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Our GC Delegation Sessions (Part VI)

1967 – Tenth General Conference Session

At the tenth quadrennial delegation session, which was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, August 13 to October 8, 1967, there were 33 delegates representing 16 Union Conferences and Fields. Complete membership reports had not been received from the restricted countries.

Besides doctrinal questions which had to be answered, there were many other points on the agenda, which were placed in the hands of three special committees: (1) Committee on Tithing, Properties, and Pension; (2) Committee on Credentials and Location of Workers (the same Nominating Committee); (3) Committee on Bylaws and Guidelines for Church Officers.

GC delegation, tenth session, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1967.

In view of the growing needs of the work, the delegation adopted a new GC constitution and bylaws to meet new circumstances, a sustentation plan for workers (which allowed for local adaptations), and a project for a church officers’ guide. It was resolved that each minister should receive a mimeographed copy of the projected guide for church officers. The idea was that with the suggestions sent in by our Unions and Fields, an ad hoc committee would be able to revise the guide and submit an improved copy to the delegation at the next session (1971) for final approval.

At our invitation, the IMS sent three representatives to us during the delegation session, to discuss the possibility of a reconciliation and a reunification. No agreement was reached.

The following GC officers were elected: F. Devai, president; I. W. Smith, vice president; A. N. Macdonald, secretary-treasurer.

Before the delegation was dismissed, Brother Devai made an appeal to the representatives of the people, based on 2 Chronicles 15:8—15. Our leaders, church officers, and members in general should be encouraged to seek the Lord with all their hearts, as an important step in their preparation for the receiving of the latter rain.

1971 – Eleventh General Conference Session

The eleventh session of GC delegates was held in Brasilia, Brazil, September 22 through October 13, 1971. Forty-five delegates, representing 18 Union Conferences, Fields, and Missions, were seated. Two Unions and one Field were not represented. The total membership reported was 12,694.

GC delegation, eleventh session, Brasilia, Brazil, 1971.

The Aztecan Mission (Mexico) and the Danube Union (composed of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland) were recognized by the GC delegation.

The reports of the brethren who had visited some of the restricted countries and those which dealt with the opening of new fields aroused special interest.

The points on the agenda were distributed among the various committees (Doctrinal Committee, Bylaws Committee, Plans Committee), which brought their recommendations to the delegation.

The Doctrinal Committee recommended and the delegation voted that candidates for membership be fellowshiped as follows: (1) by baptism–only those who are thoroughly grounded in the present truth and have given proof that they have had a genuine conversion and have started a new life in Jesus Christ; (2) by vote–only Seventh-day Adventists and separated (Reform) brethren who have been faithful to the light they have had and have lived up to the principles that we stand for.

The delegation also resolved that a general appeal be made to our churches, groups, and individual members throughout the world calling for a deeper consecration to God and for the elevating of the standards of the threefold message (2 Chron. 15:12—15), as follows:

1. Uplifting of our moral standards (purity, integrity).

2. Faithfulness in health reform, Sabbathkeeping, tithes and offerings.

3. More emphasis on decency and simplicity in dress reform.

4. Separation from the evil influences of the world.

Our beliefs and practices were confirmed–that church discipline be applied in case of members persistently "following the customs and fashions and sentiments of the world" (Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 647, 648; Testimonies to Ministers, 128).

As regards television, it was resolved that a renewed effort be made by our ministers and workers to warn our people against the hazards caused by a TV set in the home.

GC officers elected for the new term: F. Devai, president; W. Volpp, vice president; A. Balbach, secretary.