Historical Tidbit

Did you know that Light Bearers in its early years had a collection of pioneer writings that were reproduced and shared? Any idea what it was called?—”Pioneer Library.”

Somehow, around the same decade of the last century, another venture began, called “Adventist Pioneer Library.” Coincidence? Hardly, because both groups were reading the same marching guidelines, like: Repeat the words of the pioneers in our work, who knew what it cost to search for the truth as for hidden treasure, and who labored to lay the foundation of our work (Review & Herald, 5/25/05, par. 21).

Perhaps you were introduced to the Adventist Pioneer Library (APL) at last year’s Light Bearers Convocation when we announced the newest ministry to join the team. Or maybe you read about the merger in the October Mission Update cover article. Or maybe you still need to get “up-to-speed” with what has been happening.

Who Were the “Pioneers in the Advent Message”?

Have you ever had the desire to learn more about your ancestors? The stories can be intensely interesting, gripping in their emotional appeal, and downright embarrassing in their humanness. Our church family is no different. And the “first generation” individuals provide some of the most fascinating accounts.
Would you like to know more? You can check out our website where you will find:
Timelines of pioneers lives and Lest We Forget periodical issues giving more detail
Video lectures about them with summaries of their lives

What Did They Leave Us?

Just like Jesus’ disciples, the most important thing the Seventh-day Adventist [SDA] pioneers left us is their writings, which contain the vision that God had given them about our mission. You will find various resources of their writings:
Books and a CD-ROM collection
• An online virtual library of their titles as part of the E.G. White collection

Since October we have begun a new series of reprints of books through Amazon’s CreateSpace service, which is a Print-on-Demand publisher. If you order one book, they will print it and send it to you. Six titles are already available, including two in Portuguese:
The Complete Testimony of the Fathers of the First Three Centuries Concerning the Sabbath and First Day, J.N. Andrews
History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week, J.N. Andrews
The Autobiography of Elder Joseph Bates, Joseph Bates
The National Sunday Law, A.T. Jones
The Great Second Advent Movement, J.N. Loughborough (Portuguese Edition, co-published with Centro White Press, UNASP, Brazil)
Armadale Sermons “Manifest Demonstration of the Spirit,” W.W. Prescott (Portuguese Edition, co-published with Centro White Press, UNASP, Brazil)

Pioneer Material in the Public Domain

Are you aware that all of the first-generation pioneer material is in the public domain? When we first computerized it, we realized that others would find it valuable, and also republish it in various forms. And that has happened. You will come across the material from the pioneers in many helpful settings. Our digitized material may be freely used; we simply ask others to acknowledge where the digital source is online.
Here is a recent example of how this can be done, a book produced by others, also through CreateSpace, which you can find on Amazon’s website:
Living by Faith, E.J. Waggoner and A.T. Jones

What We Are Working On

apl-logoAPL has a new logo that can be seen on our material. As we have for about 20 years, we will continue to have exhibits at church conventions, including the upcoming General Conference Session in San Antonio in 2015.
We will continue developing the web resources, linking further the APL material with Light Bearers’ website. And we will continue to develop more content of “Adventist Pioneer Library” at www.EGWWritings.org.

What APL Still Dreams About

We would love to develop an online database of historical events, a dynamic timeline that would allow you to access the written records through the dates when they were written. Rather than having to locate them by alphabetical order or by their author, or by searching for key words, you will find them in the story line. We have already begun dialoging with other major holders of historical resources to work on this because all of the writings need a common interface online.

We also feel the need for what could be called “tour guide” material. Not everything the pioneers wrote relate to the “landmarks” that we are called to preserve, in other words, the “foundations” that were laid at the beginning of the work. So we want to develop some resources that would help to direct you to the valuable writings on these fundamental concepts that need reaffirming at this critical time.

What You Can Do

We would appreciate your prayers for this vital work. If you have wisdom or other resources that the Lord impresses you to share with us to facilitate the projects, please let us know.

Adventist Pioneer Library

Fred Bischoff became involved in Adventist history while working as a preventive medicine physician in southern California for Kaiser Permanente and serving on the clinical faculty, School of Medicine and School of Public Health, Loma Linda University. He found his greatest joy in exploring and explaining "the simplicity that is in Christ" in relation to history and prophecy, which culminate in the Adventist mission.