Adventist Museum Opens in the Galápagos — and More News Shorts

In this week’s news round-up, the Origins Museum opens in the Galápagos, a Spanish-language radio show in Michigan features healthy living advice from Adventist women, Solomon Islands Adventists raise sizable donation for Australia’s bushfire victims, and a 100-year-old retired physician in North Carolina is recognized for his many years of service.

Origins Museum of Nature Is New Adventist Center in the Galápagos. Adventist biology professor Lester E. Harris, Jr. acquired prime land on behalf of Loma Linda University nearly a half century ago that is now the site of a landmark museum and research center where tourists and scientists alike can explore the origins of the earth with state-of-the-art technology. The Origins Museum of Nature, located on the main Charles Darwin Avenue in Puerto Ayora, the tourist hub of the Galápagos, combines touchscreen televisions and virtual-reality headsets with fossils and giant tortoise shells to offer visitors an interactive experience where they can study the rich natural history of the legendary Pacific islands. Away from the exhibit hall, two museum rooms have been dedicated for scientific research.

The Origins museum received a warm welcome from government leaders and scientists at the inauguration. The vice mayor of Puerto Ayora thanked the Adventist Church for opening the museum and predicted that many visitors would view its exhibits. Hundreds of people celebrated the opening. “As Seventh-day Adventists, the source of our understanding of our origins, our reason for being here, and our purpose in helping nature to be preserved is found in our relationship with God,” Adventist Church president Ted N.C. Wilson told the audience at the inauguration of the museum on the evening of Feb. 29. “May many people come to know more about origins and God though this museum,” he said.

Harris, a renowned biologist who taught at La Sierra University and Columbia Union College (now Washington Adventist University), died in 2012 at the age of 89. He cofounded the field station with Ernest Booth, a professor who started the undergraduate and graduate biology programs at Walla Walla University and later taught at Loma Linda University. Booth died in 1984. From Adventist News Network, “State-of-the Art Adventist Museum opens on Galápagos.”

Spanish-language Radio Show Features Healthy Living Talks by Three SDA Women. CMY Radio, a Spanish-language radio station and multimedia company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, offers a health and wellness show called "Cúrate en Salud" ("Heal in Health") during El Pariente once a week hosted by three Seventh-day Adventist women. Silvana Marcos, one of the health show's hosts, says the women have been giving talks about health, especially healthy vegetarian cooking, for years at churches and other small gatherings. But CMY Radio is a way to reach an even larger audience and connect with the Hispanic community.

"Mostly people are focused on business or reaching their goals, and especially with immigrants, they are coming with a dream, with a purpose, and sometimes trying to get that you forget about (taking care of) yourself," she says. This show focuses on educating Spanish speakers about diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart health, and how a healthy vegetarian diet can aid in treating those conditions. Each month has a theme, like eating for heart health in February. For instance, on one February show, the hosts educated listeners about how good avocados are for the heart because they are high in good fats. The hosts showed that listeners can eat guacamole with vegetables or low-fat pita bread, or serve avocados sliced in a salad, instead of eating them with greasy, sodium-laden tortilla chips. From Second Wave Media, “Ypsi's Spanish-language radio station is bridging cultural divides with a sense of fun.”

Solomon Islands’ Seventh-day Adventist Members Raise Generous Donation to Aid Recent Bushfire Victims. The Australian High Commission has expressed deep gratitude to Solomon Islands’ Seventh-day Adventist Church for its generous donation to victims of the recent bushfires at a special handover ceremony. SDA Church President Pastor Silent Tovosia presented SBD$170,000 to Deputy High Commissioner Sally-Anne Vincent. The funds will go to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Australia to support those communities affected by the bushfires.

The SDA Church commenced its countrywide two-week Bushfire Appeal on Sunday, February 9. The campaign comprised a series of fundraising activities including a 24-hour donation drive supported by youth volunteers and church members, singing groups, and a Grand Gospel Music Concert. Deputy High Commissioner Sally-Anne Vincent personally thanked the organizing committee and church community involved in the Bushfire Appeal. “Australia is deeply grateful for not only the monetary donations but all the time, thought, and effort that has gone into the different fundraising events over the past few weeks,” she said.

During the handover, Pastor Tovosia spoke of Solomon Islands’ strong connection with Australia, and how both countries supported each other as part of a wider family. He said he personally felt close to Australia, where he studied to be a surgeon, and this was just one of the many close links people from the SDA Church had with Australia. From Solomon Times, “Australia’s Deep Gratitude to SDA Church for Generous Bushfire Donation.”

At Age 100, North Carolina SDA Physician Recognized for Many Years of Service. Physician P. J. Moore, Jr. turned 100 recently. When Moore gave up his medical license just four years ago, at age 96, he was the oldest active surgeon in North Carolina, the state medical board told him. He earned his medical degree from Loma Linda University in December 1943. Moore loved surgery from the beginning. “I loved to use my hands,” he said. “I really enjoyed surgery, getting in there and taking out what was wrong and helping people.”

Moore is on no medication and exercises regularly until shoulder problems recently sidelined him. “I think there are several factors” that account for his remarkable health, said his son Bill. “One is no smoking. Never smoked, never drank, mostly vegetarian. My dad was a hunter and fisherman, and growing up, I ate fish and deer, chicken, but no pork ever, and very little beef.” His family always raised a large vegetable garden and drank powdered milk. Moore excelled at golf well into his 90s. Two years ago, when he was 98, he and son Bill won the Carolina Adventist Golf Association tournament at Mount Mitchell with a captain’s choice score of 74.

Born a Seventh-day Adventist and always devout, Moore put service ahead of self throughout his 70 years of medicine, 30,000 surgeries, and 1,000 babies birthed. He never turned anyone away due to race, religion, ethnicity, or ability to pay. “He has lived a life of uncommon service and skill,” a biographical sketch in a program for his birthday celebration observes. “His family as well as his colleagues, friends, patients, and community members are blessed to have known him.” From Hendersonville Lightning, “At 100 (on no meds), Dr. Moore reflects on a full life.”

Please note: Spectrum news round-ups are an aggregation of regional, national, and international publications around the world that have reported on stories about Adventists. As such, the accuracy of the information is the responsibility of the original publishers, which are noted and hyperlinked at the end of each excerpt.

Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.

Image: General Conference President Ted N. C. Wilson helps cut the ribbon at the inauguration of the complex housing the Origins Museum of Nature and Central Santa Cruz Seventh-day Adventist Church in Puerto Ayora, the main tourist town in the Galápagos Islands, on February 29, 2020. Courtesy of Ted Wilson’s Facebook page.

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Are there THAT MANY tourists who visit those islands?
Is this Supposed to be an Evangelistic Tool or an Educational Tool?


"Are there THAT MANY tourists who visit those islands?"

As long as there is ONE soul that visits…I am sure that they would consider it worthwhile. :pensive:

"Is this Supposed to be an Evangelistic Tool or an Educational Tool?"

Aren’t they always the same, Steve? :wink:


Timing is off. Maybe the crowds won’t spread Covid-19 at this location.

Are you sure you are not sure about this? :wink: :wink:


Please tell the SDA leaders not to spend money on anything until April 2nd. It would be a waste. I suspended my offerings to the Church until then; maybe it won’t be needed anymore, right?.. :innocent:


No matter what the timing…the “museum” if it happens to be “creation-centric” (a la SDA style) will be more of a “amusement park” than anything else. They won’t be beating off the tourist crowds there…now or ever. :smile:


Noah’s Ark in Ky seems t draw a crowd.

It seems a bit in-your-face to have it in the Galapagos Islands and not a very effective way to introduce the church to postmoderns.


Completely agree. I wonder if they even did a study on local and tourist interest in the “museum”…my best guess is that they did not.


Sure…and if you did a study on who was going- you would probably find it full of fundamentalist christian groups (or the like). You have to know your audience and who is most likely to be attracted. I would be surprised if there were many (if any) non-christians attracted to “Noah’s ark”.

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The Galápagos Islands have been a problem for SDA’s since I was in school which has been a while. I think it was Kim who asked if it was a museum or amusement park. It probably depends on who is doing the observation. Zoology class was fun for me because I do love animals and strange plants.

Those on this site that have been there I consider lucky. C-19 or no C-19 if I got a chance to go visit with a biologist I would be on the first plane. Nothing against pastors who have led trips there over the years, being there with a biologist would be better.


Well stated; I’m with you 100% (not that the brethren care about our opinion).

Answer is “no,” but the crowds are sizeable and hungry for information, the local people are mostly Christian, and the location is hard to beat.

Go! But after we acquire some herd immunity to the virus. You don’t need to go with a biologist; any visit to the main wildlife sites (i.e., outside of the few towns) require a trained guide, and they know their facts. You’ll be blown away. PM me if you want names of SDA biologists likely to travel there within the next year or two.


Thank-you for your input from “boots on the ground” perspective.

Yes, I am positive that the location was probably hard to beat…

I agree completely with the idea that it may potentially turn off more people than create a positive feeling towards the SDA version of creationism.

But they won’t ever do due diligence on how effective their “museum” will be. I am sure it will always be regarded as a smashing success.

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I’m always surprised at the lack of due diligence in these matters (silly me). In the recent revelation seminar campaign, leaflets were sent to everybody in our zip code. Nobody asked: who is being targeted? What level of Biblical knowledge is assumed? How many non-Christians are there in the area? Atheists? Backsliders (old term, sorry)? Based on this information, how many cookies do we need to make for refreshments? What age groups are in this zip zone? Seniors who likely won’t drive at night? Questions, questions, and now we have a museum in the Galapagos - par for the course.


I am so glad to hear that there is another pragmatic voice out there! If this were the corporate world all of what you have mentioned would have been done or else some heads would be rolling. ROI (Return On Investment) is a huge deal. I also think that it has a lot to do with lack of accountability within Adventism in general.

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