From the G.C. President
June 29, 1998 Robert S. Folkenberg
Charitable Donations Bill Voted in the United States: The U.S. our history that I want to share with you, this week and next I will
Senate and House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed–and recount some examples from my own family’s interaction with Ellen
President Clinton on Friday (June 19) signed into law–the Religious White. My great grandfather, Elder E. E. Andross, not only had two
Liberty and Charitable Donations Protection Act. This bill will personal interviews with her, but he and his family are mentioned in
protect charitable donations–including tithes and offerings–from the some letters that she wrote to others. From 1908 to 1912, my great
reach of bankruptcy trustees. The amendment to Section 548 of the grandfather served as president of the Southern California
federal Bankruptcy Code responds to actions by some trustees who Conference, which then included Loma Linda. From 1912 to 1918 he
have claimed that charitable contributions made before debtors served as president of the Pacific Union Conference. It was during the
declare bankruptcy are “fraudulent conveyances” that are years from 1908 to Ellen White’s death in 1915 that he was
recoverable by the bankruptcy estate. To benefit from protection of personally acquainted with her.
the new law, a contribution to a qualified charity must not exceed 15 I begin with a sweet quote from a letter that Ellen White wrote from
percent of the gross annual income of the debtor for the year in Loma Linda on April 20, 1910, to her son and daughter-in-law, Edson
which the donation was made or, if the amount is more than 15 and Emma White. In it she mentions my great grandparents, as well
percent, the contribution was “reasonable and consistent with the as refers to my grandfather and great uncle.
practices of the debtor in making charitable contributions” in the “Elder Andross has a feeble wife, although her health is improving.
past. “Many churches and charities survive solely on day-to-day He has had a room made for her, the sides of which are glass, and in
contributions,” commented Representative Ron Packard this room she spends most of her time and enjoys it. She has a
(Republican-California), chief backer of the legislation on the tendency to consumption. They have two noble sons whom they are
House. “They simply can’t afford to give over hundreds and giving the best advantages to become ministers. I liked their
sometimes thousands in past donations.” The bill, S.1244, was appearance very much. They are devoted to their mother, and the
authored by Senator Charles E. Grassley (Republican-Iowa). whole family is bound together in proper and agreeable bonds of
NAD Magabooks Program Develops New Ministry: Last affection” (Letter 38, 1910).
week I received a wonderful update on the Southern Union’s The following year Ellen White was in Southern California again.
Magabooks Program from Bill Beckworth, Southern Union Not only did my great grandfather serve as her host, but he drove her
Publishing, and Ron Appenzeller, GC Publishing. Last year the around in his automobile. In a letter that Sister White wrote to Elder
Southern Union added a student Bible worker to each Magabooks and Mrs. J. A. Burden from her Elmshaven home in Northern
sales team. This individual, who must be experienced in California, on April 30, 1911, this is how she described her car ride,
Magabooks and big books sales, follows up with those who “In the afternoon of the day that we left for home, Elder Andross
purchase books by offering Bible studies and nurturing them toward took us in an automobile to visit the several churches and the Bible
a commitment to Christ. Pastor Beckworth tells me that, even Workers’ Home in Los Angeles. We did not get out of the
though the student Bible workers do not make as much money as the conveyance, but stopped and spoke to some of those engaged in the
books salespeople, there are plenty of young Adventists who are work. It was a very pleasant trip, and I was very glad to see so much
eager to do this work! of the work in Los Angeles. The automobile was an easy-riding
One such individual is a young lady named Sari Clark. Ms. Clark machine that did not jolt me, so I was spared any increased suffering.
is a senior nursing student at Southern Adventist University who is We reached home in safety, and on Friday I got relief from the pain I
serving as a Bible Worker in the city of Louisville, Kentucky in the had endured for two days and nights” (Letter 20, 1911).
NAD. Pastor Beckworth tells me he recently attended a training In my present position, I am interested that Great Grandpa Andross
program held by Ms. Clark and her student Bible worker colleague, was one of the three members of the committee who in 1910 inquired
Ben Dawson, at the Louisville, Kentucky First Church. Here is a of Ellen White as to whether or not our fledgling medical school at
quote from Pastor Beckworth’s e-mail about this training. “Sari and Loma Linda should sufficiently prepare physicians so they could
Ben did an excellent job! I doubt that a pastor or professional qualify to take their state medical exams. Her response in the
evangelist could have created as much interest and desire to do affirmative is a constant reminder to me that our schools are “to be of
Bible studies. These young adults create interest in the local church. the highest order,” to use her words regarding the medical school at
They attend church every Sabbath telling their experiences and Loma Linda. In part she told them, “Whatever subjects are required
making friends. Their youthful enthusiasm is contagious!” as essential in the schools conducted by those not of our faith, we are
Many thanks to Pastor Beckworth, Sari and Ben for the living to supply so that our youth need not go to these worldly schools. Thus
example of the most important, unique, and precious element of we shall close the door that the enemy would be pleased to have left
Adventism which is this. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is and open; and our young men and young women, whom the Lord would
will always be dedicated to developing non-nominal Adventists. By have us guard religiously, will not then need to connect with worldly
this I mean that an authentic Adventist Christian’s beliefs will medical schools conducted by unbelievers” (Ms. 7, 1910).
intersect life where they live it each day by positively impacting their Next week I will share excerpts from two interviews my great
communities with the joy and power of the Gospel. grandfather had with Ellen White.
Off the Back Burner
Heritage Segment #120: Before moving on to other stories from