The Conference in Battle Creek

28 September 1860 - 30 September 1860

Cottrell was experienced and influential; his message, published in James White's absence, set the pace for a long-drawn-out battle. The matter seesawed back and forth through the next six months, with some reference to it in most issues of the Review. Then came the call for a general conference at Battle Creek opening Friday, September 28, to consider safeguarding the work through some type of organization. Because of the importance of the conference, its business proceedings were reported in great detail in the issues of the Review and Herald for October 9, 16, and 23. The business meetings began September 29 immediately after the Sabbath, with Joseph Bates serving as chairman. Having in mind the debate that had been running in the Review, those attending the conference moved immediately into a lengthy discussion. It was clear that most looked negatively on any steps toward organization. Meetings continued through the evening after the Sabbath and Sunday morning and afternoon, ending finally with the adoption of the following:

We recommend to the conference the organization of a publishing association that may legally hold the Review office (RH, Oct. 16, 1860).

With relief James White stood and said, "This is just what I have been pleading for, for the last six months" (ibid., Oct. 23, 1860). On Monday at sunrise the conference met to adopt a constitution built upon this action. First, White made some remarks, "expressing his gratitude for the candor and good feeling and unity and regard for the principles of right, manifested by those present" (ibid.). The first of the 10 articles adopted that Monday morning read:

This Association shall be denominated The Advent Review Publishing Association, the object of which shall be the publication of periodicals, books, and tracts, calculated to convey instruction on Bible truth, especially the fulfillment of prophecy, the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus (ibid.).

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