Systematic Benevolence

The practice of making regular contributions to the church in accordance with a predetermined plan. In its general meaning it represents the principle of denominational financing followed from the 1850s to the present. As a specific term it applied specifically to the method of financing denominational evangelistic work until the late 1870s, when the present system of tithes and offerings was recommended and generally adopted. Financing the Early Work. The early preachers of Seventh-day Adventist doctrines were largely self-supporting. They conducted their work on faith without any financial backing except that of their own resources or occasional gifts of well-wishers and fellow believers. Joseph Bates had used up his own savings in his work of spreading the knowledge of the Millerite doc...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.