Adventist Heritage Ministry (AHM) is an educational and evangelistic corporation organized in 1981 to assist in preserving the heritage of the Seventh-day Adventist Church through the purchase, restoration, and, where appropriate, replication of properties significant to the denomination's founding and development. Sponsored by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, AHM is supported primarily by direct contributions.
Historical Background. Early in the twentieth century interest was shown in the historic sites connected with the beginning of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The denomination's first history book, Rise and Progress of the Seventh-day Adventists, by J. N. Loughborough, had been printed in 1892. In 1909 Ellen G. White, on her final visit to Portland, Maine, manifested a keen interest in visiting the various local sites associated with her own childhood. Later M. E. Olsen tried to locate historic sites so they could be photographed to illustrate his thoroughgoing book, A History of the Origin and Progress of Seventh-day Adventists, published in 1925. During the 1930s and 1940s several individuals continued the attempt to locate historic sites associated with early Adventist history. Two men prominent in this endeavor were Elders A. W. Spalding and W. C. White. In 1947 Spalding's research led to the publication of his Footprints of the Pioneers, a helpful guide that provided not only information about the sites, including photographs, but also general directions to help travelers find them.
In the 1950s the Ellen G. White Estate began organizing annual denominational history tours to New England Adventist sites. Later members of the Tabernacle church in Battle Creek, Michigan, began conducting weekly Sabbath afternoon tours to the historic Adventist sites in their city.
In 1956 the Pacific Union Conference acquired Elmshaven in northern California, Ellen G. White's final home, 1900-1915. Later, in 1960, the Australasian (now South Pacific) Division acquired and restored Sunnyside, Ellen White's home in Australia, 1895-1900. In 1966 the Battle Creek (Michigan) Tabernacle purchased the Wood Street home, where James and Ellen White lived from 1856 to 1863.
Organization of Adventist Historic Properties, Inc. By 1980 several Adventist historians and lay members had become actively concerned about the ever-diminishing number of historic sites. When Garth H. "Duff" Stoltz, an outstanding local historian in Battle Creek, learned that the Battle Creek home of Deacon John White, James White's father, was soon to be demolished, he decided it was time to put a stop to the trend. Duff Stoltz contacted James R. Nix, then director of the Heritage Room at Loma Linda University, and the two men raised the funds needed to buy the property.
Adventist Historic Properties, Inc. was organized on May 8, 1981, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Shortly thereafter, its motto, "The Past With a Future," was adopted. Founded by lay members, the organization did not come under church ownership until February 22, 1988. Its first president and board chair was Lawrence E. Crandall, also of Battle Creek.
Almost immediately after Adventist Historic Properties Inc.'s organization, the two White homes in Battle Creek were deeded to it. In 1982 what had traditionally been thought to be the J. N. Loughborough home in Battle Creek was purchased. Later it was discovered that this home actually belonged to John M. Daigneau, an early Adventist believer, so in 1992 Adventist Historic Properties purchased the actual J. N. Loughborough property. In 1982 property adjacent to the Washington, New Hampshire, church was purchased and deeded to the Northern New England Conference.
On September 25, 1984, Adventist Historic Properties, Inc. purchased 25 acres (10 hectares) that originally were part of William Miller's farm in Low Hampton, New York. Included in this acquisition were Miller's house that he built in 1815 and Ascension Rock, where local Millerite Adventists are reported to have waited for the Lord's return on October 22, 1844.
In 1985 the first issue of AHP Bulletin appeared, containing reports on the activities of Adventist Historic Properties, Inc. The following year a Michigan State historical marker, sponsored by Adventist Historic Properties, Inc., was erected in Oak Hill Cemetery in Battle Creek near the graves of James and Ellen White. During the years 1987-1990 Adventist Historic Properties, Inc. worked closely with the North American Division's Office of Education to promote Seventh-day Adventist history in elementary and secondary schools throughout the division.
Starting in 1988, Adventist Historic Properties, Inc. began sponsoring volunteer work bees at its various historic sites. Several of these have involved Adventist young people, thus enabling them to learn about their Adventist roots while helping to preserve them.
On January 26, 1989, Adventist Historic Properties, Inc. purchased 17 acres (7 hectares) that were originally part of Hiram Edson's farm near Port Gibson, New York. Three years later the organization purchased a barn that originally belonged to Luther Edson, Hiram Edson's father, dismantled it, and transported it to the Hiram Edson farm to be re-erected there.
With sesquicentennial commemoration events planned for the William Miller farm in 1994, extensive restoration work was carried out on Miller's house during 1993 and 1994. At the same time, and with the encouragement of the city of Battle Creek, Adventist Historic Properties, Inc. moved ahead with the development of Historic Adventist Village consisting of nearly a three block area that includes the two White homes, the Loughborough property, and the surrounding area. In 1994 the organization's name was changed to Adventist Heritage Ministry.
Now read about Percy Tilson Magan a farmer who later in life served as president of Loma Linda University Medical Center. Also, what is The Blessed Hope?
Board Chairs: Lawrence E. Crandall, 1981-1988; Robert L. Dale, 1988-1997; James R. Nix, 1997-present.
Presidents: Lawrence E. Crandall, 1981-1991; James R. Nix, 1991-1995; Alice R. Voorheis, 1995-2001; Thomas R. Neslund, 2001-present.
Secretaries: Delbert L. Brown, 1982-1983; James R. Nix, 1983-1985; C. Mervyn Maxwell, 1985-1999; William A. Fagal, 1999-present.
Treasurers: Herbert W. Prichard, 1981-1994; Meade C. Van Putten, 1994-1996; Juan R. Prestol, 1996-1997; Donald E. Robinson, 1997-2005; George Egwakhe 2005-Present.