Celebrating (and Documenting) 50 Years

Celebrating (and Documenting) 50 Years

May 22, 2017

Nicholas J. Kersten

Director of Education and History


We are preserving the stories of those faithful people who have made this history.

At the past sessions of the World Federation, Seventh Day Baptists had the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Federation, officially reached in 2015. That celebration is merited, as for half a century many Seventh Day Baptists from around the world have participated in the cooperative work of the Federation. As part of the celebration, a graphic was produced which we have included on this page to help point to the work of some of those who have been centrally involved in the work of the Federation. But beyond these leaders whose names and photographs we see, there is also the work of individual Seventh Day Baptists in their local congregations around the world who have carried their faith with them as they made disciples of all nations.

Janet Thorngate has served for many years as an instructor in our Conference’s Summer Institute class on Seventh Day Baptist History. On the first day of the class (at least since 2004, when I took the class as a student with Janet, and at each session since), Janet has taken the opportunity to remind her classes of a quote from the English historian Thomas Carlyle: “…history is the essence of enumerable biographies.” In other words: where history exists, there also will you find the faithful people who went about their lives and contributed to it. Where the historian sees movements, there is really a sea of people changing their world in small, but real, ways.

A half century of ministry for the World Federation is an important time for us to ask how we are preserving the stories of those faithful people who have made this history. It is very important that each SDB Conference around the world has documented its own story so that we do not lose the stories of how God has moved among them. Many of our brother and sister conferences do not have their history written down in their own words and in their own language. We will continue to advocate for this important work to be done, and hope you will support us as we aid other Conferences in this work!

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