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Gregory Matthews

Dr. Ronald Lawson Speaks


Dr. Lawson is a retired professor of history from Queens College in New York City.  His career has included a number of publications related to SDA history.  I remember him most for bringing to light previously unknown facts related to the SDA Church in Germany during the time of Hitler.  As to this, I believe that while his work may serve as a foundation, others should investigate this issue further as I believe that there is more to be learned.

I consider the following quote, taken from the above article, to be quite interesting:


At the Metro NY Adventist Forum, we, in fact, became an independent congregation with the blessing of Neal Wilson, then GC VP for North America. The group was founded in 1968 by Adventist graduate students at Columbia U. and the Juilliard School, seeking fellowship, the opportunity to discuss issues raised in their classes, and current puzzling church issues.

The initial idea was to become a church or a company attached to the conference, but the issue of which conference (at a time when they were very segregated) was inevitably raised for the membership was multi-racial. In 1968, the year Martin Luther King was assassinated, this was a serious problem for graduate students. So they wrote to Wilson asking to be affiliated at the Union level in order to avoid the racial choice. 

He spent a day with them, announced that the church did not have the flexibility to allow what they had suggested; instead, he suggested that they be an independent congregation that set out to maintain positive ties to the church.

End of quote.


For a GC VP to suggest that a local congregation be independent of the denomination is interesting and probably more complex that Dr. Lawson has reported.


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