in a variety of ways-through videos, oral history, conference-wide programs, and projects like this literary anthology. There are many other reasons for an anthology of articles and documents. One obvious reason is to make the materials readily available to the interested reader. Often after I make public presentations, teach a class, or conduct a workshop, people ask for copies referred to. While I would cite the reference, in many cases the person was not able to easily acquire the document(s). One of the questions most frequently asked is "how can I get a copy of that document?" So this anthology will effectively make these documents more readily accessible in a permanent and convenient form. This collection is composed of more than 100 selected historical articles, book chapters, essays, monographs, supporting original documents, charts, models, position papers, outlines, and visuals. Many of the documents are out of print or were never published. Due to space considerations, many of the materials were printed here in a reduced form. In most cases; legibility is not a problem. Each of the five sections is separately paged lo allow for additions in the future. While it does not claim to be exhaustive, this collection is definitely representative of historical literature in the respective areas. The materials have been written by scholars, pastors, administrators, and laypersons over a period of more than 150 years. Several writers may have a different perspective of the same event or issue. However, this allows the reader to see the breadth of opinion on a given topic. Whenever possible, sources and writers have been fully credited. If the original source is still in print, the reader is encouraged to purchase the publication. The writers and originating organizations are appreciated for their insights. The materials in this anthology are organized under the following topical sections:
It is the sincere desire of the compiler and the Black Caucus of SDA Administrators that this anthology will be an inspiration and blessing as one studies and traces Gods providential leadings in the development of the Black work. Further, may this collection motivate and inspire others to continue to research and write in the important area of Black SDA history. As this anthology will be revised from time to time. suggestions for improvement and inclusion of other helpful materials are welcomed.
Delbert W. Baker, Ph.D., M.Div.