Chronology of Major Developments
in Adventist Health Promotion & Wellness
1830s to 1863—Health reform movement; influenced early Adventists such as Ellen and James White and Joseph Bates.
1863—June 5, Ellen White’s major health reform vision, Otsego, Michigan.
1865—Ellen White’s vision on the need for Adventist institution to care for sick and accomplish work of education.
1866—Ellen White presents need for institution based on health principles at fourth session of General Conference at Battle Creek; Western Health Reform Institute opened; operates until 1908 (when control passed to Dr. John Harvey Kellogg); The Health Reformer published by General Conference; name later changed to Good Health; passed out of Adventist Church control in 1904.
1868—Dr. M. G. Kellogg appointed to present lectures on healthful living among churches; only three invitations from churches in California.
1868-1874—Lectures at Western Health Reform Institute; health promotion work by Adventist ministers; possibilities of united campaign by ministers and physicians poorly understood.
1876—Dr. John Harvey Kellogg appointed medical superintendent of Western Health Reform Institute; counsel of Ellen White leads to training of sanitarium physicians in health principles.
1877—Expansion of Western Health Reform Institute; renamed the Medical and Surgical Sanitarium, but commonly called the Battle Creek Sanitarium. School of Hygiene announced to prepare workers to educate people on health, sick-room care, baths, and simple remedies; opens January 14, 1878, and lasts several years.
1879—American Health and Temperance Association created.
1889—Health and Temperance Missionary School established to teach principles of hygiene and healthful cooking at camp meetings and other large gatherings; becomes part of the curriculum of the American Medical Missionary College in 1901. Class formed under auspices of American Temperance Association to study health and temperance subjects and to prepare teachers and lecturers.
1893—General Conference Medical Department organized; areas of concern include developing health education materials, working with Temperance Department in education related to substance abuse, and furnishing lectures on health-related topics at church institutions and meetings.
1885—Pacific Health Journal and Temperance Advocate launched by Pacific Press Publishing Association®.
1893—Seventh-day Adventist Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association established under the direction of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg as the legal embodiment of the church’s medical work; in 1896 renamed the International Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association; the omission of “Seventh-day Adventist” in the title makes it easier to divorce the association from the church when Kellogg leaves the church in later years.
1901—Seventh-day Adventist Church organized at Battle Creek, Michigan; Ellen White urges unity of medical and evangelistic work of the church.
1902—Battle Creek Sanitarium burns down.
1904—Pacific Health Journal and Temperance Advocate offered to Review and Herald; becomes Life and Health.
1906—Final separation of Battle Creek Sanitarium from the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
1910—College of Medical Evangelists (CME), later Loma Linda University, opened in Loma Linda, California; first class includes those studying to become cooks, bakers, and nurses, as well as medical students. Other sanitariums established. CME develops house-to-house health education work; “family circles” in neighborhoods to promote study of healthful living and temperance; literature prepared for children.
1922—First full-time physician appointed as secretary of General Conference Medical Department; departmental purpose to teach health principles in churches, schools, and other settings; home nursing course established.
1932—Health initiated in California.
1948—Health merged with Life and Health; Listen introduced under auspices of American Temperance Society.
1954—General Conference Medical Department introduces a course to train instructors for nutrition and cooking schools.
1957-1974—Battle Creek Sanitarium operated as an Adventist self-supporting institution; after 1974 fully owned and operated by the church; in 1959 name changed to Battle Creek Health Center; in 1972 name changed to Battle Creek Sanitarium Hospital.
1958—Adventist Mortality Study initiated at Loma Linda University.
1962—Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking (created in 1959) presented at the General Conference Session in San Francisco, California.
1970—General Conference Ministerial Association and the Health Department collaborate on an integrated health and doctrinal program for use in public evangelism: Century 21 Institute for Better Living, designed to promote total health of body, mind, and soul. Health correspondence lessons and special health features are part of Adventist television and radio programs.
Early 1970s—Programs of physical fitness, general health, stress management, and prevention of heart attacks (Heart Beat) are tested in the North American Division.
1973—Ministry Magazine devotes a section to health. Adventist Health Study initiated at Loma Linda University.
1974—WARITE, a program for nutrition and weight management, introduced; produces film Melinda.
1985—Life and Health becomes Vibrant Life.
2001—Adventist Health Study-2 initiated at Loma Linda University.
Today—Local churches sponsor cooking schools, exercise classes, health fairs and screenings, smoking cessation programs, and other health-promotion activities; a variety of structured programs for lifestyle modification, health clubs, health screening vans, and food outlets are sponsored by church conferences and other church-related entities.