Making History, Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office Opens in Philippines
The office is only the second at an Adventist educational institute outside the U.S.
, writing from Cavite, Philippines, with additional reporting by Adventist Review staff
A branch office of the Ellen G. White Estate has opened at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines, the second such facility to be established outside the U.S.
The branch office contains copies of Ellen White documents and other historical materials from the main office at the world church’s General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, and it will provide AIIAS seminary students as well as local Adventists and non-Adventists alike with increased opportunities to study the church’s heritage, Adventist officials said.
“Elevating the research center to an estate branch has been a dream of mine for several years as this [AIIAS] is a General Conference institution … eligible to have a branch office,” James Nix, director of the Ellen G. White Estate in Maryland, said at an inauguration ceremony on Sabbath, June 28. “What we are doing is acknowledging what you already know — that international students come to AIIAS to prepare to work for the Lord’s cause.”
The Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies was among 13 Adventist universities around the world that hosted an Ellen G. White Estate research center until the upgrade to branch office took place. Only one other non-U.S. university has a branch office, Adventist University of Africa in Kenya. The other branch offices are at Andrews University in Michigan, Loma Linda University in California, and Oakwood University in Alabama.
The Ellen G. White Estate was created by the last will and testament of church co-founder Ellen White and has a mandate to act as her agent in the custody of her writings and the handling of her property.
“The importance of having a branch office here on the AIIAS campus is because of the seminary," AIIAS President Stephen Guptill said in a statement on the institute's website. "It serves as the place where our pastors and Bible teachers are trained for this region and really, the whole world.”
Reuel Almocera, director of the new branch office and an assistant director of the White Estate, said the branch office has been incorporated as the Center for Adventist Research, a new organization with an expanded vision to collate local, indigenous and resource materials on Adventist heritage in Asia. The branch office houses copies of White’s books translated in about 15 languages, with The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy being the most popular.
Almocera said the branch office, as part of its new role, would also reach out to Adventists by establishing mini-research centers, developing portable exhibits and providing fun activities like trivia games for church programs.
“The church celebrates Heritage Sabbath on Oct. 22 every year, and we can serve as resource persons for local churches and academic institutions,” he said.
Nix and Alberto Timm, associate director for the White Estate who attended the inauguration ceremony, stressed that everyone was welcome make use of the resources at the branch office.
“A branch office like this is for everybody — old people, adults, young people, children,” Timm said. “This is not restricted for Adventists but also for those who want to know more about Ellen White, like theologians from other church organizations who intend further research.”
“Come, study, read, absorb and believe,” Nix said. “Come and enjoy the fruits from Ellen White as she points to the Bible and helps us on our way to heaven.”