March 2017 - God First

Our History

History of the Stewardship Ministries Department

1958 - The Church Development Service was set up at the Autumn Council of 1958 with W. J. Hubert as leader. Its primary duty was to provide fundraising, counseling, and direction to churches within North America.

1966 - During the General Conference Session of 1966, a department was organized under the name of Church Development Service.

1967 - At the Spring Meeting of 1967, it was voted to appoint a representative committee to give study to the name and also the work of the Church Development Service. At the Annual Council session of 1967, the department was established and the name was officially changed to Stewardship and Development.

1971 - At the Annual Council of 1971, provision was made for church stewardship leaders to be called secretaries, and later on changed to departmental directors.

1975 - The Church Manual Committee made recommendations to further define the department of Stewardship and Development and also the role of the Stewardship Secretary.

1981 - By an action taken at the General Conference Session, the Stewardship Department was merged with the Ministerial Association. The name became Ministerial and Stewardship Association.

1986 - The Stewardship department was attached to a larger department called the Church Ministries department.

1995 - The department was reorganized and regained its name, Stewardship Department.

During the 2005 General Conference Session, an action was taken requesting that “the General Conference Executive Committee, during the next quinquennium, systematically review denominational policies and procedures in light of the Resolutions adopted on the Holy Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.”

2007 - In response to the above request, the 2007 Annual Council requested the Policy Review and Development Committee to systematically review the current General Conference Working Policy. The committee systematically reviewed the Working Policy and VOTED, To record receipt of the statement on review of denominational policies, which was approved by the General Conference Executive Committee.

2010 - At the Eleventh Business Meeting, Fifty-ninth General Conference session, June 30, 2010, 2:00 PM, a Session Action was taken to change the name of the department. See action below, taken from
119-10GS STEWARDSHIP—NAME CHANGE: VOTED, To change the name of the Stewardship department at the General Conference office to the Stewardship Ministries department.

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A. Visit the archives of the Adventist church at or click on the link to find actions taken, yearbooks with names, etc pertaining to the Stewardship Department.

  1. General Conference Committee minutes for April, 1960, Page 69
  2. GC Session Bulletin 1962 - No. 02, Page 10
  3. General Conference Committee minutes for April, 1967, Page 73
  4. GC Session Bulletin 1975 - No. 06, Page 15
  5. GC Session Bulletin 1995 - No. 07, Page 7 13 (realignment)

B. Other Resources available are:

  1. Church Heritage p. 57, 58 , 79 (available online)
  2. S. D. A. Financial Systems (p. 15)
  3. S. D. A. Encyclopedia Commentary Series – Vol 11 (p. 705, 706)
  4. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1968, page 17 (Stewardship and Development)
  5. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1981, Page 17 (Ministerial & Stewardship Dept.)
  6. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1986, page 18 (Church Ministries Dept.
  7. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1996, page 21 ( Stewardship Department)

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