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Episode 28: The Birth of Youth Ministries in Adventism

Adam Ramdin
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The Seventh-day Adventist church was founded mainly by young people but the time would come, as the church grew, when a dedicated work for them would need to be started. From humble beginnings in rural Michigan, two young men, Henry Fenner and Luther Warren would birth an idea that would grow to be the worldwide ministry it is today.


Adam Ramdin

Youth Director for the North England Conference of SDA


  • January 14, 2019
    7:38 AM
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In the early days of our church young people had been at the very forefront of the world and the average age of our pioneers was well below 35 conference and even General Conference presidents were in their twenty's or thirty's it was a young church moving forward Ellen White received the 1st division at the age of 17 j in Andrew's row his masterpiece the history of the Sabbath at the age of 29 John Harvey Kellogg was appointed director of the church's Sanitarium at the age of 24 vibrant energetic and open to change the church was moving forward but as a church expanded and grew and as the average age increased the need arose for a particular emphasis in ministry to young people. In 1879 in Hazelton Michigan 2 teenagers the Warren and Henry Fena were walking down a dusty road and they were talking about need for missionary work to be done by young people here in the middle of nowhere in the countryside away from the cities they knelt down on the dusty road and prayed that God would bless their plans a prayer that would be answered over and over the 1st missionary society started in little warrant home had 3 aims firstly to plan missionary work secondly to raise money for literature and goodly to promote the cause of temperance. 12 years later in Antigo Wisconsin another significant event took place. Mead Maguire made a proposal to the church that the use society be allowed to use the building for its activities this was discussed at the church board and there was some opposition but one of the older members brother Connor stood up and voiced his support sometimes the young people need the support of those older in order for their plans and activities to come to pass if God has placed you in such a role there may be a support rather than a hindrance. In 1905 the manual for youth work was published and in 1907 in gland Switzerland at the 1st general conference session outside of North America the church voted to form a new department that was called The 7th Day Adventist young people society of missionary volunteers and the curtain was asked to serve as the 1st director and one of the new initiatives that was launched the next year was the morning watch a daily devotional study guide. The society was mission focused and the youth Sabbath school raised the money for the F.B.I.'s pick cared a missionary boat to sail to the South Pacific although it only failed for 10 years it captured the imagination of young people around the world over the next few years and decades societies will be formed in Korea the Philippines South America Central America Hungary and China. The youth missionary society would also be launched which would be the precursor to the Pathfinder department that we know today the name of the department which changed in 1972 to the use department of missionary volunteers and then changed again in 1979. The admin department and changed again in 2005 to Adventist youth ministries. And. The journey from that dirt road all right 125 years ago has been a story of innovation and inspiration but we now have over 10000000 young people in almost every country around the world as a church we must remember that our early identity was embedded in young people and putting young people at the center of the church will be key to fulfilling the Gospel commission and finishing the work Ella White wrote many years ago with such an army of workers as are you rightly trained might furnish how soon the message of a crucified risen and soon to come Savior will be taken to the whole world if you are older and support the young people in your church if you are a young a member then don't let anyone despise your youth and rise to the challenge serving God wherever you might be.


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