News Headlines: Western Nigerian Union President Urges Moving Voting Day From Sabbath (and More!)

Western Nigerian Union President Urges Moving Voting Day from Sabbath. Oyeleke Owolabi, President of the Western Nigeria Union Conference, expressed displeasure that his members are unable to vote because of elections always being held on Saturdays. He said, “We are not feeling comfortable because we are being disenfranchised. We have written many letters to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the need to shift elections from Saturday, and I know that it will accede to the request one day. . . . We have seen a situation whereby a gubernatorial election was conducted in the country on Tuesday, and I think the country recorded the highest turnout in history, so we are begging the INEC to put the interest of our people at heart.” From Vanguard, “Stop conducting elections on Saturday, Adventist Church begs INEC.”

Cousin to Cousin Marriage Labeled Incest by Kenyan Adventist Elders. Seventh-day Adventist church elders from Kisii Central Conference in Kenya have condemned a high-court ruling that has legalized marriage between cousins. Led by Timothy Nyamagwa, church elder, the group said that the ruling is against the Bible and that the church needed to be involved in making key decisions that may affect the well-being of the society. Speaking during a crusade, Nyanchawa said they will rally with other key church stakeholders to ensure that the ruling is overturned so that there can be sanity in the society. “We are not happy for this undermines the well-being of the society and are wondering why the high court would like incest to infest our society,” he added. From Hivisasa, “Church elders condemn High Court ruling on cousins marriage.”

Naples, Florida Adventist Church Provides Relief for Parents of Special-needs Children. The Naples, Florida Seventh-day Adventist Church has partnered with Buddy Break, a program that offers a once-a-month respite for parents of special-needs children. It enables parents to drop their kids off at the church, place them in the care of trusted volunteers, and return three hours later — all without paying a dime. Michelle Crombie, the church’s director of children’s ministries, began the first monthly Buddy Break evening in October 2015. “There are not many programs available for these kids, so our church took it on, saying let’s do this for the community,” she said. From Naples News, “Buddy Break at Naples church offers respite for parents of special-needs children.”

Adventist Osteopathic Physician and Wife Serve Shelter Island, New York Residents. Nathanael Desire, a Seventh-day Adventist osteopathic physician, serves patients in Shelter Island, New York. He said he leans heavily on God and prayer in his life. “If I am faced with a crisis, I pray about it, because God is the one who guides me,” he said. “The steadiness helps me a lot.” He and his wife and medical partner Ann have built their practice around the idea that taking the time to talk with patients is good medicine. “Most of our patients appreciate the time we spend with them,” he said. From Shelter Island Reporter, “Profile: Dr. Nathanael Desire, A family doctor for an Island of families.”

Canadian Adventist Church Provides Free Clothing to Community. Belleville’s Seventh-day Adventist Church in Ontario, Canada, hosted the area’s first annual Free Children’s Clothing event. The event was held by God’s Closet, a local non-profit organization that offers free children’s clothes to parents in need. Participants pay a $1 entrance fee and are then given grocery bags to fill with whatever items of clothing they choose. During this event, everyone was given three grocery bags to fill with clothing. Michelle Aylward, director of God’s Closet Belleville, said the goal of the event is to give back to the community. She said the timing of the event is ideal because people will be doing back to school shopping. “Parents are bringing their children and they are excited to take the bags and go shopping and the parents know that they don’t have to look at the price tag,” she said. From, “Clothing those in need.”

Block Party Hosted by Charlottesville, Virginia, Church. Pastor Nathaniel Drew and members of his Bethany Seventh-day Adventist Church provided a block party for the local Charlottesville, Virginia, community. The day included face painting, a bounce house, free eye and health screenings, free kids hair cuts, fire engines, and plenty of food for every one to enjoy. "Connecting with the community is what we're here for," said Drew. "If we're not doing that, we're not serving our purpose. However we can get out into the community, get to know them and they get to know us, and it doesn't always have to be attached to something spiritual, but just by providing something for them that they need then we know we touched someone's life.” From, “Local church hosts community block party.”

Andrews University Students Volunteer to Upgrade Nearby Park. Students from Andrews University in Berrien Springs have volunteered to fix and paint the picnic tables, benches, and bleachers at Hall Park in Benton Harbor. The students represent only one group of volunteers who continue to fix up Hall Park, one project at a time. Jerry Edwards, founder of the nonprofit Bracken Edwards Youth Organization Umbrella (BEYOU), organizes the dedicated volunteers. He said they don’t get paid and don’t seek any recognition for the work they do. “We do it because we want the community to come back out and take pride in the park,” he said. From Herald Palladium, “Revitalizing Hall Park one project at a time.”

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.

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How arrogant that the one who instructs his constituents not to vote on Saturday for some legalistic reason seeks to change the way his government does business! Aunt Ellen said that voting on Sabbath was preferable to allowing mischief go unchecked. Please, somebody, find the source for the deluded Union President.

May it be blessed.

Edit: Thank-you

It does admit some ambiguity since her demise was 6 years prior to the ratification of the 19th Amendment which was the first ‘legal’ step in eradicating Male Headship.

May it be blessed.


Citing the Bible as against cousin’s marriage shows ignorance of the OT. Marriages were first between siblings, and many were also with cousins. Where is the biblical command against such marriages?

As for complaining that voting on Sabbath disenfranchises Adventists, where is there a biblical command against simply voting on that day? When people simply refuse to vote, they are disenfranchising THEMSELVES!


Marriage – Abraham and Sarah were half brother and sister.
Jacob married both cousins – Leah and Rachel, sisters.
Isaac married a cousin.

Voting – Ellen says it is OK to vote on Sabbath.
Saturday is probably the ONLY day free for most Nigerians. They probably have to work on the other days so cant take time OFF to vote.
SDAs are acting like Sunday keepers, LOL!!

Edit-- I wonder if their voting day is like Voting Day in Mexico??? In 1964 I was in southern Mexico on Voting Day.

Edit-- If Ellen did not say it, it has certainly made the rounds of at least the older generation of SDAs. I heard this in my early teens.


Marrying cousins…not only not prohibited in the Bible but also not founded in science. Perhaps the Kenyan Elders should consult professional geneticists before declaring that they “undermine the well-being of society…incest to infest our society”.

The genetic risks are so small that even first cousins are not at risk unless a known genetic predisposition is present.

A cultural issue…not a biblical or scientific one.


what is important is how Ted Wilson will advise. He has two issues, the Sabbath and government. TZ

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Did Ellen G. White encourage believers to vote on Sabbath?

The statement from the White Estate can be found on:

Arthur White’s Letter of June 5, 1933 on the subject:


these kenyan elders may be relying on Lev 18:6:

“None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the LORD.”

my experience is that cousin status is definitely “near of kin” status, at least in s. africa…and even though the enumeration of Lev 18:6 in vv.7-16 doesn’t include cousins, nyamagwa obviously considers it unacceptably consanguineous and is referring to it as “incest”, which likely means that marrying cousins is considered a form of incest in their culture (cousin marriage in the u.s. varies by state: )…

i’m now on the beaches of fort lauderdale re-reading the bible from cover to cover, this time trying to notice geneologies and locations, and what they infer…of interest is the fact that abraham married his half sister, Gen 20:12, which is a violation of Lev 18:11; isaac married his second cousin, Gen 24:15, which isn’t an enumeration in Lev 18; and jacob married his cousin, which also isn’t an enumeration in Lev 18…perhaps the fertility and conception problems in these marriages were tied to the fact that they married along the lines of “near of kin”, even though their choices weren’t enumerated in every case, and they had no way to know about Lev 18…the issue of consanguinity and its known adverse effects on offspring may be the practical consideration behind the concern expressed by nyamagwa…

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Today there is no concern unless there are known genetic problems in either parent: Tay-Sachs, Huntington’s Chorea. But usually they are not known until parentage.

The stories of dangers of close relatives marrying has largely dissipated with early pregnancy testing; and gene splicing that can remove “bad genes.”

In past times, intermarriage between very small, isolated communities could reveal problems; today with mobility, it has occasionally shown that two who were unknown cousins discovered only in late courtship. Also, with some who have fathered many babies, anonymously, half siblings possibly could marry, unknowingly.

An aside: I know two siblings in one home who have a sibling born across the continent, courtesy frozen embryos.

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The social taboo in many cultures about marrying cousins is prudent in my opinion; not based on the Bible, but on genetic realities. People who are closely related genetically will have offspring that are more homogeneous meaning they will have a higher probability of two copies of genes and would be more likely to express problematic genes and decrease health. If everyone gets pre-pregnancy genetic screening and choses not to have offspring based on these tests if they uncovered dangerous genetic combinations, then maybe things would be different. Currently a genetic counselor would only suggest genetic testing if there was a family history of certain diseases. These are the more common ones. But certain diseases and mutations go undiscovered for many generations because they are relatively rare and cause no ill effects when one is a carrier of a single copy of the gene. In Kenya, the majority of people don’t have access to genetic counseling and pre-pregnancy genetic screening making the question about reproducing with a close relative more categorical rather than specific to two people and their genes.

The issue of cousins reproducing can be complex and in populations where people traditionally reproduce with close relatives, certain genetic issues are more common. As a practice, reproducing outside the family is a simple way to reduce the chances of certain genetic problems. As a taboo, it seems to work quite well.

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Elaine, I remember reading about that in England. I think the subjects all resembled Sir Mick.

There isn’t privilege of “it’s a right to bargain” being a Seventh-day Adventist. Either Sabbath remains a bolder of solid iron rock conviction it is a Day of Rest or that it as a mushy bloat of jello in protest that it wants a bargain to feel like a solid rock because its wishy-washy church leader can’t decide what is best “one fits all” for its people. SDA is not a tool bargaining rights to something “stinks and fishy” like switching back and forth haggling with a Nigerian fish monger - And somebody has to get the worst of a bargain of stinks - not the fishmonger. He smells just fine. Does the haggler Western Nigerian Union President smell fine? I think God stands his far distant away from the potential stinks.