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Exposing Adventism - Adventism and Race Relations

I was reading a column on another site by this name that reminded me of a blight that still exists within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Unless a person has been an Adventist for some time they most likely aren't aware of the racial segregation that still exists from the top down within the Seventh-day Adventist organizational structure. Yes. I know that there are "people of color" in top level positions at the General Conference. That is not what I am talking about.

I am talking about the fact that here in the United States there is a completely separate administrative infrastructure for "white conferences" -- a carry over from the segregation of Ellen White's day.

It would seem like in God's Remnant Church that everyone could be one "happy family" -- instead of a "white family" and a "black family". Within Seventh-day Adventism these two "families" even have their own administrative structures, churches, and camp meetings. I might expect it in 1850 but in 2007? Racial discrimination went out decades ago in most other denominations.

Let me take you on a journey. Within the United States we have the following union conferences.

  • Blacks - Regional Conference Administration
    • Allegheny East
    • Allegheny West
    • Central States
    • Lake Region
    • Northeastern
    • South Atlantic
    • South Central
    • Southeastern
  • Whites - North American Division
    • Atlantic Union
    • Canadian Union
    • Columbia Union
    • Lake Union
    • Mid-America Union
    • North Pacific Union
    • Pacific Union
    • Southern Union
    • Southwestern Union
Here is an article that addresses their respective pension programs and highlights some of the differences between the two systems.

From http://www.adventistreview.org/2001-1546/news.html
For nearly three hours on Tuesday morning (October 30), the executive committee discussed a proposed agreement between NAD and its nine predominantly African-American (or regional) conferences regarding those conferences' newly-established retirement plan launched earlier this year.

The regional retirement plan was announced at the 2000 year-end meeting. Regional conference leaders turned thumbs down on the division's new defined contribution plan that started January 1, 2000, because they felt the church's plan shifted the responsibility of investment to employees.

They also felt that African American workers under the NAD plan could not accumulate the needed money to provide an adequate retirement.
 
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Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.