During an era in which race relations worsened to their lowest point in post-civil war American history, the first Adventist church planted in the nation’s capital was an interracial fellowship, described in 1899 as a “living miracle of the power of God” that surprised outside observers. The church was central to a saga played out on the stage of Washington, D.C., introduced in Part 1, that challenges us to re-think Adventism’s racial past and how it has shaped the present.
Despite her melancholy over the absence of the man who had captured her heart, Georgia Harper dutifully went about her work for the Lord—selling Adventist literature, giving Bible studies, and seeking to interest others in receiving them. Trudging street after street and climbing steep stairs to row house after row house added physical exhaustion to her heaviness of heart.
Will - Spicer - Marriage - Future - World
She and Will Spicer had talked about marriage. But in 1887 the future world church leader felt called to join a mission to England. Meanwhile, Georgia and five other young people joined the city mission that the Adventists had recently set up in Washington, D.C. It was one of about twenty-five missions the church had launched in urban America during the 1880s—a frontier that the movement had as yet barely touched.
The few who responded positively no doubt lifted Georgia’s spirits. Yet she could not have imagined the far-reaching consequences when an exceptionally genial, professionally attired young black man responded positively to the literature she offered.1 When James H. Howard embraced the message of “present truth,” he opened a large portal to a population segment that the Adventist mission initiative had not particularly targeted—the growing black communities of urban America.
Medicine - Dr - Howard - Pensions - Office
Instead of practicing medicine, Dr. Howard entered the Pensions Office of the Department of War—a coveted “desk job” in the higher echelons of the federal...
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