Roy Branson Memorial Service Saturday, August 8

Roy Branson, PhD, noted Seventh-day Adventist theologian, social activist, ethicist, mentor and educator, passed away from complications of cardiovascular disease July 7 at the age of 77. His memorial service will be held Saturday, August 8 at the Azure Hills Church in Grand Terrace. Details of the service below.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

What 5 goals?
Elevate use means what?

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Was he a brother-in-law to Fordyce Detamore?
Fordyce has been at my house a couple of times, one of his daughters as friends,and 2 granddaughters as my hi-school students.
If so, he married into a great family.
Review and Herald, July 16, 1950, p 94

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No. Fordyce Detamore was Roy’s uncle, sister to his mother, also a “Detamore.”

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If there is one practice that defined Brother Roy Branson it was the importance of Interfaith dialogue. Roy was comfortable, and at his best, in exchanges and meetings among religious practitioners and communities on matters of doctrine and issues of mutual concern in culture and politics. He was most eloquent in exploring the world’s religious traditions around theological questions and efforts to collaborate on questions of peace, human rights, and economic and social development.
His desire was to get people involved in interfaith dialogue and to break down the stereotypes of the “other” that exist within their own religious traditions and groups. He was authentic and sensitive in reminding religious groups of their need to first acknowledge and confess their own role in fostering and contributing to injustice and conflict. He personally reminded me several times that when there is a deep understanding of one’s own religious beliefs and commitments that progress can be made in achieving true understanding and respect for the religious values and beliefs of others.
Engaging Roy in any topic was a guaranteed learning experience for me. He did not aim for PC he was always going for integrity even when it meant he would face opposition from his own church family. The best gift as a friend and mentor that he gave to me, in my work as a Chaplain, is that that he taught and exemplified that interfaith dialogue does not in any way mean undermining one’s own faith or religious tradition. Indeed, interfaith dialogue can be a blessing as persons become firmly grounded in their own religious traditions and through that process gain a willingness to listen and respect the beliefs of other religions and practices.


A very wide and diverse group of honorary pall bearers But I see an entire generation passing. The present nurture seems to be inward , not a glimpse of ecumenical dialogue. There seems to be an increasing cloister mentality from the top. But I also sense a narrowing of Spectrum’s interests. What ever happened to the spirit of the 1919 Bible Conference? Tom Z


Thomas said above
A very wide and diverse group of honorary pall bearers But I see an entire generation passing. The present nurture seems to be inward , not a glimpse of ecumenical dialogue.:

Tom. not only that there is not now an alternative to the lack of vision, perspective and creative spirit that is needed to lead our church into the next generation of changes. Our church is starting to look like the Mormon Council or the Curia, Council of Bishops, a group of old men, not because of age, but because of intellectual atrophy.

As Seventh-day Adventists, we stand on the shoulders of earlier generations of reformers, radicals and idealists who challenged the status quo of their day. They helped change America by organizing movements, pushing for radical reforms, popularizing progressive ideas, and spurring others to action, even starting a new church and organizing it for service to others.

To understand the history and leagacy of our SDA Church, we need to know about the accomplishments of people like Roy Branson and many like him.

Today’s battles over WO, build on the foundation of previous generations of people who asked good questions, who were loyal dissenters. In today’s SDA culture, dissent is viewed as being disloyal and an obstruction. We don’t want to hear dissenting views or understand and cherish our differences.

Each generation of Adventists faces a different set of economic, political, and social conditions. There are no easy formulas for challenging injustice and evangelizing a secular world. But unless we know this history, we will have little understanding of how far we have come, how we got here, and what still needs to change to make our church and the message it has relevant.

Several years ago I heard Angel Rodriguez (former BRI director, NOT appreciated or well liked by present GC leaders) in a meeting expressing sincere appreciation and respect for several persons who had deep disagreements with him and for their honest search for truth. I was so impressed with his calm demeanor and courtesy. What are we doing to encourage other voices that will ispire and help us to grow into what God want s us to be. Are we listening to only those who agree with us?
Where is the next generation of creative thinkers?


The fundamental issue is that the New Testament is about Christ and the LGT is about us… 180 degrees out. Tom Z


Never been so intellectually stimulated on Sabbath morning as when attending his Sligo class.

Will always miss that.


What a great man. Roy blessed so many with his depth, his curiosity, his devotion, and his joy. There are few like him. He is already profoundly missed.


it is quite interesting to see Ron Numbers and johnahan butler listed–Given their entry in the encyclopedia of Religiom on the Seveth day Advenist church and Ellen White… It is obvious that scholarly affection is strong than institutional affiliation. Which is exactly how it should be. Man was designed relationally not institutionally… Tom Z


Just curious, on surviving family no mention of wife or children. Did he ever marry or have children?

Unless we hear from Paulien himself I am not sure we can know what the five goals were. As to elevated use of Scripture I think that is saying making them the foundation and definition of our faith.

Two fundamental elements are revealed in Scripture Man’s need and God’s solution. We are God’s adopted children. he asks two things, behave like we are sons and daughters of the King of Kings and seek more to be adopted… It’s Sabbath but Monday is coming So I am keeping busy before the new system starts. tomZ


… just finished watching Roy Branson’s memorial service - very inspiring -. Thank you for providing access to it.



IMO - this may be his greatest accomplishment. My fear is that the SDA current trend is back to that exclusivity that forms a barrier between us and our fellowship with other Christians. I also recall my nights of fear and anxiety as a child after a Sabbath sermon on the ‘time of trouble’ or aspects of religious liberty. I credit Roy Branson and many of his friends and colleagues with helping shift the focus to “joy and hope”, a focus from which I benefited in my spiritual development. As I saw the presenters, I wondered who can/will carry their torch? We still need them!