Seventh-day Adventist Headquarters Moved to Bismarck
Conference office shift to central location is front-page news in North Dakota (Posted April 18, 2013)
BY KAREN HERZOG
, religion reporter, Bismarck
Editor’s Note: The relocation of the Dakota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists from Pierre, South Dakota, to Bismarck, North Dakota, was front-page news in the Bismarck Tribune, the local daily newspaper. This report, edited slightly, is reprinted with the newspaper’s permission. You can read the original article online at http://bit.ly/11ElhT7.
he Dakota Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination has moved its headquarters to Bismarck from Pierre, South Dakota, where it had been located since 1960.
NEW HEADQUARTERS: The Dakota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has moved their headquarters to Bismarck from Pierre, South Dakota, where it had been since 1960. [PHOTOS: Tom Strome/Bismark Tribune]
The new three-acre corporate headquarters for North Dakota and South Dakota Seventh-day Adventist churches and schools is located just north of the intersection of North Washington Street and Highway 1804 and commands a spectacular 360-degree view. The building design maximizes that asset by keeping the offices around the perimeter, so each has a window to take advantage of the scenery. The upper level of the building also has a large kitchen, conference room, and centrally located work area.
The group moved in December 2012. The upper floor is complete except for a few remaining furnishings, and the lower level, which features a walkout entrance, will become the headquarters’ health food and bookstore, said Jacquie Biloff, communications staff member for the conference.
Seventh-day Adventists are recognized nationally and internationally for their emphasis on healthy living, having many medical facilities around the world. Many [Adventist] members practice vegetarianism as part of its wholistic approach, Biloff said.
Biloff said that those lower-level portions of the headquarters should be in place around the time of the Seventh-day Adventists’ traditional annual camp meeting, or gathering, the first week of June.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a long history in the Dakotas, predating statehood in 1889. Organized July 14, 1879, in the Sioux Falls area of what was then Dakota Territory, the regional unit of the denomination was divided after statehood into the North Dakota and South Dakota conferences.
TIME LINE: Jacquie Biloff, communications director for the Dakota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, with a poster displaying the history of the denomination in the Dakotas.
n 1981 the two conferences rejoined to form the Dakota Conference, headquartered in Pierre. At a quinquennium, or five-year, conference meeting in 2009, a vote was taken to move to Bismarck.
In Pierre their headquarters was in a large donated house, but the increasing cost of travel around the Dakotas from Pierre helped make the decision to move to the more centrally located Bismarck, Biloff said.
After the office portion of the building was ready, all of the staff from Pierre moved to Bismarck.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was born during the widespread national “revivals” of the 1800s, and bases its practices, including that of worshipping on Saturdays, on the biblical study of a Saturday Sabbath—in the Creation narrative, in Christ’s practice of observing the Sabbath, and the anticipation of Sabbath in Christ’s second coming, Biloff said.
Seventh-day Adventists in the Dakotas have five elementary schools, including Brentwood elementary school near Bismarck, the Dakota Adventist Academy north of Bismarck, which is a boarding high school, and 49 churches with a membership of more than 4,000.