13TH SABBATH SCHOOL OFFERING
Sabbath School was established in the Adventist church in 1853 before there was an organized church. However, it was 25 years before anyone thought to take an offering for Sabbath School expenses. In 1885 the first mission offering was taken
in the Upper Columbia Conference to send missionaries to Australia. Then word came to the church that the people
on Pitcairn Island were keeping the Sabbath and wanted to be baptized, but the
church could not find a ship passing that way.
The Pitcairn Ship became the first Sabbath School project with it
sailing from San Francisco on October 28, 1890.
Sabbath School children grow up learning about different parts of the world and where to find them on the map. An important result has been the stewardship training from an early age, and the desire to help people outside their neighborhood."
The first “13th
Sabbath Offering Project was introduced in 1912 to establish a mission in
India. With approximately four
hundred 13th Sabbaths since
that first project, this offering has
allowed the church to build schools, dormitories, hospitals, clinics, churches,
mission-launches, lamb-shelters, printing presses and universities around the
world. Often there is more than one
project for an offering so there have been over a thousand projects. Because Tithe money is not allowed to be used
for buildings, the 13th Sabbath offering has usually been for construction-type
The world wide work
of the church has progressed much faster because of the four times a year when
the world-church takes up an offering in Sabbath School to support a project in
one of the divisions. Because the mission stories for that quarter are focused
on that division and their projects, the church learns about the needs of
diverse nationalities, races and cultures.
Sabbath School children grow up learning about different parts of the
world and where to find them on the map.
An important result has been the stewardship training from an early age,
and the desire to help people outside their neighborhood.
The blue bar in the
chart below shows the actual offerings from 1969 to 2009 in ten-year intervals.
The growth in actual offerings shows a steady increase. The red bar shows the real value of the US
Dollar based on the 2009 Consumer Price Index. In the 1970s there was a 50%
increase with the real value decreasing in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s. Over the last 100 years, the Adventist church
has grown from 100,000 members to 17 million members world-wide. The 13th Sabbath Offerings have played a
major role in this growth.