New book highlights history of the Adventist Church in Northern Australia

Author Selwyn Hawken with Pastor Darren Slade.

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From the establishment of the first Seventh-day Adventist church in 1885 to Northern Conference status in 1955, a new book from Signs Publishing highlights the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Northern Australia.

Author Selwyn Hawken spent several years compiling church history using sources such as the Australasian Record, newspapers and verbal accounts.

“There was always an interest in historical things, heroes, museums, derelict sites, old things,” Mr Hawken said. “Originally, I said the book took 20 years to compile, but upon reflection, it was more like 40 years.

“Always there was an interest in what people could tell me about the old days . . . and most of them enjoyed the opportunity to recount events to someone showing interest.”

Released earlier this year, Seventh-day Adventist Church History—Northern Australian Conference is filled with history, stories and photos of God’s leading in the NAC.

“Selwyn has captured in great detail the passion and commitment of early pastors, colporteurs and members in sharing their Adventist faith to the people across the remote north of Australia,” said NAC president Pastor Darren Slade.

“The stories of hardship and deprivation—riding 2080 miles on a bicycle in 10 weeks to sell books, the Great Depression, cyclones and other natural disasters—confront the relative ease with which ministry and mission is conducted today.

“God was at work in amazing ways in those early years and the 2800 current members of the Northern Australian Conference owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who started the work. This book will both challenge and inspire and shows the incredible ways God has led in our past history.”

The book is available on the Adventist Book Centre website.

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