John Nevins Andrews

John Nevins Andrews (1829-1883)

J. N. Andrews was an intellectual who enjoyed “severe study” much more than physical activity. He was closely associated with James & Ellen White in the leadership and evangelistic work of the SDA Church.

As a theologian, Andrews made great strides in the development of church doctrines. He applied the two-horned beast of Rev. 13 to the United States of America. Further, he was influential in creating the church’s bylaws and constitution. In 1855, after thorough investigation, Andrews adopted sunset Friday evening as the beginning of the Sabbath. This began a standard for the church. He also organized the church as a legal business association, allowing the church to obtain legal possession of property. During the Civil War, Andrews lobbied for non-combatant designation for SDA draftees.

In 1860, he was involved in the organization of the denominational publishing house. The following year, he published his extensive research, History of the Sabbath and the First Day of the Week. This was a work reviewing the seventh-day Sabbath in history. Between 1869-70, he was the editor of the Review and Herald.

In 1874, he became the first SDA missionary in Switzerland. He worked to gather the scattered Sabbath-keeping companies and organize them with a united message. While living in Basel, he contracted tuberculosis and died. He was 54.

(Vol. 6, No. 2 of “Lest We Forget” features J. N. Andrews.)