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The following links will get you a great deal of really good information about the history and development of Gospel-Medical Missionary Evangelism. That’s the name Ellen White coined for it. At the moment, the General Conference is using the term “Comprehensive Urban Evangelism.” That’s a good name, too, and it means the same thing.

Fortunately, there are church leaders today who have a strong interest in this work. You can see—by checking out the date on Elder Wilson’s thesis paper, available below—that he’s been thinking about this for a long time. And the interview with Elder Finley (also available below) was back in the days of the Lake Union Soul-winning Institute (1980, for those of you born since then). And you can see in the interview that he was trained—in part—by W.D. Frazee, who had been trained by J.H.N. Tindall. And that’s why our first set of documents starts with Elder Tindall’s work.

  1. J.H.N. Tindall: Life Story—“Evangelist Tindall,” as the newspaper reporter called him, told the story of his life to an evangelistic meeting congregation in Redlands, California, in 1922.

  2. John H.N. Tindall: Fifty Years a Gospel-Medical Missionary Evangelist—This is a biographical research paper prepared in 1969 by Dr. Calvin Thrash.

  3. The Experiences of Elder J.H.N. Tindall—This account looks at Tindall’s efforts to implement Ellen White’s call for “a decided change” in our evangelistic work.

  4. Campaign History—At the time of his Redlands campaign in 1922, Elder Tindall published a book which contained the most detailed account we’ve seen yet of the history of “Gospel Medical Missionary Evangelism,” and the specific methods he employed.

  5. John H.N. Tindall and the Field Training School—Another biographical sketch that focuses on Tindall's work with the Field Training School in the 1930s

  6. Elder Tindall’s Letter to Elder W.C. White—In 1931, Elder Tindall wrote to W.C. White, offering some background and explanation of the work being done by the Field Training School.

  7. The Call and Need for Field Training Schools—Tindall’s supporting documentation that went along with his letter to W.C. White.

  8. Elder W.C. White’s Letter to Elders Kneeland and Scoggins—Within days of receiving Tindall’s letter, Elder White wrote to two veteran workers, pleading for permanency in the work of Gospel-Medical Missionary Evangelism.

  9. Elder W.C. White’s Address to the Field School—In 1931, Elder White spoke to the students and staff of the Field Training School, giving his memories of—and hopes for the future of—Medical Missionary work.

  10. Elder Tindall’s Health Lectures—One aspect of Elder Tindall’s work that no one else seems to have mastered was his talent for reaching out to various organizations through health lectures. Here is his account of that part of his work.

  11. Tindall’s Correspondence with A.W. Truman—Dr. Truman was one of the original faculty members of the College of Medical Evangelists, joining the staff in 1909. At the time these letters were written (1931), he was serving as the Medical Secretary of the General Conference.

Now we go back a bit further. Before Tindall was called to head up the “new” approach to evangelism (which is really just the “old” approach that Jesus used), the stage was set by the work of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and Elder John Burden. There is more on the contributions of these men on our “Resources” page, but here we just have one item from each.

  1. Kellogg’s 1893 Medical Missionary Sermons—These sermons by Kellogg were given at a time when he was heading the right direction in regard to Medical Missionary Work. What makes them important is the setting (1893 GC Session; the high-water mark of the original “1888 Message” influence) and his perspective on the Loud Cry. Remember, only a short while before, Ellen White had written that it had “already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ”. Read the introduction for more information on the importance of these sermons.

  2. The Medical Missionary, 1893—We can all thank the nice people at Google Books for making available to us this full year’s worth of Dr. Kellogg’s Medical Missionary magazine.

  3. Ellen White’s First Visit to Loma Linda—Elder John Burden has often been called the “father” of Loma Linda because of his role in the purchase of the property, operation of the Sanitarium, and establishment of the College of Medical Evangelists. Later in life he wrote a book he called The Story of Loma Linda. Sadly, the volume never made it past the “galley-proof” stage. This short excerpt recounts Burden’s memories of Ellen White’s first visit to the property.

A key element in the development of the College of Medical Evangelists was the question of medical affiliation. Specifically, the choice between, (1) associating CME with the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges, or (2) striking out more or less independently under the provisions of the newly revised California law governing medical licensure (see “The Door was Open” on our “Resources” page).
The focus of the issue boiled down to the AAMC’s requirement for a clinical hospital in a major city. The end result was the construction of the Ellen G. White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles (see “Costly Words” on our “Resources” page). Before venturing to build in Los Angeles, however, an effort was made to satisfy the requirement by constructing a hospital on the campus of CME.
This largely forgotten episode is (to the best of our knowledge) only documented in a book published by the White Estate in 1953 and re-issued in 1962. Unfortunately, this fascinating document is not included in the E.G. White CD-ROM and is not available on the General Conference Archives web site.

  1. Medical Practice and the Educational Program at Loma Linda—What makes this volume uniquely valuable is the inclusion of statements from denominational and institutional leaders, including the records of board and constituency meetings held during CME’s formative period. [Please note that the Optical Character Recognition process used on this document is not perfect, and we have no means of editing the “text layer.” So, if you want to cut and paste sections from this document, it would be good to proof read your final result as well.]


Now we jump forward to two interesting documents from the 1980s.

  1. Elder Wilson’s Thesis on City Evangelism—Elder Ted Wilson’s 1981 doctoral thesis was on “Ellen White’s Theory of Urban Religious Work.” The focus is on New York City, but the counsel obviously applies in whole or in part to thousands of other localities.

  2. The Lake Union Soul-winning Institute—The December 1980 issue of Ministry magazine featured a five-page interview with Elder Mark Finley, on “a new approach to large-city evangelism.”