14 November 2023 |
Adventist Today Latino editor Daniel A. Mora has published a seminal work on women in the Inter-American Division (IAD) who were pivotal to the administration, teaching, and evangelism of the Adventist message between 1906 – 1940. Published in Andrews University Seminary Studies, the article weaves together pieces of extensive research gathered from Adventist yearbooks, genealogical studies, General Conference minutes, newspapers, civil registries, and information provided by the women’s own descendants.
The impetus for Mora’s article is emphasized throughout, such as this paragraph where he states:
Adventists in the IAD today have a poor understanding of what Adventist women actually accomplished in Central America, the Caribbean, Guyana, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. Although their contributions to the development of Adventism are recognized to some degree, it is often unacknowledged that they occupied positions such as treasurer, executive secretary, or interim president of a Mission, Conference, or Union. This goes against today’s social paradigms that have been enforced for decades, which have only caused disconnection and discontinuity between the rich historical heritage of the first Adventists and the current vision of the role of women in leadership.
Mora goes on to emphasize that while Latin American Adventists often recognize the importance of women in spreading the gospel and advancing the mission, the women are typically seen as occupying only subordinate roles. In the Inter-American Division, some early female Adventist leaders had significant administrative roles; however, their achievements were frequently overlooked or credited to their husbands.
The end of the 33-page article includes photography provided by Adventist institutions, family descendants, or even Ancestry.com, depicting several of the women featured. Mora’s hope is that “recovering their stories may help ensure women are offered more mission and administrative opportunities in the future.”
The full article can be accessed here.