Introduction

Race relations in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in southern Africa, from its beginnings, reflected that of South African society in general. On July 28, 1887, a party of six American Seventh-day Adventist missionaries: D. A. Robinson, C. L. Boyd (and their respective wives), G. Burleigh, and R. S. Anthony; arrived in Cape Town on the Hawarden Castle to begin the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s work in southern Africa. That same year, Cecil John Rhodes, member of parliament for Barkly West in the Cape Colony said:

 

I will lay down my own policy on this Native question. Either you have to receive them on an equal footing as citizens, or to call them a subject race. I have made up my mind that there must be class legislation, that there must be pass laws and peace preservation acts and that we have to treat natives where they are in a state of barbarism in a different way from ourselves. We are to be lords over them. These are my policies, these are the policies of South Africa…we have given them no share in the government and I think quite rightly too.[1]

 

Three years later Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Apartheid

At the Truth and Reconciliation Committee hearings (held 1995-1998), it was confirmed that many South African “faith communities, contrary to their central teachings, were active or silent supporters of apartheid….in large measure churches…gave support, symbolic and practical, to the violent state machine.”[2] The Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa was one of these communities and broadly speaking it participated whole-heartedly in the South African government’s policy of apartheid. [3] Such participation and support came easily, as there was already a great deal of racial separation and discrimination present in the Seventh-day Adventist church.

On the 14th of January 1893, Pieter Wessels wrote to Ellen White: “I do not want my children to associate with the lower classes of coloured people. I will labor for them and teach my children to do so. But I do not want my children to mix with them for such is detrimental to their moral welfare. Nor do I want my children to think there is no difference in society that they should finally associate and marry into coloured blood.”[4] Wessels continued: “So there is the colour line drawn which is very distinctly drawn here in society. For my part I do not care. I can shake hands with the coloured people and so forth. But our association with them is going to spoil our influence with others who are accustomed to these things...to have any influence with the higher class of people, we must respect these differences.”[5]

Thus for Wessels, it was more important to retain the values of his surrounding culture than to take a moral stand on the issue of racial equality. Ironically, his aim in doing so was in order that members of society with racist attitudes could be reached with the gospel. It must be asked however—is a racist gospel really the gospel of Jesus Christ?

There is no doubt that the Wessels family donated large amounts of money to the work of the SDA church in South Africa, Australia, and America and their generosity should be remembered. However, the racist attitudes of these early Seventh-day Adventist members and the impact that such attitudes have had on the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa—which is still in one area structurally divided along racial lines—must also be noted.[6]

In 1948 the National Party, led by D. F. Malan was elected to power in South Africa on the basis of a policy of Afrikaner supremacy and Back exclusion—apartheid. Apartheid laws introduced nationally included:

  • The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949)
  • The Ppulation Registration Act (1949)
  • The Immorality Act (1950)
  • The Group Areas Act (1950)
  • The Prevention of Ilegal Squatting Act (1951)
  • The Bantu Authorities Act (1953)
  • The Bantu Eucation Act (1953).

These acts attempted to “separate white and black living areas, educational provision and social intercourse. Jobs were also reserved according to race.”[7]

 

It is important to note however, that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was structurally divided along racial lines prior to the formal introduction of apartheid in 1948.

Racial Segregation

Like the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s work in many other parts of the world, the church’s work in Southern Africa was highly institutionalized. Moreover—with few exceptions, these institutions were racially segregated from the beginning of the church’s work in South Africa.

 

Medical Institutions:

In 1919, a special ward was built at the Plumstead Sanitarium (opened in 1903 in the building that had housed the Plumstead Orphanage) to accommodate Coloured patients—it not being appropriate that these patients reside in the main White’s only wards. It is probable that no Black patients were ever treated at Plumstead.

The first and only Seventh-day Adventist hospital built to serve the black population in South Africa was Nokuphila Hospital which opened in 1936 in Sophiatown—a Black township near Johannesburg. It operated until 1959 when Sophiatown was demolished by the South African government and the black population forcibly removed to Soweto.

 

Educational Institutions:

While at least one Black student and several Coloured students were admitted to Claremont Union College prior to its move to Spion Kop, the school’s constituency remained almost entirely White until 1974 when as Helderberg College, coloured fourth-year Theology students were officially admitted.[8]

From 1904 a separate primary school for Coloured children operated in conjunction with Claremont Union College.[9] In 1913 the Cape Conference created a committee to find a suitable site for a separate training school for coloured church workers. Work did not proceed however beyond this committee and a 1914 request to the South African Union to appeal for funds to the General Conference on their behalf.[10]

In 1930 Good Hope Training School in the Cape Town suburb of Athlone opened. It offered education for Coloured students from primary through secondary and a two-year post-secondary Normal/Theological Course for future teachers and ministers.[11] It was not until 1970 that a third year was added to the Theology course.[12] In 1963 the school moved to Kuils River, initially taking the name Good Hope Training College. Soon however it was known as Good Hope College.[13] When compared with the educational institution for White students, Good Hope College was grossly under-resourced, understaffed, and underfunded.

In 1968 Alwyn du Preez was the first non-white to graduate from Helderberg College, completing the third and fourth years of the theology course there after graduating from the two-year Good Hope course in 1957. His presence was a “special concession” by the college; du Preez was required to live off-campus and was barred from using an college facilities other than the classrooms and library. He was not permitted to attend the Helderberg College graduation ceremony in 1968.

In 1971, Robert Hall—a black student from Zimbabwe who had completed three years of the Theology course at Good Hope College was grudgingly permitted to enrol at Helderberg College. Similar restrictions to those placed on du Preez were placed upon Hall. He was not permitted to board in the dormitory, nor to eat in the cafeteria; nor was he allowed to graduate with his class in 1971.[14] That same year, the administration of Helderberg College asked the South African Government “to rule on the acceptance of a foreign non-white at an all-white South African educational institution.” They were told that “it was not, and never had been, government policy to interfere in the training of ministers by any denomination.” As du Preez & du Pre, point out, “this meant that Adventists of colour had been barred from Helderberg College all these years because of naked racist attitudes, not by government laws!”

From 1972 onwards there were tentative moves to integrate Helderberg College. It was proposed that students from Good Hope College who had completed the second year of theological studies would transfer to Helderberg College to complete their third and fourth years. Despite strong opposition from the Helderberg College principal A. O. Coetzee, “academic integration” proceeded, with the first officially sanctioned Coloured students attending Helderberg College in 1974. The Coloured students attended with a number of restrictions—they were unable to board on campus, they could not participate in any off-campus college activities, and were restricted to the library and classrooms. They were however permitted to graduate with their white classmates—in 1974, three of the four graduates were Coloured. At the end of 1975, the Theology department at Good Hope College was closed and from 1976 both Coloured and White theology students attended Helderberg College. [15] It was not until 1992 however, that a non-White (Indian) lecturer was appointed to the Helderberg College staff—and then as a visiting, non-permanent lecturer.

In 1909, Maranatha Mission—a school for Black students was opened near Grahamstown. In 1919 it was relocated to Butterworth as Bethel Training School. In 1928 following the vacating of the Spion Kop site by the whites-only Spion Kop College, Bethel Training School was transferred to the Spion Kop site and was named Spion Kop Missionary Institute. In 1937 the Spion Kop site was sold and the Spion Kop Missionary Institute return to its original site near Butterworth as Bethel Training College. The college operated as the principle educational institution for Black Seventh-day Adventist students studying at a post-secondary level. In 1991 the Department of Theology at Bethel College was closed and all theological students transferred to Helderberg College. As Pantalone points out, this was unquestionably “ a severe blow” to Bethel College—one from which it was unable to recover—and the College closed in 2005.[16]

 

Administrative Structures:

By 1920, the expansion of the church north of South Africa had grown so much that the South Africa Union Conference was unable to cope. Therefore, in 1920 the African Division was established with its headquarters in Cape Town. The General Conference’s action stated, “We accept the proposal of an African Divisional section of the General Conference, its territory comprising all that portion of the continent at present under supervision of the South African Union Conference, and its Union Missions, with the addition of the Belgian Congo and all the western portion of Africa south of and including the Cameroons.”

Work continued to expand—though racial discrimination was an accepted practice. For example, the Constitution of the Union Missions formed in 1920 stated that ordained Black ministers could baptise only with the approval of the Mission Field executive committee, and administer communion; however they were in no case to take precedence over a White church elder—even if he was not ordained to the ministry.[17]

In 1922 the African Division was formed.[18] At the same time, to the South African Union Conference was added the Southern Union Mission which oversaw work amongst Black Seventh-day Adventists. That year, “the native membership stood at 256, and represented Kafirs, Basutos, Zulus, and others.”[19] In contrast, there were 953 White members in twenty-eight churches.[20] Five years later church had grown considerably and the Black membership now outnumbered the White; there were “thirty-eight white churches, with 1,495 members; also forty-seven native churches, with a total membership of 3,942.”[21]

Further structural organization continued. In 1922 a joint session of the Southern Union Mission and the South African Union Conference was called at Bloemfontein. It was decided to amalgamate these two bodies under the name of the South African Union Conference. Prior to this amalgamation both bodies had served the same geographic territory, but had different constituencies: the Southern Union Mission served the Black and Coloured populations, while the South African Union Conference had supervised the work amongst the Whites. It was also thought unnecessary to maintain the separate Cape Conference and Kaffirland Mission Field since their territories were essentially the same. Similar decisions were made regarding other conferences & mission fields in the same situation.

The restructuring was partially reversed five years later in 1927 when it was pointed out by Union Conference president J. F. Wright that the mission work in South Africa was not growing. It was suggested that the old plan of separate Mission Fields and Conferences should be revived under a united South African Union Conference. Thus three “new” Mission Fields were formed: Transvaal-Delagoa Mission Field, the Basuto-Bechuana Mission Field, and the Kaffirland Mission Field.

By 1931, the Cape Conference was also separating its churches and members along racial lines for statistical purposes; the Secretary-treasurer’s report presented at the 1932 Cape Conference session presented data for both Coloured and European: Tithe, Offerings, Churches, Baptisms, and Membership. The Conference was also operating a “Coloured Department”[22]

To reduce the Depression’s financial impact, in 1932, the South African Union Conference amalgamated the Black two mission fields, taking the name South African Mission Field. Soon after, the two White conferences amalgamated into the South African Conference. These decisions were reversed in 1936 with the names of the two mission fields changed to the North Bantu Mission Field and the South Bantu Mission Field. Both fields were administered entirely by White personnel.[23] Additionally in 1936, a new Mission Field was established: the Cape Field for Coloureds of South Africa.

In 1951, at the South African Union Conference (SAUC) Session, it was proposed that as the Black membership was increasing in the SAUC, there was a need to increase the number of Black delegates to future SAUC sessions. This proposal however, was rejected by White delegates who demanded that a special session to revise the SAUC constitution be held in order to “limit the participation and voting rights of Africans and Coloureds; then to eventually create separate sessions for them.”[24]

In 1952, W. P. Bradley criticized the SAUC for not having any Black staff: “In Southern Africa, we have no natives on Division or Union Committees, none serving as treasurer or accountant in a local mission field or a major institution, and practically none being trained for these responsibilities.”[25] In response, SAUC president, G. S. Stevenson pointed out that “As long as the Bantu work is joined to that of the Union Conference, it will continue to be regarded as adjunct….the best interests of our Bantu work in South Africa would best be served by the creation of Union missions which would have the full responsibility of conducting work for the Bantu people in this land.”[26]

As a result, in 1953 a special SAUC session was held and a new racially based constitution was adopted and from 1953, the SAUC “functioned in two parts—Group I and Group II—meeting separately in general, but jointly for the transaction of certain business.” [27]

In 1956 a separate mission field was established to coordinate work amongst the Indian population. Thus in 1956 there existed two White conferences: the Cape Colony and the Natal-Transvaal Conferences, one White mission field: the North-West Africa Mission Field; two Black mission fields: the North Bantu and South Bantu Mission fields; one Coloured mission field: the Cape Field; and one Indian mission field: the Indian Field.

Though there was a single administration at union level—the South African Union, there had been since 1953, division along racial lines functionally: “Since 1953 the South African Union has functioned in two parts—Group I and Group II—meeting separately in general, but jointly for the transaction of certain business.”[28]

In 1960 the SAUC was formally re-organized into two parts, Group I and Group II. Group I consisted of “the four conferences for the European and Coloured membership, The Indian Mission and the South West Africa Field.” [29] Group II comprised “the mission fields and institutions serving the African population.”[30] The North Bantu and South Bantu Missions were divided into nine fields consisting of “well-developed ethnic or geographical units,” each with an “African president and secretary-treasurer.”[31] While this was promoted as a step forward—“the proposed re-organization of the Bantu work in the South African Union will likewise open many doors for African leadership in this Union.”[32]—there were no departmental leaders elected at the local mission level and “the general administration of Group II…[was] in the hands of a vice-president and associate secretary-treasurer working with the Group II Committee.”[33] Both these individuals were white—indeed, as Makapela states that “all the major officers of the [Group II] unit were white. Group II fields had little autonomy in reality—Group II was administered by a vice-president and associate secretary-treasurer—both White. A Black president was not elected until 1975 when Paul M. Mabena became president.

At SAUC sessions, there was bias in favour of the mostly White local conferences in Group I elected one SAUC session delegate for every 150 church members. The Group II fields—predominately Black—were however only permitted one delegate for their first 150 church members and thereafter one delegate for every 500 members.[34]  These nine new fields were also inadequately resourced and funded. Thula Nkosi points out that this restructuring resulted in “a period of unprecedented hardship and poverty in the history of the black clergy. Often field offices would be closed as ministers itinerated in the fields to collect funds for the payment of workers. Otherwise their salaries were not assured. It was during these years that black ministerial work suffered a heavy blow in its dignity.”[35]

Interestingly, the Seventh-day Adventist church was more willing to elect Black leaders in other areas of Africa—in 1959 the Southern African Division elected Jonas Mbyirukira as president of the Central Kivu Mission in the Congo Union Mission.[36] Thus the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa appears to have practised racial discrimination to a greater extent and for longer, than the church in other parts of Africa.

In 1959, G. S. Stevenson, South African Union president, reported to the Southern African Divisional Council that “there has been a marked intensification of restrictive legislation and administrative measures which hamper our activities. Racial tensions are becoming more acute, and suspicion and distrust meet our missionary workers in a degree never before encountered in South Africa.”[37] Specifically he pointed out that, “In our Bantu missions, control of the movement of Africans into and out of the urban areas has become so rigid that it has become virtually impossible to transfer workers from place to place in our missions.”[38] In fact, it is this difficulty that seemed to provide the sole motivation for the development of Black leadership within the South African Union—“Developments on the political and national fronts underline the necessity of an accelerated programme of training our African ministers to assume the leadership of the church as quickly as possible.”[39] Despite this recognition of the “difficulties” that apartheid caused the Seventh-day Adventist church in South Africa, condemnation of apartheid itself is entirely absent from the South African Seventh-day Adventist Church’s literature of the time.

As du Preez and du Pre point out, “the Adventist church was always far ahead of the government of the day in applying racial segregation in the church, and far behind when it comes to scrapping racially discriminatory measures. By the time apartheid was introduced in law after 1948, Adventists had been practicing it for twenty or more years.”[40]

In 1963 the Division’s name changed to the Trans-Africa Division.[41] In 1965, the Seventh-day Adventist church in South Africa was completely separated along racial lines when the Southern Union Conference was created to administer the black missions (now reduced from nine to five). For the first ten years of its existence the administration of the Southern Union was White. This changed in 1975 when Paul M. Mabena was elected president of the Southern Union.

 

In 1958 the principle of “equal pay for equal qualifications” was implemented for Coloured church workers—though not for Black workers.[42] That same year, the Transvaal African layman’s Federation drafted a memorandum of African concerns that was sent to Reuben R. Figuhr, the GC president. The memorandum observed that no Black members held “responsible positions in the denomination, not even at Bethel [College]….that Africans were not included in Union or Division committees nor held administrative jobs in those bodies; that whites directed African work even at mission level; [and] that Africans were poorly paid as denominational workers.”[43] The GC response was vague, and though a GC official visited South Africa that year, nothing changed as a result of this visit.[44]

A similar memorandum was sent to the GC in 1972 by “The Memoranda Group”. The group of Black Seventh-day Adventist activists was labelled as such by Wellington Tshefu the secretary/treasurer of the Transvaal Field. The group was later banned by the church administration—members could not “call or convene meetings in church facilities. They could not hold positions in the church and were not permitted to preach.”[45] This document was received and discussed at the GC and as a result a meeting was organized between the Memoranda Group and the leadership of the Southern Union Conference. The meeting however, resulted in little change in the attitudes and practices of the White Seventh-day Adventist leaders and members.

In 1981, a General Conference “Commission on Church Unity was formed to investigate the state of race relations in South Africa. The commission spent 13 days in South Africa conducting interviews and meetings. Makapela points out however, that the commission spent “only four hours of its entire time in South Africa with the victims of apartheid, the Africans.”[46] As a result the commission’s report was superficial and avoided any recognition of the church’s active participation in, and support for, apartheid.

In 1983, the Trans-Africa Division was dissolved and both the South African Union Conference and the Southern Union were administered directly by the General Conference.

Two years later, on June 27, 1985, the General Conference released a statement on racism that specifically mentioned apartheid: “The Seventh-day Adventist church deplores all forms of racism, including the political policy of apartheid with its forced segregation and legalized discrimination.” This was followed by an article on racism published in the Adventist Review on November 14, 1985. Unfortunately neither of these articles seem to have made any impression on the White members and administrators of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa.

 

End of apartheid, multi-racial elections….

 

In 1991, the South Africa Union Conference & the Southern Union Conference merged to form the Southern African Union Conference. Douglas Chalele was elected as the union president—the first non-white elected to head the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s work in South Africa.[47] In 1994, the first merger at local conference level occurs between the Oranje-Natal Conference (predominately White) and the Natal Field (predominately Black) forming the Kwazulu Natal-Free State Conference.[48]

Three years after the formal end of Apartheid in 1994, the South African Union Executive Committee met to formulate a statement to be presented to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. In some ways the statement produced was a positive step forward:

 

We are constrained therefore by the love of God that has grown more keenly in our hearts to confess that we have misrepresented the gospel of Christ in our sins of omission and commission regarding apartheid. We realize that this has had a hurtful effect on our society, on our corporate church and its individual members.

We are deeply sorry and plead for the forgiveness of God and our fellow citizens.[49]

 

However, as Antonio Pantalone has pointed out, there was a foundational problem in the statement issued. He highlights a number of other paragraphs that show that the Seventh-day Adventist church leadership at the time was seemingly unable and unwilling to accept appropriate responsibility for its participation in and facilitation of apartheid: “The Seventh-day Adventist church community was a victim of the governmental system….” “Because the governmental system in vogue in South Africa in which an ideology was systematized and given Biblical and theological support, the effects of the system rubbed off on to the thinking of our church leadership….” “Because the church patterned itself after the thinking of the politicians, dreadful inequalities became apparent….”[50] In short, as Pantalone states, such statements were an “attempt at SHIFTING THE BLAME from the Seventh-day Adventist Church onto the previous South African government.”[51]

Thus the Seventh-day Adventist Church did not accept responsibility for its actions during the Apartheid era. Nor did the authors of this document attempt any apology or amends for inflicting a racially divided structure on the church well before Apartheid became policy; stating only, “The Church imbibed wittingly and unwittingly the political philosophy in vogue and created structures which mirrored the political structures. In this way the church was divided into two Union Conferences with separate administrations, one to cater for the Blacks and the other for Indians, Coloured and Whites.”[52]

To my knowledge, no further action has been taken by the corporate church in South Africa to change this situation.

 

Post-Apartheid Restructuring
  • When was the division reinstated?
  • In 1996 the Southern Conference (Black), the Good Hope Conference (Coloured), and the Cape Conference (White) met to discuss merging, but the proposal failed to receive the required 75 percent vote required from the White Cape Conference delegates.[53]
  • In 1997 the Good Hope & Southern Conferences merged to form the Southern Hope Conference
  • The Cape Conference & the Southern Hope Conference merged in 2006 to form the Western Cape Conference.
  • The Oranje-Transvaal Field and the Transvaal Conference Merger does not occur (2006).

 

Some Conclusions

As Alex Boraine—deputy commissioner of the TRC—points out “It was confirmed at the [TRC] hearing that many faith communities, contrary to their central teachings, were active or silent supporters of apartheid.”[54]

 

The TRC itself pointed out that many communities of faith were “lukewarm in their criticism of the [Apartheid] policy and very often reflected intolerance and racism.”[55] Furthermore, faith communities, “enjoy a unique and privileged position in South African society and are widely respected and have far-reaching moral influence. As such they have a special role in healing and reconciliation initiatives.”[56] To date, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa has yet to undertake appropriate initiatives of healing and reconciliation.

 

In 1947, the German philosopher Karl Jaspers—in reference to post-Nazi Germany—identified four types of guilt: criminal guilt, political guilt, moral guilt, and metaphysical guilt. Criminal guilt refers to anyone who commits a crime. Political guilt is attached to all citizens who accept/tolerate what is done in the name of the state. Moral guilt involves an individual’s awareness of serious transgressions or participation in unethical choices that resulted in specific wrongdoing. Finally, there is metaphysical guilt, which arises when an individual transgresses the general moral order and violates the moral bonds that connect us to each other as human beings.[57]

 

Finally, as John de Gruchy points out:

 

“Jasper’s typology of guilt enables us to recognize the criminality of some actions, and the rights of the victims for just recompense. It enables those who honestly and rightly do not see themselves as criminally guilty, to acknowledge, nonetheless, political complicity and moral failure. It helps others, who were faithful in their resistance to Nazism and apartheid, to discern possible moral guilt. And it enables us all to discern our common humanity before God, and therefore our shared need for transformation.”[58]

 

 

 


Reference List

Andross, Matilda Erickson. Story of the Advent Message. Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1926.

 

"Apartheid." In Chambers Dictionary of World History, ed. Bruce P. Lenmann and Katharine Boyd, 47-48. Edinburgh: Larousse, 1994.

 

"Apartheid Laws." In Chambers Dictionary of World History, ed. Bruce P. Lenmann and Katharine Boyd, 48. Edinburgh: Larousse, 1994.

 

Boraine, Alex. A Country Unmasked. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

 

Bruyns, Noel. "South African Church Fails to Bridge Racial Divide." In Presbyterian News Service, 2007, 1996.

 

de Gruchy, John W. Reconciliation Restoring Justice. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002.

 

du Preez, I. F., and Roy H. du Pre. A Century of Good Hope: A History of the Good Hope Conference, its Educational Institutions and Early Workers, 1893-1993. East London: Western Research Group/Southern History Association, 1994.

 

Garcia, Manuel. “‘Rebellion is a Protest Against Death’ The Question of American Guilt,” 2005, http://www.counterpunch.org/garcia03122005.html Accessed April 2007.

 

Makapela, Alven. The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Vol. 42 African Studies. Lewiston: Mellen, 1996.

 

Nkosi, Thula M. "Black Adventist History Project, ND." Heritage Centre, Helderberg College, Somerset West.

 

Pantalone, Antonio. "An Appraisal of the Development of Seventh-day Adventist Mission in South Africa: a missiological evaluation." MTh, University of Durban-Westville, 1996.

 

________. "A Missiological Evaluation of the Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa." Dth, University of Durban-Westville, 1998.

 

________. "The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa." Dth, University of Durban-Westville, 1999.

 

Pierson, Robert H. "Administrative Changes in the Southern African Union Mission." Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1960, 1.

 

________. "Indigenous Leadership in the Southern African Division." Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1960, 4.

 

________. "Change of Name for the Division Now: Trans-Africa Division." Trans-Africa Division Outlook, February 15, 1964, 1.

 

Spicer, William A. Our Story of Missions. Mountain View: Pacific Press, 1921.

 

Stevenson, G. S. "South African Union." Southern African Division Outlook, January-March, 1959, 33-35.

 

________. "The Work in South Africa Reorganized." Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1961, 8.

 

Thompson, R. C. L. "A History of the Growth and Development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southern Africa 1920-1960." PhD, Rhodes University, 1977.

 

Phillip Wessels to Ellen G. White, January 14, 1893.

 

Willmore, P. E. "Summary of the Secretary-Treasurer's Report." Southern African Division Outlook, February 1, 1932, 7-8.

 

 

 Introduction

Race relations in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in southern Africa, from its beginnings, reflected that of South African society in general. On July 28, 1887, a party of six American Seventh-day Adventist missionaries: D. A. Robinson, C. L. Boyd (and their respective wives), G. Burleigh, and R. S. Anthony; arrived in Cape Town on the Hawarden Castle to begin the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s work in southern Africa. That same year, Cecil John Rhodes, member of parliament for Barkly West in the Cape Colony said:

 

I will lay down my own policy on this Native question. Either you have to receive them on an equal footing as citizens, or to call them a subject race. I have made up my mind that there must be class legislation, that there must be pass laws and peace preservation acts and that we have to treat natives where they are in a state of barbarism in a different way from ourselves. We are to be lords over them. These are my policies, these are the policies of South Africa…we have given them no share in the government and I think quite rightly too.[59]

 

Three years later Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Apartheid

At the Truth and Reconciliation Committee hearings (held 1995-1998), it was confirmed that many South African “faith communities, contrary to their central teachings, were active or silent supporters of apartheid….in large measure churches…gave support, symbolic and practical, to the violent state machine.”[60] The Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa was one of these communities and broadly speaking it participated whole-heartedly in the South African government’s policy of apartheid. [61] Such participation and support came easily, as there was already a great deal of racial separation and discrimination present in the Seventh-day Adventist church.

On the 14th of January 1893, Pieter Wessels wrote to Ellen White: “I do not want my children to associate with the lower classes of coloured people. I will labor for them and teach my children to do so. But I do not want my children to mix with them for such is detrimental to their moral welfare. Nor do I want my children to think there is no difference in society that they should finally associate and marry into coloured blood.”[62] Wessels continued: “So there is the colour line drawn which is very distinctly drawn here in society. For my part I do not care. I can shake hands with the coloured people and so forth. But our association with them is going to spoil our influence with others who are accustomed to these things...to have any influence with the higher class of people, we must respect these differences.”[63]

Thus for Wessels, it was more important to retain the values of his surrounding culture than to take a moral stand on the issue of racial equality. Ironically, his aim in doing so was in order that members of society with racist attitudes could be reached with the gospel. It must be asked however—is a racist gospel really the gospel of Jesus Christ?

There is no doubt that the Wessels family donated large amounts of money to the work of the SDA church in South Africa, Australia, and America and their generosity should be remembered. However, the racist attitudes of these early Seventh-day Adventist members and the impact that such attitudes have had on the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa—which is still in one area structurally divided along racial lines—must also be noted.[64]

In 1948 the National Party, led by D. F. Malan was elected to power in South Africa on the basis of a policy of Afrikaner supremacy and Back exclusion—apartheid. Apartheid laws introduced nationally included:

  • The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949)
  • The Ppulation Registration Act (1949)
  • The Immorality Act (1950)
  • The Group Areas Act (1950)
  • The Prevention of Ilegal Squatting Act (1951)
  • The Bantu Authorities Act (1953)
  • The Bantu Eucation Act (1953).

These acts attempted to “separate white and black living areas, educational provision and social intercourse. Jobs were also reserved according to race.”[65]

 

It is important to note however, that the Seventh-day Adventist Church was structurally divided along racial lines prior to the formal introduction of apartheid in 1948.

Racial Segregation

Like the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s work in many other parts of the world, the church’s work in Southern Africa was highly institutionalized. Moreover—with few exceptions, these institutions were racially segregated from the beginning of the church’s work in South Africa.

 

Medical Institutions:

In 1919, a special ward was built at the Plumstead Sanitarium (opened in 1903 in the building that had housed the Plumstead Orphanage) to accommodate Coloured patients—it not being appropriate that these patients reside in the main White’s only wards. It is probable that no Black patients were ever treated at Plumstead.

The first and only Seventh-day Adventist hospital built to serve the black population in South Africa was Nokuphila Hospital which opened in 1936 in Sophiatown—a Black township near Johannesburg. It operated until 1959 when Sophiatown was demolished by the South African government and the black population forcibly removed to Soweto.

 

Educational Institutions:

While at least one Black student and several Coloured students were admitted to Claremont Union College prior to its move to Spion Kop, the school’s constituency remained almost entirely White until 1974 when as Helderberg College, coloured fourth-year Theology students were officially admitted.[66]

From 1904 a separate primary school for Coloured children operated in conjunction with Claremont Union College.[67] In 1913 the Cape Conference created a committee to find a suitable site for a separate training school for coloured church workers. Work did not proceed however beyond this committee and a 1914 request to the South African Union to appeal for funds to the General Conference on their behalf.[68]

In 1930 Good Hope Training School in the Cape Town suburb of Athlone opened. It offered education for Coloured students from primary through secondary and a two-year post-secondary Normal/Theological Course for future teachers and ministers.[69] It was not until 1970 that a third year was added to the Theology course.[70] In 1963 the school moved to Kuils River, initially taking the name Good Hope Training College. Soon however it was known as Good Hope College.[71] When compared with the educational institution for White students, Good Hope College was grossly under-resourced, understaffed, and underfunded.

In 1968 Alwyn du Preez was the first non-white to graduate from Helderberg College, completing the third and fourth years of the theology course there after graduating from the two-year Good Hope course in 1957. His presence was a “special concession” by the college; du Preez was required to live off-campus and was barred from using an college facilities other than the classrooms and library. He was not permitted to attend the Helderberg College graduation ceremony in 1968.

In 1971, Robert Hall—a black student from Zimbabwe who had completed three years of the Theology course at Good Hope College was grudgingly permitted to enrol at Helderberg College. Similar restrictions to those placed on du Preez were placed upon Hall. He was not permitted to board in the dormitory, nor to eat in the cafeteria; nor was he allowed to graduate with his class in 1971.[72] That same year, the administration of Helderberg College asked the South African Government “to rule on the acceptance of a foreign non-white at an all-white South African educational institution.” They were told that “it was not, and never had been, government policy to interfere in the training of ministers by any denomination.” As du Preez & du Pre, point out, “this meant that Adventists of colour had been barred from Helderberg College all these years because of naked racist attitudes, not by government laws!”

From 1972 onwards there were tentative moves to integrate Helderberg College. It was proposed that students from Good Hope College who had completed the second year of theological studies would transfer to Helderberg College to complete their third and fourth years. Despite strong opposition from the Helderberg College principal A. O. Coetzee, “academic integration” proceeded, with the first officially sanctioned Coloured students attending Helderberg College in 1974. The Coloured students attended with a number of restrictions—they were unable to board on campus, they could not participate in any off-campus college activities, and were restricted to the library and classrooms. They were however permitted to graduate with their white classmates—in 1974, three of the four graduates were Coloured. At the end of 1975, the Theology department at Good Hope College was closed and from 1976 both Coloured and White theology students attended Helderberg College. [73] It was not until 1992 however, that a non-White (Indian) lecturer was appointed to the Helderberg College staff—and then as a visiting, non-permanent lecturer.

In 1909, Maranatha Mission—a school for Black students was opened near Grahamstown. In 1919 it was relocated to Butterworth as Bethel Training School. In 1928 following the vacating of the Spion Kop site by the whites-only Spion Kop College, Bethel Training School was transferred to the Spion Kop site and was named Spion Kop Missionary Institute. In 1937 the Spion Kop site was sold and the Spion Kop Missionary Institute return to its original site near Butterworth as Bethel Training College. The college operated as the principle educational institution for Black Seventh-day Adventist students studying at a post-secondary level. In 1991 the Department of Theology at Bethel College was closed and all theological students transferred to Helderberg College. As Pantalone points out, this was unquestionably “ a severe blow” to Bethel College—one from which it was unable to recover—and the College closed in 2005.[74]

 

Administrative Structures:

By 1920, the expansion of the church north of South Africa had grown so much that the South Africa Union Conference was unable to cope. Therefore, in 1920 the African Division was established with its headquarters in Cape Town. The General Conference’s action stated, “We accept the proposal of an African Divisional section of the General Conference, its territory comprising all that portion of the continent at present under supervision of the South African Union Conference, and its Union Missions, with the addition of the Belgian Congo and all the western portion of Africa south of and including the Cameroons.”

Work continued to expand—though racial discrimination was an accepted practice. For example, the Constitution of the Union Missions formed in 1920 stated that ordained Black ministers could baptise only with the approval of the Mission Field executive committee, and administer communion; however they were in no case to take precedence over a White church elder—even if he was not ordained to the ministry.[75]

In 1922 the African Division was formed.[76] At the same time, to the South African Union Conference was added the Southern Union Mission which oversaw work amongst Black Seventh-day Adventists. That year, “the native membership stood at 256, and represented Kafirs, Basutos, Zulus, and others.”[77] In contrast, there were 953 White members in twenty-eight churches.[78] Five years later church had grown considerably and the Black membership now outnumbered the White; there were “thirty-eight white churches, with 1,495 members; also forty-seven native churches, with a total membership of 3,942.”[79]

Further structural organization continued. In 1922 a joint session of the Southern Union Mission and the South African Union Conference was called at Bloemfontein. It was decided to amalgamate these two bodies under the name of the South African Union Conference. Prior to this amalgamation both bodies had served the same geographic territory, but had different constituencies: the Southern Union Mission served the Black and Coloured populations, while the South African Union Conference had supervised the work amongst the Whites. It was also thought unnecessary to maintain the separate Cape Conference and Kaffirland Mission Field since their territories were essentially the same. Similar decisions were made regarding other conferences & mission fields in the same situation.

The restructuring was partially reversed five years later in 1927 when it was pointed out by Union Conference president J. F. Wright that the mission work in South Africa was not growing. It was suggested that the old plan of separate Mission Fields and Conferences should be revived under a united South African Union Conference. Thus three “new” Mission Fields were formed: Transvaal-Delagoa Mission Field, the Basuto-Bechuana Mission Field, and the Kaffirland Mission Field.

By 1931, the Cape Conference was also separating its churches and members along racial lines for statistical purposes; the Secretary-treasurer’s report presented at the 1932 Cape Conference session presented data for both Coloured and European: Tithe, Offerings, Churches, Baptisms, and Membership. The Conference was also operating a “Coloured Department”[80]

To reduce the Depression’s financial impact, in 1932, the South African Union Conference amalgamated the Black two mission fields, taking the name South African Mission Field. Soon after, the two White conferences amalgamated into the South African Conference. These decisions were reversed in 1936 with the names of the two mission fields changed to the North Bantu Mission Field and the South Bantu Mission Field. Both fields were administered entirely by White personnel.[81] Additionally in 1936, a new Mission Field was established: the Cape Field for Coloureds of South Africa.

In 1951, at the South African Union Conference (SAUC) Session, it was proposed that as the Black membership was increasing in the SAUC, there was a need to increase the number of Black delegates to future SAUC sessions. This proposal however, was rejected by White delegates who demanded that a special session to revise the SAUC constitution be held in order to “limit the participation and voting rights of Africans and Coloureds; then to eventually create separate sessions for them.”[82]

In 1952, W. P. Bradley criticized the SAUC for not having any Black staff: “In Southern Africa, we have no natives on Division or Union Committees, none serving as treasurer or accountant in a local mission field or a major institution, and practically none being trained for these responsibilities.”[83] In response, SAUC president, G. S. Stevenson pointed out that “As long as the Bantu work is joined to that of the Union Conference, it will continue to be regarded as adjunct….the best interests of our Bantu work in South Africa would best be served by the creation of Union missions which would have the full responsibility of conducting work for the Bantu people in this land.”[84]

As a result, in 1953 a special SAUC session was held and a new racially based constitution was adopted and from 1953, the SAUC “functioned in two parts—Group I and Group II—meeting separately in general, but jointly for the transaction of certain business.” [85]

In 1956 a separate mission field was established to coordinate work amongst the Indian population. Thus in 1956 there existed two White conferences: the Cape Colony and the Natal-Transvaal Conferences, one White mission field: the North-West Africa Mission Field; two Black mission fields: the North Bantu and South Bantu Mission fields; one Coloured mission field: the Cape Field; and one Indian mission field: the Indian Field.

Though there was a single administration at union level—the South African Union, there had been since 1953, division along racial lines functionally: “Since 1953 the South African Union has functioned in two parts—Group I and Group II—meeting separately in general, but jointly for the transaction of certain business.”[86]

In 1960 the SAUC was formally re-organized into two parts, Group I and Group II. Group I consisted of “the four conferences for the European and Coloured membership, The Indian Mission and the South West Africa Field.” [87] Group II comprised “the mission fields and institutions serving the African population.”[88] The North Bantu and South Bantu Missions were divided into nine fields consisting of “well-developed ethnic or geographical units,” each with an “African president and secretary-treasurer.”[89] While this was promoted as a step forward—“the proposed re-organization of the Bantu work in the South African Union will likewise open many doors for African leadership in this Union.”[90]—there were no departmental leaders elected at the local mission level and “the general administration of Group II…[was] in the hands of a vice-president and associate secretary-treasurer working with the Group II Committee.”[91] Both these individuals were white—indeed, as Makapela states that “all the major officers of the [Group II] unit were white. Group II fields had little autonomy in reality—Group II was administered by a vice-president and associate secretary-treasurer—both White. A Black president was not elected until 1975 when Paul M. Mabena became president.

At SAUC sessions, there was bias in favour of the mostly White local conferences in Group I elected one SAUC session delegate for every 150 church members. The Group II fields—predominately Black—were however only permitted one delegate for their first 150 church members and thereafter one delegate for every 500 members.[92]  These nine new fields were also inadequately resourced and funded. Thula Nkosi points out that this restructuring resulted in “a period of unprecedented hardship and poverty in the history of the black clergy. Often field offices would be closed as ministers itinerated in the fields to collect funds for the payment of workers. Otherwise their salaries were not assured. It was during these years that black ministerial work suffered a heavy blow in its dignity.”[93]

Interestingly, the Seventh-day Adventist church was more willing to elect Black leaders in other areas of Africa—in 1959 the Southern African Division elected Jonas Mbyirukira as president of the Central Kivu Mission in the Congo Union Mission.[94] Thus the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa appears to have practised racial discrimination to a greater extent and for longer, than the church in other parts of Africa.

In 1959, G. S. Stevenson, South African Union president, reported to the Southern African Divisional Council that “there has been a marked intensification of restrictive legislation and administrative measures which hamper our activities. Racial tensions are becoming more acute, and suspicion and distrust meet our missionary workers in a degree never before encountered in South Africa.”[95] Specifically he pointed out that, “In our Bantu missions, control of the movement of Africans into and out of the urban areas has become so rigid that it has become virtually impossible to transfer workers from place to place in our missions.”[96] In fact, it is this difficulty that seemed to provide the sole motivation for the development of Black leadership within the South African Union—“Developments on the political and national fronts underline the necessity of an accelerated programme of training our African ministers to assume the leadership of the church as quickly as possible.”[97] Despite this recognition of the “difficulties” that apartheid caused the Seventh-day Adventist church in South Africa, condemnation of apartheid itself is entirely absent from the South African Seventh-day Adventist Church’s literature of the time.

As du Preez and du Pre point out, “the Adventist church was always far ahead of the government of the day in applying racial segregation in the church, and far behind when it comes to scrapping racially discriminatory measures. By the time apartheid was introduced in law after 1948, Adventists had been practicing it for twenty or more years.”[98]

In 1963 the Division’s name changed to the Trans-Africa Division.[99] In 1965, the Seventh-day Adventist church in South Africa was completely separated along racial lines when the Southern Union Conference was created to administer the black missions (now reduced from nine to five). For the first ten years of its existence the administration of the Southern Union was White. This changed in 1975 when Paul M. Mabena was elected president of the Southern Union.

 

In 1958 the principle of “equal pay for equal qualifications” was implemented for Coloured church workers—though not for Black workers.[100] That same year, the Transvaal African layman’s Federation drafted a memorandum of African concerns that was sent to Reuben R. Figuhr, the GC president. The memorandum observed that no Black members held “responsible positions in the denomination, not even at Bethel [College]….that Africans were not included in Union or Division committees nor held administrative jobs in those bodies; that whites directed African work even at mission level; [and] that Africans were poorly paid as denominational workers.”[101] The GC response was vague, and though a GC official visited South Africa that year, nothing changed as a result of this visit.[102]

A similar memorandum was sent to the GC in 1972 by “The Memoranda Group”. The group of Black Seventh-day Adventist activists was labelled as such by Wellington Tshefu the secretary/treasurer of the Transvaal Field. The group was later banned by the church administration—members could not “call or convene meetings in church facilities. They could not hold positions in the church and were not permitted to preach.”[103] This document was received and discussed at the GC and as a result a meeting was organized between the Memoranda Group and the leadership of the Southern Union Conference. The meeting however, resulted in little change in the attitudes and practices of the White Seventh-day Adventist leaders and members.

In 1981, a General Conference “Commission on Church Unity was formed to investigate the state of race relations in South Africa. The commission spent 13 days in South Africa conducting interviews and meetings. Makapela points out however, that the commission spent “only four hours of its entire time in South Africa with the victims of apartheid, the Africans.”[104] As a result the commission’s report was superficial and avoided any recognition of the church’s active participation in, and support for, apartheid.

In 1983, the Trans-Africa Division was dissolved and both the South African Union Conference and the Southern Union were administered directly by the General Conference.

Two years later, on June 27, 1985, the General Conference released a statement on racism that specifically mentioned apartheid: “The Seventh-day Adventist church deplores all forms of racism, including the political policy of apartheid with its forced segregation and legalized discrimination.” This was followed by an article on racism published in the Adventist Review on November 14, 1985. Unfortunately neither of these articles seem to have made any impression on the White members and administrators of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa.

 

End of apartheid, multi-racial elections….

 

In 1991, the South Africa Union Conference & the Southern Union Conference merged to form the Southern African Union Conference. Douglas Chalele was elected as the union president—the first non-white elected to head the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s work in South Africa.[105] In 1994, the first merger at local conference level occurs between the Oranje-Natal Conference (predominately White) and the Natal Field (predominately Black) forming the Kwazulu Natal-Free State Conference.[106]

Three years after the formal end of Apartheid in 1994, the South African Union Executive Committee met to formulate a statement to be presented to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. In some ways the statement produced was a positive step forward:

 

We are constrained therefore by the love of God that has grown more keenly in our hearts to confess that we have misrepresented the gospel of Christ in our sins of omission and commission regarding apartheid. We realize that this has had a hurtful effect on our society, on our corporate church and its individual members.

We are deeply sorry and plead for the forgiveness of God and our fellow citizens.[107]

 

However, as Antonio Pantalone has pointed out, there was a foundational problem in the statement issued. He highlights a number of other paragraphs that show that the Seventh-day Adventist church leadership at the time was seemingly unable and unwilling to accept appropriate responsibility for its participation in and facilitation of apartheid: “The Seventh-day Adventist church community was a victim of the governmental system….” “Because the governmental system in vogue in South Africa in which an ideology was systematized and given Biblical and theological support, the effects of the system rubbed off on to the thinking of our church leadership….” “Because the church patterned itself after the thinking of the politicians, dreadful inequalities became apparent….”[108] In short, as Pantalone states, such statements were an “attempt at SHIFTING THE BLAME from the Seventh-day Adventist Church onto the previous South African government.”[109]

Thus the Seventh-day Adventist Church did not accept responsibility for its actions during the Apartheid era. Nor did the authors of this document attempt any apology or amends for inflicting a racially divided structure on the church well before Apartheid became policy; stating only, “The Church imbibed wittingly and unwittingly the political philosophy in vogue and created structures which mirrored the political structures. In this way the church was divided into two Union Conferences with separate administrations, one to cater for the Blacks and the other for Indians, Coloured and Whites.”[110]

To my knowledge, no further action has been taken by the corporate church in South Africa to change this situation.

 

Post-Apartheid Restructuring
  • When was the division reinstated?
  • In 1996 the Southern Conference (Black), the Good Hope Conference (Coloured), and the Cape Conference (White) met to discuss merging, but the proposal failed to receive the required 75 percent vote required from the White Cape Conference delegates.[111]
  • In 1997 the Good Hope & Southern Conferences merged to form the Southern Hope Conference
  • The Cape Conference & the Southern Hope Conference merged in 2006 to form the Western Cape Conference.
  • The Oranje-Transvaal Field and the Transvaal Conference Merger does not occur (2006).

 

Some Conclusions

As Alex Boraine—deputy commissioner of the TRC—points out “It was confirmed at the [TRC] hearing that many faith communities, contrary to their central teachings, were active or silent supporters of apartheid.”[112]

 

The TRC itself pointed out that many communities of faith were “lukewarm in their criticism of the [Apartheid] policy and very often reflected intolerance and racism.”[113] Furthermore, faith communities, “enjoy a unique and privileged position in South African society and are widely respected and have far-reaching moral influence. As such they have a special role in healing and reconciliation initiatives.”[114] To date, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa has yet to undertake appropriate initiatives of healing and reconciliation.

 

In 1947, the German philosopher Karl Jaspers—in reference to post-Nazi Germany—identified four types of guilt: criminal guilt, political guilt, moral guilt, and metaphysical guilt. Criminal guilt refers to anyone who commits a crime. Political guilt is attached to all citizens who accept/tolerate what is done in the name of the state. Moral guilt involves an individual’s awareness of serious transgressions or participation in unethical choices that resulted in specific wrongdoing. Finally, there is metaphysical guilt, which arises when an individual transgresses the general moral order and violates the moral bonds that connect us to each other as human beings.[115]

 

Finally, as John de Gruchy points out:

 

“Jasper’s typology of guilt enables us to recognize the criminality of some actions, and the rights of the victims for just recompense. It enables those who honestly and rightly do not see themselves as criminally guilty, to acknowledge, nonetheless, political complicity and moral failure. It helps others, who were faithful in their resistance to Nazism and apartheid, to discern possible moral guilt. And it enables us all to discern our common humanity before God, and therefore our shared need for transformation.”[116]

 

 

 


Reference List

Andross, Matilda Erickson. Story of the Advent Message. Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1926.

 

"Apartheid." In Chambers Dictionary of World History, ed. Bruce P. Lenmann and Katharine Boyd, 47-48. Edinburgh: Larousse, 1994.

 

"Apartheid Laws." In Chambers Dictionary of World History, ed. Bruce P. Lenmann and Katharine Boyd, 48. Edinburgh: Larousse, 1994.

 

Boraine, Alex. A Country Unmasked. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

 

Bruyns, Noel. "South African Church Fails to Bridge Racial Divide." In Presbyterian News Service, 2007, 1996.

 

de Gruchy, John W. Reconciliation Restoring Justice. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002.

 

du Preez, I. F., and Roy H. du Pre. A Century of Good Hope: A History of the Good Hope Conference, its Educational Institutions and Early Workers, 1893-1993. East London: Western Research Group/Southern History Association, 1994.

 

Garcia, Manuel. “‘Rebellion is a Protest Against Death’ The Question of American Guilt,” 2005, http://www.counterpunch.org/garcia03122005.html Accessed April 2007.

 

Makapela, Alven. The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Vol. 42 African Studies. Lewiston: Mellen, 1996.

 

Nkosi, Thula M. "Black Adventist History Project, ND." Heritage Centre, Helderberg College, Somerset West.

 

Pantalone, Antonio. "An Appraisal of the Development of Seventh-day Adventist Mission in South Africa: a missiological evaluation." MTh, University of Durban-Westville, 1996.

 

________. "A Missiological Evaluation of the Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa." Dth, University of Durban-Westville, 1998.

 

________. "The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa." Dth, University of Durban-Westville, 1999.

 

Pierson, Robert H. "Administrative Changes in the Southern African Union Mission." Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1960, 1.

 

________. "Indigenous Leadership in the Southern African Division." Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1960, 4.

 

________. "Change of Name for the Division Now: Trans-Africa Division." Trans-Africa Division Outlook, February 15, 1964, 1.

 

Spicer, William A. Our Story of Missions. Mountain View: Pacific Press, 1921.

 

Stevenson, G. S. "South African Union." Southern African Division Outlook, January-March, 1959, 33-35.

 

________. "The Work in South Africa Reorganized." Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1961, 8.

 

Thompson, R. C. L. "A History of the Growth and Development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southern Africa 1920-1960." PhD, Rhodes University, 1977.

 

Phillip Wessels to Ellen G. White, January 14, 1893.

 

Willmore, P. E. "Summary of the Secretary-Treasurer's Report." Southern African Division Outlook, February 1, 1932, 7-8.

 

 

 
 
 

 



[1] Quoted in Alex Boraine, A Country Unmasked (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 174. Emphasis added.

[2] Boraine, A Country Unmasked, 180-181.

[3] Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning “apartness”. Many of the provisions regarding labour, land segregation, municipal segregation, social and educational separation, and an almost complete White franchise were in place however, even before Apartheid became a “complete political and social, and economic system” following the Nationalist victory in 1948. The policy was formally ended in 1994 following multi-racial elections. "Apartheid," in Chambers Dictionary of World History, ed. Bruce P. Lenmann and Katharine Boyd (Edinburgh: Larousse, 1994), 47-48.

[4] Phillip Wessels to Ellen G. White, January 14, 1893.

[5]

[6] Recommended reading is Antonio Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa” (Dth, University of Durban-Westville, 1999), 177-187, 306-314.

[7] "Apartheid Laws," in Chambers Dictionary of World History, ed. Bruce P. Lenmann and Katharine Boyd (Edinburgh: Larousse, 1994), 48.

[8] I. F. du Preez and Roy H. du Pre, A Century of Good Hope: A History of the Good Hope Conference, its Educational Institutions and Early Workers, 1893-1993. (East London: Western Research Group/Southern History Association, 1994), 181-182. Pantalone points out that even if some non-White students were enrolled, “the college’s graduation records show that during its 25 year existence, not a single non-white student ever graduated at [Claremont] Union College. Antonio Pantalone, “A Missiological Evaluation of the Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa” (Dth, University of Durban-Westville, 1998), 177.

[9] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 182.

[10] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 182.

[11] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 75-76. A small number of Indian students and at least one Black student also attended also attended Good Hope. See {du Preez, 1994 #134@84, 104, 107}

[12] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 104.

[13] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 93.

[14] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 104-105.

[15] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 109-113. In 1980 Good Hope College ceased to offer college courses and reverted to Good Hope High school.

[16] Antonio Pantalone, “An Appraisal of the Development of Seventh-day Adventist Mission in South Africa: a missiological evaluation” (MTh, University of Durban-Westville, 1996), 139.

[17] R. C. L. Thompson, “A History of the Growth and Development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southern Africa 1920-1960” (PhD, Rhodes University, 1977), 31-32.

[18] Robert H. Pierson, "Change of Name for the Division Now: Trans-Africa Division," Trans-Africa Division Outlook, February 15, 1964, 1.

[19] Matilda Erickson Andross, Story of the Advent Message (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1926), 255. Names now regarded as derogatory such as “Kafir” are quoted solely as historical artefacts.

[20] William A. Spicer, Our Story of Missions (Mountain View: Pacific Press, 1921), 211.

[21] Andross, Story of the Advent Message, 255.

[22] P. E. Willmore, "Summary of the Secretary-Treasurer's Report," Southern African Division Outlook, February 1, 1932, 7-8.

[23] Thula M. Nkosi, "Black Adventist History Project, ND," p. 7, Heritage Centre, Helderberg College, Somerset West.

[24] Alven Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, African Studies, vol. 42 (Lewiston: Mellen, 1996), 286.

[25] Bradley, W. P. "Report on visit to Africa, 1952." General Conference Archives, Silver Springs, MD. Quoted in Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 292.

[26] Bradley, W. P. "Report on Visit to Africa, 1952." General Conference Archives, Silver Springs, MD. Quoted in Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 292. Thula Nkosi states that “this session was marked by heated exchanges between white members who advocated acceptance of the National Party doctrine of racial partition and anti-partitionists who desired to see the church maintain a non-racial tradition.” Nkosi, "Black Adventist History Project, p. 7.

[27] G. S. Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1961, 8.

[28] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[29] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[30] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[31] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[32] Robert H. Pierson, "Indigenous Leadership in the Southern African Division," Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1960, 4.

[33] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[34] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 308.

[35] Nkosi, "Black Adventist History Project, p. 8.

[36] Robert H. Pierson, "Administrative Changes in the Southern African Union Mission," Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1960, 1.

[37] G. S. Stevenson, "South African Union," Southern African Division Outlook, January-March, 1959, 33.

[38] Stevenson, "South African Union," 34.

[39] Stevenson, "South African Union," 34.

[40] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 116.

[41] Pierson, "Change of Name for the Division Now: Trans-Africa Division," 1.

[42] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 87.

[43] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 298.

[44] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 298.

[45] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 342.

[46] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 360.

[47] Pantalone, “A Missiological Evaluation of the Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 180.

[48] Pantalone, “A Missiological Evaluation of the Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 180.

[49] Quoted in Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 307.

[50] Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 309. Original emphasis.

[51] Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 309. Original emphasis.

[52] Quoted in Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 307.

[53] Noel Bruyns, "South African Church Fails to Bridge Racial Divide," in Presbyterian News Service (1996). Available from http://www.pcusa.org/pcnews/oldnews/1996/96471.htm Accessed 21 March, 2007.

[54] Boraine, A Country Unmasked.

[55] Boraine, A Country Unmasked.

[56] Boraine, A Country Unmasked.

[57] Gerhard Rempel, “The Question of German Guilt,” 2000, http://mars.acnet.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/hitler/lectures/german_guilt.html Quoted by Manuel Garcia, “‘Rebellion is a Protest Against Death’ The Question of American Guilt,” 2005, http://www.counterpunch.org/garcia03122005.html

[58] John W. de Gruchy, Reconciliation Restoring Justice (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002), 196.

[59] Quoted in Alex Boraine, A Country Unmasked (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 174. Emphasis added.

[60] Boraine, A Country Unmasked, 180-181.

[61] Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning “apartness”. Many of the provisions regarding labour, land segregation, municipal segregation, social and educational separation, and an almost complete White franchise were in place however, even before Apartheid became a “complete political and social, and economic system” following the Nationalist victory in 1948. The policy was formally ended in 1994 following multi-racial elections. "Apartheid," in Chambers Dictionary of World History, ed. Bruce P. Lenmann and Katharine Boyd (Edinburgh: Larousse, 1994), 47-48.

[62] Phillip Wessels to Ellen G. White, January 14, 1893.

[64] Recommended reading is Antonio Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa” (Dth, University of Durban-Westville, 1999), 177-187, 306-314.

[65] "Apartheid Laws," in Chambers Dictionary of World History, ed. Bruce P. Lenmann and Katharine Boyd (Edinburgh: Larousse, 1994), 48.

[66] I. F. du Preez and Roy H. du Pre, A Century of Good Hope: A History of the Good Hope Conference, its Educational Institutions and Early Workers, 1893-1993. (East London: Western Research Group/Southern History Association, 1994), 181-182. Pantalone points out that even if some non-White students were enrolled, “the college’s graduation records show that during its 25 year existence, not a single non-white student ever graduated at [Claremont] Union College. Antonio Pantalone, “A Missiological Evaluation of the Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa” (Dth, University of Durban-Westville, 1998), 177.

[67] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 182.

[68] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 182.

[69] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 75-76. A small number of Indian students and at least one Black student also attended also attended Good Hope. See {du Preez, 1994 #134@84, 104, 107}

[70] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 104.

[71] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 93.

[72] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 104-105.

[73] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 109-113. In 1980 Good Hope College ceased to offer college courses and reverted to Good Hope High school.

[74] Antonio Pantalone, “An Appraisal of the Development of Seventh-day Adventist Mission in South Africa: a missiological evaluation” (MTh, University of Durban-Westville, 1996), 139.

[75] R. C. L. Thompson, “A History of the Growth and Development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southern Africa 1920-1960” (PhD, Rhodes University, 1977), 31-32.

[76] Robert H. Pierson, "Change of Name for the Division Now: Trans-Africa Division," Trans-Africa Division Outlook, February 15, 1964, 1.

[77] Matilda Erickson Andross, Story of the Advent Message (Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1926), 255. Names now regarded as derogatory such as “Kafir” are quoted solely as historical artefacts.

[78] William A. Spicer, Our Story of Missions (Mountain View: Pacific Press, 1921), 211.

[79] Andross, Story of the Advent Message, 255.

[80] P. E. Willmore, "Summary of the Secretary-Treasurer's Report," Southern African Division Outlook, February 1, 1932, 7-8.

[81] Thula M. Nkosi, "Black Adventist History Project, ND," p. 7, Heritage Centre, Helderberg College, Somerset West.

[82] Alven Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, African Studies, vol. 42 (Lewiston: Mellen, 1996), 286.

[83] Bradley, W. P. "Report on visit to Africa, 1952." General Conference Archives, Silver Springs, MD. Quoted in Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 292.

[84] Bradley, W. P. "Report on Visit to Africa, 1952." General Conference Archives, Silver Springs, MD. Quoted in Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 292. Thula Nkosi states that “this session was marked by heated exchanges between white members who advocated acceptance of the National Party doctrine of racial partition and anti-partitionists who desired to see the church maintain a non-racial tradition.” Nkosi, "Black Adventist History Project, p. 7.

[85] G. S. Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1961, 8.

[86] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[87] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[88] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[89] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[90] Robert H. Pierson, "Indigenous Leadership in the Southern African Division," Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1960, 4.

[91] Stevenson, "The Work in South Africa Reorganized," 8.

[92] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 308.

[93] Nkosi, "Black Adventist History Project, p. 8.

[94] Robert H. Pierson, "Administrative Changes in the Southern African Union Mission," Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1960, 1.

[95] G. S. Stevenson, "South African Union," Southern African Division Outlook, January-March, 1959, 33.

[96] Stevenson, "South African Union," 34.

[97] Stevenson, "South African Union," 34.

[98] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 116.

[99] Pierson, "Change of Name for the Division Now: Trans-Africa Division," 1.

[100] du Preez and du Pre, A Century of Good Hope, 87.

[101] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 298.

[102] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 298.

[103] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 342.

[104] Makapela, The Problem with Africanity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, 360.

[105] Pantalone, “A Missiological Evaluation of the Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 180.

[106] Pantalone, “A Missiological Evaluation of the Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 180.

[107] Quoted in Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 307.

[108] Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 309. Original emphasis.

[109] Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 309. Original emphasis.

[110] Quoted in Pantalone, “The Afrikaanse Konferensie (1968-1974) and its significance for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa”, 307.

[111] Noel Bruyns, "South African Church Fails to Bridge Racial Divide," in Presbyterian News Service (1996). Available from http://www.pcusa.org/pcnews/oldnews/1996/96471.htm Accessed 21 March, 2007.

[112] Boraine, A Country Unmasked.

[113] Boraine, A Country Unmasked.

[114] Boraine, A Country Unmasked.

[115] Gerhard Rempel, “The Question of German Guilt,” 2000, http://mars.acnet.wnec.edu/~grempel/courses/hitler/lectures/german_guilt.html Quoted by Manuel Garcia, “‘Rebellion is a Protest Against Death’ The Question of American Guilt,” 2005, http://www.counterpunch.org/garcia03122005.html

[116] John W. de Gruchy, Reconciliation Restoring Justice (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002), 196.