Pr. Don Mackintosh discusses the historical facts about the actual practice of the Seventh-day Advnetist Church in the 19th century. Did the church, as claimed by many advocates of women’s ordination, used to ordain women to the gospel ministry, but, for some mysterious reason, cease the practice? What are the facts?

16 thoughts on “Did Adventists ordain women to the gospel ministry a century ago?

  1. Don
    It was interesting to hear your message. However you do not make reference to the fact that Ellen White and others have been ordained by God. So, if God is happy to call and ordain men and women to ministry, then why are we not following His lead?
    The Holy Spirit gave clear instruction to the apostolic church regarding the ordination of Deacons. As the early appointment of Deacons included both men and women, would not both have been ordained? We have not been told otherwise and the early church under Paul and others was obedient to the instructions of God.
    Ellen white herself said, SET APART [women]TO THIS WORK BY PRAYER AND LAYING ON OF HANDS.
    Perhaps we have a little more to discover and learn. What do you think?

    • Paul
      In your statement of EGW where she says “set apart women to this work by prayer and laying on of hands” could you please give a reference. Was it by chance in reference to literature evangelism?

      The primary object of our college was to afford young men an opportunity to study for the ministry and to prepare young persons of both sexes to become workers in the various branches of the cause. 5T page 60.

      Those who enter the missionary field should be men and women who walk and talk with God. Those who stand as ministers in the sacred desk should be men of blameless reputation. 5T page 598

      I find her writings and examples to book-match Gods Word and need to be taken in context.

      Blessings John

    • It is not valid to say: both men and women can be ordained, therefore men and women can be elders. The question was never about whether or not women could be ordained to do ministry in a general sense, but rather if they could be ordained to the specific ministry of elders. Sister White was ordained by God as a prophetess, not an elder/minister/pastor. Another (male or female) may be ordained as a pianist, or a songwriter. etc. etc. But to be ordained as an elder, you need to meet the qualifications set forth in scripture, one of them is being of the male gender. What the Bible says should be good enough for us. When you read up on the materials collected on this website and above all study earnestly the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, not desiring to sustain your own cherished ideas, but laying aside personal bias to discover the will of God, I believe you will be persuaded of the same truth that I and the church throughout its existence has been persuaded of.

      Lastly, John Allen has sufficiently clarified the issue regarding the quote you used, I believe.

    • I see that you said that Ellen G White was ordained but this is not true. When they wanted to ordain her and even gave her an ordination certificate she refused to be ordained and marked through the word ordained. You can see this if you go visit her house in Napa valley, CA like we did last year. The document is there for everyone to see. So if you don’t believe me go see for yourself. It is a great experience to be in her house. Thank you and God Bless!

  2. As I scroll down the home page, all I see are middle aged and older white males, who are mostly (all?) ordained pastors. Seems like some serious turf protection happening here under the guise of biblical faithfulness. Do you have any non whites, females, and/or non ordained individuals to make the no to WO argument?

    • GeraldS

      Check out the signatures on the “Christ or Culture” web site petition, read through the over 8,680 names…. tell me do those names sound like all white males or ordained pastors…..?

      Blessings John Allen

  3. Gerald, I hope you’re planning to watch the women’s ordination symposium which will be held at the studio of Secrets Unsealed and the Fresno (CA) Central Church, Oct. 1-4. You will see a number of non-whites and females participating, and some young people as well.

    The symposium will be broadcast live on 3ABN and live-streamed on the Secrets Unsealed website. The meetings will start at 7 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday evening, Oct. 1. They will then proceed all day Thursday, Friday, and Sabbath. There will be an advertisement on this site as well as others, but Secrets Unsealed presently has the schedule, at

    • Thanks, Kevin, for mentioning the Secrets Unsealed event. I’ll try to watch some of it. Certainly seem like the presenters will be more diverse than the contributors here at OrdinationTruth.

      • Hope that many of you watched the wonderful presentations this weekend (Jan23-24,2015) on LLU network. I particularly enjoyed John Paulien’s presentation. I was thinking to myself last week as our study group worked through Cor 14:34-35 that perhaps if God wants to make this clear for us he needs to “let down a sheet” to Ted Wilson” filled with all kinds of preachers of both sexes (kill and eat)”. The following day I happened to read the devotional on women, in George Knight’s “Lest we Forget” for January 21, in which he shares the story of the man struck dumb, when he attempted to displace his daughter’s testimony. … Looks like the sheet came down, and no one was watching. “Kill and eat.”

        • The vision Peter had of the animals in the sheet has nothing to do with women’s ordination. The book of Acts even tells us that. Acts 10:28 & Acts 11:9. God has already made the issue clear to us, of who can be pastors and elders in our church. You can find this truth by an honest, sincere study of the Bible, and supplement that with the SOP.

          Just a few examples:

          1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

          The primary object of our college was to afford young men an opportunity to study for the ministry and to prepare young persons of both sexes to become workers in the various branches of the cause. 5T page 60

          Those who enter the missionary field should be men and women who walk and talk with God. Those who stand as ministers in the sacred desk should be men of blameless reputation; their lives should be spotless, above everything that savors of impurity. 5T page 597.2

  4. hi, am not a pro-WO nor an anti. I am just curious why a “male gender” should be a qualification to ordination. What is in the male gender that qualifies him, and what is not in the female gender that disqualifies her for ordination. Is that “thing” of paramount importance to be a qualification? I am asking this because male or female may have the necessary knowledge, skills, and the attitude that can make him or her an effective minister? Thanks!

    • Listen to Jim Howard’s talk on Secret’s Unsealed (or read the paper where position 1 answers position 3 on the SDA Archives site under “Papers commissioned and submitted but not presented”). As Howard has pointed out, technically maleness is not a qualification but a requirement. The husband of one wife is the qualification, the only way to meet that qualification is to be a male. We may or may not be able to understand why God does things the way He does, and certainly God is not obligated to explain His ways, but He always has great reasons if we have sufficient experience, knowledge, and capability to understand them.

  5. It is our duty (and this is why we’re here) as stewards of the mysteries of God to protect the church from a hermeneutical disaster. That’s the bottom line.”

    I fully agree with Holmes’ comment here.


  6. Galatians 3:27-29 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

    Joel 2:29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

    Spiritual gifts are God’s to give, not ours to manage.

  7. Is my understanding correct that in the early Adventist church women were not ordained to gospel ministry AND as local church elders? They would of course make sense, but I would like to hear a definitive answer, thanks.


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