Atlantic Union College Closure Completed — and More News Shorts

In this week’s news round-up, Atlantic Union College has completed its final program, Ghanaian pastor mourns five family members who perished in fire, Nigerian Adventists seek Sabbath recognition for voting and school exams, LLUH retools its public health PhD, and Jamaican Church develops youth membership programs.

Atlantic Union College Closure Completed. Six months after announcing its plans to close, Atlantic Union College has completed its final program, marking the end of the 136-year-old college. AUC lost its degree-granting ability on June 30 when its five-year conditional approval for that authority from the state expired, according to the Department of Higher Education. Since then, Atlantic Union has been closing out its remaining certificate programs via a teach-out under the oversight of the Office of Private Occupational School Education in the state’s Division of Professional Licensure. Many students transferred to other institutions, including Andrews University. In addition, Ednor Davison, the communications director for the Atlantic Union Conference, which oversees the college, said the Atlantic Union Conference has been helping former employees at the college find new jobs elsewhere within the Seventh-day Adventist higher education network. Some have already secured new positions although she said not all laid-off staff have found new employment. Church and college leaders also have not made a decision regarding the college’s 135-acre campus. Davison said the Union is “in contact with several individuals and organizations that have expressed an interest in the facilities.” Orlando Pacheco, the town administrator for Lancaster, said the town is not among those that have been in talks with the college’s owners. From Telegram, “Closing Atlantic Union College wraps up final academic programs.

Ghana Pastor Buries His Family Who Perished in Their Home. The Dansoman District pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Pastor Ato Kessie, lost five members of his immediate family in last week’s fire at their residence. Kessie said he has been shattered by the death of his wife, three-week-old baby, four-year-old son, mother-in-law, and niece. From GhanaWeb, “'I’m empty' – SDA pastor breaks silence.

Nigerian SDA Church Seeks Sabbath Recognition for Voting and School Exams. Seventh-day Adventist Church, owners of Babcock and Clifford Universities, has alleged a disenfranchisement of 270,000 of its members during elections in Nigeria. This has happened due to the continued conduct of elections on Saturdays which is their day of worship. Speaking at a press conference, Freeman Dariya, President of the Northern Nigeria Union Conference of the Church in Abuja, stated that it was against the letters of the Bible and the religious liberty as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to conduct mandatory university entrance examinations on Saturdays. He said that many Adventist children had been deprived of admission into various universities by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for fixing the entrance examinations on Saturdays. He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission to adopt measures that would enable the members to vote during elections. Pastor Dariye was flanked at the briefing by some pastors and other church workers. He said, “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a major Christian denomination with a significant presence in Nigeria.” From Vanguard, “2019 elections: SDA Church alleges disenfranchisement of over 250,000 members.

LLU Retools Public Health PhD, Emphasizing Plant-based Nutrition. Loma Linda University will become the first Southern California school to offer a doctoral program in plant-based nutrition when it launches its new PhD program this fall. The program will align with accreditation requirements set forth by the Council on Education for Public Health and will supplant the school’s existing Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) program. Students will focus on several areas of study including nutritional epidemiology, the impact of dietary choices on the environment, the effects of plant-based nutrition on disease prevention, and community nutrition. Students will also engage in clinical trials to determine the long-term effects of plant-based foods, particularly nuts and soy, on overall health. “The refocused curriculum and degree offering are part of the school’s new strategic direction,” program director Sujatha Rajaram, PhD said. From VegNews, “California university to offer PhD program in plant-based nutrition.”

Jamaican Church Develops Youth Mentorship Clubs to Inspire Christian Lifestyle. Some 35 adolescents were inducted into mentorship clubs at the Tent City Seventh-day Adventist Church in Portmore, St. Catherine, Jamaica. The clubs, known as the Girls of Eloquence, Morals, and Standards (GEMS) and Brothers of Eloquence Morals, and Standards (BEAMS), seek to inspire young girls and boys to attain a higher level of spiritual, emotional, and moral standard and to be the best they can be in their Christian walk. Howard Grant, pastor of the Tent City SDA Church, commended the women's and men's ministries departments of the church for spearheading the initiative and underscored the timeliness of the launch of the program. "In an age where so many young people are being initiated in various activities such as gangs and secret societies, it is fundamental that the Seventh-day Adventist Church come up with this program so that we can keep the young people in the Church and at the same time prepare them for leadership in the Church," he said. Lorraine Vernal, Family, Women, Children and Adolescent Ministries Director of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, urged the youths to be a beacon of light in their communities. "You are called upon to shine your light, and if you are going to talk about Jesus, you can't follow somebody who you do not know. You have to know Jesus for yourself," she said. From The Jamaica Gleaner, “Adventist Church Launches Mentorship Clubs.

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 Redlands, California.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

What is the reason an Adventist won’t vote on Sabbath?


I am sure that it will have something to do with it being regarded as a “secular” activity and also the time might conflict with other “religious” activities.

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I wonder how many SDA’s in Nigeria violate the church rule on Sabbath testing. I wonder what is the consequences are for a member?

Is it not true that the only work described in the 4th Commandment is farm work with animals. So why is mental work considered the same as physical labor? Was the farmer forbidden from serious study on the Sabbath?

Is it not true that our multi-billion dollar health care system and ADRA operates 24/7, with nurses, doctors employees doing physical and mental work–on the Sabbath. No questions are ever asked?

I think the reasoning is since the Sabbath is called a “Holy day,” it stands to reason that politics is not very holy (you don’t say!). Thus the act of casting a vote would become unholy in action by association. Furthermore, it would take away from the worship hour. Does this make sense?

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Workers in colleges, universities and boarding academies are working on Sabbath too.


Going on forty years ago there was a committee formed to study the issue of working on the Sabbath Day, specifically in regard to medical and other professionals involved in the healthcare and other related services to humanity. As I remember it this was a study commissioned at the NAD level but that detail is a bit foggy for me. At any rate they spent time and funds on this study and eventually the results were reported in our Union paper, The Gleaner. As it turned out the committee decided that healthcare workers were not breaking the Sabbath by working during the Sabbath hours as long as they were working in an SDA institution but they were in danger of potential Sabbath breaking if they worked for institutions outside of the denomination. True story.


And, that’s not ridiculous at all! :rofl:

I hope no SDA ever helps save lives and relieve suffering in a non-SDA facility on Saturday…God would certainly not approve of that. Just when you think it can’t get more bizarre.


The reasoning seemed to be that non-SDA institutions performed a lot of “unnecessary” work on the Sabbath, thus the admonition to SDA healthcare professionals to be careful when working outside of the denomination. Still bizarre.


Yep…still bizarre. :wink:

As I recall also…it was loosely based upon showing compassion such as freeing the oxen from the ditch on the Sabbath day.

Back in the day, no TV’s were to be on in patient rooms, no radios during the Sabbath hours. Offices were closed, along with the gift shop, and no one could purchase a meal unless a ticket had been bought during the week. Everyone was supposed to be extra quiet, not for the patients but to keep the day Holy. Any procedures performed had to be emergently needed. The most holy nurses made it known that any money they earned during those hours was donated to the church. On any day of the week, meat could be brought in for a patient if their doctor said they needed it.

“Jesus healed the sick on Sabbath.” “We can’t discharge everyone, but as many as possible will go home Friday.”

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Haha…“compassionate” discarge! They can heal perfectly well on their own. :innocent:

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Yeah, some procedures were even discouraged to be scheduled on Friday because the patient would require a lot of care through at least the following day.

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Yes, that passage of scripture was referred to in the article I read. This one stuck with me during the intervening years due to a rather contentious “Lesson Study” discussion after I brought it up during class the following Sabbath morning.

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Yes, that is true. My mother worked graveyard shift as a nurse in our local Catholic hospital and donated all of her Friday night earnings as an “extra” tithe.


OK, now I have unwittingly disparaged your mother, haha. I have no problem with someone choosing to do what they will with their paycheck. I just remember hearing it discussed when I was a kid, and how some seemed to really want it known.

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Because that’s what “holy” people do…:innocent:


No, you’ve not :slight_smile:

My mother was many things and the last 20 years or so of her nursing career she was the acknowledged nurse-grandmother in the maternity ward at the hospital. Even today when I participate in the several Facebook pages for my hometown I have people ask me if Zelda Carson was my mother then go on to tell me what a wonderful nurse she was when their child or children were born.

She was also a very devout Adventist who took the brethren at their word when it came to all things about Adventist doctrine and/or dogma. Since that time, many of us have come to realize that perhaps some of the things we believed and did back during that time in our denominational history was more an artifact of Adventist culture rather than legitimate doctrine, faith, or mandate from God in order to preserve our place in “The Kingdom.”