Biographical Sketch of Kenneth H. Wood [Main Story]
enneth H. Wood was born in Shanghai, China, November 5, 1917, to lifetime American missionary parents. Until he was 15 he attended Far Eastern Academy in Shanghai, then moved to the United States to continue his education. He graduated from the academy of Southern California Junior College in 1934 and from Pacific Union College (PUC) in 1938 with a major in Bible and minors in speech and French. In 1979 Andrews University conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.
During his years at PUC, Wood continued his interest in publishing and printing, which had begun in the Orient. He edited the college’s Campus Chronicle, and PUC’s yearbook, Diogenes Lantern. He financed his college education largely by working as a linotype operator in the college press during school years, and in a Napa newspaper plant in the summers.
Wood served the Adventist Church first as a ministerial
intern in the Fresno district of the Central California Conference. That same summer he married Miriam Brown, also a 1938 PUC graduate. The couple spent four years assisting in evangelistic meetings—some held in churches, some in tents, and others in Quonset huts.
In January 1942 Wood studied for a term at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, then located in Takoma Park, Maryland. He later served as a church pastor in Charleston, West Virginia, and Cleveland, Ohio. In 1947 the New Jersey Conference called him to serve as Sabbath School and Lay Activities director, and in 1951 he was elected Sabbath School and Lay Activities director of the Columbia Union Conference. By this time he and Miriam had two young daughters, Janet Faye and Carole.
Wood, however, never lost interest in the publishing work. He contributed numerous articles to various Adventist magazines and journals, which may have caught the attention of Francis D. Nichol, editor in chief of the Review. In 1955 Nichol invited Wood to join the staff of the Review as one of the editors.
Soon after accepting this position, Wood earned his master’s degree in Systematic Theology and Greek from Andrews University Theological Seminary. Then in 1966, after the unexpected death of Nichol, the Review board elected Wood as editor in chief of the church’s general paper—a position he held until he “retired” in 1982.
Along with the hundreds of editorials and articles he has written for the Review and other journals, Wood also authored the books Meditations for Moderns and Short Essays on Relevant Religion, and coauthored with his wife, Miriam, His Initials Were F.D.N. He has traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, the South Pacific, the Far East, Russia, Southern Asia, Africa, and South America.
Wood has been married to Miriam for 69 years. As well as being the parents of two grown daughters, the couple has seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Wood also has a sister, Janet Chalmers, who is 92 and lives in California.
Even at age 90, Wood continues to serve his Lord and the Adventist Church as chair of the Ellen G. White Estate Board, a position he has held since 1980. Three mornings each week you’ll find him in his office at the Adventist Church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.