Joseph Harvey Waggoner

Joseph Harvey Waggoner 1820-1889

Though a man with little formal education, J. H. Waggoner was a giant in literary accomplishments, a master of Greek and Hebrew, a knowledgeable theologian, an accomplished editor, a pioneer in health reform and religious liberty, and a tower of strength as a pioneer in the closing message of truth.

When Waggoner first learned of the Adventist message in December, 1851, he was editor and publisher of a political newspaper. Evidently Waggoner doubted that he could be saved because he had not been in ‘the 1844 movement’. Ellen White encouraged him to hope in God and to give his heart fully to Jesus, which he did then early in 1852. He threw his tobacco wad into the stove on the day he accepted the Sabbath, and he stood with Joseph Bates as a strong advocate of temperate living.

By 1853, Waggoner had unreservedly dedicated his life to the propagation of the message. Having learned the publishing trade as a youth in Pennsylvania and Illinois, Waggoner’s talents were employed many times in editorial capacities. He followed James White as editor of the western Signs of the Times, and he was the first editor of both the Pacific Health Journal and the American Sentinel (a Religious Liberty journal).

(Vol. 4, No. 4 of “Lest We Forget” features J. H. Waggoner.)