The Church of God in Marion, Iowa

Hope Moves to Iowa

October 18, 1865 was the date of the last issue of the Hope of Israel from Waverly, Michigan. Financial problems were probably the cause of the paper's demise.

On May 29, 1866, the paper was revived, published semi-monthly by the Christian Publishing Association, at Marion, Iowa. With sixteen pages per issue and a $1. 50 per year subscription price, the Hope of Israel entered a new era.

The President of the Christian Publishing Association, Henry E. Carver, wrote in the first issue at Marion explaining the origins of the move to Iowa. He and B. F. Snook and W.H. Brinkerhoff had been disfellowshipped from the Seventh Day Adventist church, primarily over the visions and their interpretations of Revelation 12 and 13. And a "Church of God" had grown up in Iowa at about the same time as Cranmer and the "Church of God" in Michigan. The Iowa group was mentioned frequently by the Hope while it was issued in Michigan, showing a close inter-relationship. Samuel Everett, 1865 editor of the Hope, was from Iowa.

The Iowa delegate to the Waverly Conference, possibly Everett or Kramer, was instructed by those in Iowa to urge for the continuation of the paper, and pledge support for it to be resuscitated in Michigan, Iowa, and sent the press, type and fixtures to Marion.  (L. I. Rodgers reports that Cramer sold the paper to the Iowa group.)  The same press that had been used to publish the Messenger of Truth published the Hope of Israel in Michigan and now was transferred to Iowa.

History of the Church of God in Iowa

The development of the Church of God in Iowa is every bit as controversial as that in Michigan. An even greater thorn in the side of the Review Adventists, the group in Iowa was derisively termed "the Marlon Party".

Iowa Adventlst History

The first Sabbath Adventist church in Iowa was at Waukon in the northeastern corner of the state. This church was said to be established by James N. Andrews,  who supposedly at the behest of James White left Maine and settled there with his family in 1855-56.  Others who came to Iowa from the East were E. P. Butler and his son George I. Butler, J. N. Loughborough, Asa Hazelton, and Calvin Washburn. Thirty families in all settled in northeast Iowa, all Sabbath keepers.

James White had the object of spreading the Sabbath (Third Angel's Message) into the Midwest through these settlers.

However, White reports in his Life Sketches that Andrews and Loughborough had become discouraged and quit the work. While the Whites were working in Round Grove and Green Vale, Illinois, Mrs. White had a vision. In it she learned that the brethren that had moved to Waukon, Iowa were now opponents. "Their sympathies had withdrawn from the Review office, and from the Church of God generally." But eventually they recanted and returned to the work.

Jesse Dorcas made a lecturing tour of Iowa in the summer of 1856. In southern Iowa he lodged with David Christopher at that time. Toward the end of 1857, Moses Hull made the first sustained Adventist evangelistic work in Iowa, resulting in raising up about twenty Sabbath keepers.  By the summer of 1858, a tent was secured by the Iowa Sabbath keepers. With the help of Adventist preacher J. H. Waggoner, little groups were raised up in several towns in southeast Iowa. Many more converts were gained in campaigns in the summer of 1859. In the autumn of 1859, a church of one hundred was organized at Knoxville, Iowa, with a Sabbath School of seventy. In 1860, a church building was erected there.

Rapid growth continued into the summer of 1860, when the number of Sabbath keepers in the state quadrupled.  This was the year the Marion, Iowa church was established.  According to Seventh Day Adventist history, the first "Seventh Day Adventist" church in Iowa was organized at Richmond with thirty-one members.

In the spring of 1862, the Whites visited Iowa and spoke at the Knoxville court house. Here B. F. Snook and William H. Brinkerhoff were ordained to the ministry, soon becoming prominent leaders in the state. Snook had been a Methodist preacher, Brinkerhoff a lawyer.

A meeting was held at Fairview, Iowa, January, 1863, attended by delegates from nine churches favoring organization. They formed themselves into an Iowa State Conference of Seventh Day Adventists.

J. F. Mitchell was elected chairman of a committee of four to supervise the work.   Apparently, B. F. Snook became its president.

Not all Iowa Sabbath Adventists went along with the Whites and their Seventh Day Adventist organization. These opposers were to form the nucleus of the Iowa Church of God.

Origins of the Marion, Iowa Church of God

I. N. Kramer, descendant of M. N. Kramer, who was one of the founders of the Marion church, has recorded the founding of the Marion, Iowa Church of God.

Early in 1860, Sabbath Adventist preacher Merritt E. Cornell came to Marion, Iowa, "preaching the second coming of Christ, the unconscious state of man in death, and the observance of the Sabbath day." Who sent him was not known, but his preaching, especially on the Sabbath, caused quite a stir. A "disciple-minister" debated Cornell over the Sabbath issue, and was utterly confounded.

The result was the organization of a "Church of Jesus Christ," composed of fifty or more members, mostly from the different churches of Marion. The church "compact, " or "covenant," dated June 10, 1860, was:

We the undersigned, do hereby express our wish to be associated together in Christian fellowship as the Church of Jesus Christ, at Marion, whose covenant obligation is briefly expressed in keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, taking the Bible, and the Bible alone, as our rule of faith and practice.

As related in a letter signed by V. M. Gray, E. P. Goff and M. N. Kramer, published in the Hope of Israel, September 7, 1864, the Marion church was soon to be fraught by dissension. Nearly 1-1/2 years after the church's organization (1862), Elder Cornell held up Ellen G. White's visions as "of equal authority, and binding forever with the Bible, and urged us to adopt their teaching also, as a rule of faith and discipline." The result was that about one half of the Church prepare the members for a change in name and organization. In the words of Church of God historian Monroe, "Everywhere the remnant remained, there was suffering and pressure of the Adventists to accept the 'more perfect way' — loyalty to the new General Conference, which according to Mrs. White, was God's highest authority on earth; the visions and claims for [the divine inspiration of] Mrs. White; and other non-Biblical doctrines that were beginning to show up in  Seventh Day Adventism. 

Other Churches of God in Iowa after the 1860 organization of a church at Marion, churches were organized at Vinton, Iowa, with 100 members and also at La Porte City and Lisbon. They were tested the same way Marion was, and the faithful associated with the Church of God of Marion. A circular letter was written calling for a conference of scattered believers, and a preliminary conference was held at Marion on November 5, 1862, where plans were made for further meetings.

Marion Establishes Contact with Michigan

The Seventh Day Adventists at Marion, who had withdrawn from the original church, came to believe that the object of the conference at Marion was to put E. W. Shortridge as their minister. He had been one of the Marion members and was in trouble with the Seventh Day Adventists probably because of his return to the original faith adopted by the Church of Christ. The Advent Review reported this rumor that the "rebels" were planning to put Shortridge in as minister. The Church of God at Marion had as yet no minister. All ministers that the Seventh Day Adventists sent out had to accept the visions of Ellen G. White.

Shortridge lived in Illinois some distance from Marion. A letter by an unnamed person in Michigan to Shortridge in Marion, where it was supposed he lived, found its way to him in Illinois. This opened up communication between the group at Marion and that in Michigan. The Marion people learned that they were not the first in rejecting the visions. Seventh Day Adventists had not publicized differences so the Marion people had not heard previously of Cranmer and the Church of God people in Michigan. But the Marion incident was too big to ignore. From this Michigan contact, Shortridge and the Marion people learned that in Michigan and other eastern states, anti-White, Sabbatarian churches were already holding state conferences and preparing to publish a paper, Hope of Israel. In the end, V. M. Gray took charge of the Sabbath meetings at Marion and was voted in as elder of the church.

The "Snook and Brinkerhoff Rebellion," or, "The Marion Party," it was the custom for one or more of the Seventh Day Adventist General Conference Committee to attend each of the State Conferences, reporting the proceedings in the Review. For the fall, 1864 conference in Iowa, circumstances prevented a General Conference Committee member from attending. No report came to the Review office, and no reason was given why not.

In the spring of 1865, the Whites and Loughborough made a trip west to hold meetings in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. Snook and Brinkerhoff had just returned to Iowa from the General Conference at Battle Creek held in the spring, 1865. They spread to Iowa their discontent of the Whites and other leaders among the Iowa churches. Elder B. F. Snook had begun to have serious doubts of the divine inspiration of Ellen G. White's visions, and he wrote to Elder Ingraham in Wisconsin proposing to him that they act independently of Battle Creek in proclaiming Bible truths. At Monroe, Wisconsin, Ingraham handed the letter to James White, who saw the proposal in a postscript that Ingraham apparently overlooked, and wrote "There is rebellion in Iowa." When they traveled to Washington, Iowa, their knowledge was confirmed; they learned from R. M. Kilgore that Elders Snook and Brinkerhoff were stirring up war against the Whites.

Apparently, the Whites had the date for the next Iowa conference changed from the fall to the summer, scheduling it for Pilot Grove, Iowa, June 30—July 2, 1865. White wrote to Snook and Brinkerhoff, notifying them that their case would be attended to there, and asked them to be present.

Snook and Brinkerhoff, in the meantime, gathered information against Ellen G. White's visions to be used during their trial. Loughborough presided over the investigative meeting, which began June 29. He maintains that at the previous "secret" Iowa conference, Snook and Brinkerhoff had gotten themselves paid $15 a week, paid in advance quarterly. Previously, no minister had gotten over $12 a week. That is why the report had been withheld from the General Conference.

On the other hand, Carver maintains that the Whites refused to enter Into a discussion of the merits of the visions until the "rebels" had capitulated. The Whites pledged they would not leave Iowa until every point of difference was made plain, and every objection to the visions was removed, but did not live up to their pledge.

On July 2, Snook admitted before the crowd at the conference that he had rebelled against the Battle Creek office and the Whites and that in so doing he had been serving Satan's purposes. Later both Snook and Brinkerhoff gave written confessions, which were printed in the Review, Vol. XXVI, No. 8.   Snook said he was "led by the wicked one, " and Brinkerhoff said, "I have been deeply under the influence of Satan, and ... have done you [Elder White] a great wrong, and wounded the cause of God."

Snook had drawn his quarterly salary in advance and had spent at least half of it at home instead of working for the cause. George I. Butler was put in as State Conference President, and apparently the forces of "rebellion" were at bay.

Ellen G. White later reported that she was inspired to go to Iowa and knew nothing of the rebellion until a few hours before they met its leaders at Pilot Grove. This is patently false because two weeks earlier White found out about the "Rebellion in Iowa."

After the Pilot Grove meeting, the Whites visited Marion, but entered into no public vindication of the visions. To appear friendly, they stayed at the H. E. Carver house, one of the Marion Church of God people. Carver had previously been a believer in the shut-door error. Snook and Brinkerhoff were gathering evidence from early publications to disprove the divine inspiration of Ellen G. White. Carver asked Ellen G. White if she was a believer of the shut-door theory at the time of her first vision, and she said yes. White admitted to Carver that it was likely that their belief of the shut door gave "coloring to the vision."  (White's own words).  Yet Snook and Brinkerhoff had , found in James White's 1847 pamphlet, "A Word to the Little Flock" that he maintained they had given up the shut-door belief before the vision. This is an open contradiction; one of these statements was a lie!

On the eve of their departure from Iowa, the Whites were at the house of Brother Hare. James White, in the midst of a roomful of brethren and sisters, in a contemptuous manner stigmatized Snook as a "church pauper." This was soon reported to Snook who was convinced that White's pretended reconciliation and friendship was untrue.

Carver maintains that although their group was all this time opposed to the visions, they hesitated from breaking openly with the Seventh Day Adventists because they held to the Seventh Day Adventist view of the Three Angels' Messages and the Two-horned Beast.  Brinkerhoff thoroughly investigated these subjects in the next few months and soon came out against the Seventh Day Adventist view.  Now there was nothing to hold them back.

The commotion brought a public discussion between Elder Brinkerhoff, assisted by Snook, versus Elder W. S. Ingraham, assisted by Elders Sanborn and R. F. Andrews. The discussion was abruptly terminated by Ingraham, who: refused to continue, notwithstanding the urging of the whole Marion church for him to continue. Instead, Ingraham called a private meeting; of those with his views and organized a new church outside: the majority of the old church. The Church of God thus became distinct when the Seventh Day Adventists withdrew. The meetinghouse was; sold and bought by those against the visions.  Its upper story was soon to be the publishing house of the Hope of Israel. More than half of the church went with the rebels; Snook and Brinkerhoff names were dropped from the Seventh Day Adventist roll in 1866. They gathered the remnants of the now defunct Hope of Israel Cranmer party, and since the headquarters of the movement was at Marion, the Seventh Day Adventists termed them the "Marion Party."  Previously, in 1865, discussion in the Hope had resulted in the changing of the name to Church of God from Church of Jesus Christ.  The Hope now was reissued from Marion starting May 29 1866; Brinkerhoff became editor and Snook went out preaching. Kramer reports that Snook and Brinkerhoff had not led the Marion church to break with the Seventh Day Adventists, for the church had broken in 1862, three to four years before the "Great Rebellion in Iowa."

Contrary to what Seventh Day Adventists teach, Carver shows that the Seventh Day Adventists withdrew from the Church of God, not vice versa!

Church Meetings and Conferences

On July 14, 1866, the Marion church met to elect church officers. At this time they called themselves the "Church of God," whereas previously they had generally gone by the name "Church of Jesus Christ."

Another conference was held at Marion in November of that year, attended by Sabbath keepers from La Porte City, Marysville, Lisbon, Moscow, Keokuk County, and Fairfield, Iowa, as well as Keithsburg and Mt. Carroll, Illinois.   Letters of correspondence were received from Wisconsin, Michigan, and the New England Sabbath keepers. Among those present were E. W. Shortridge of the church in Maple Grove, Illinois, whose ministerial credentials were accepted.   

The Michigan Church of God met at Hartford, March 22, 1867, resolving to invite W. H. Brinkerhoff to participate in their conference, and appointing a committee of Samuel Everett, E. M. Kibbee, and Brother Wallen to drum up support for missionary work at home, and report to the "General Conference" at Marion what the Michigan brethren were doing.

The "Second Annual Meeting of the Christian Publishing Association" was held at Marion, May 8, 1868. It chose B. F. Snook to be the editor of the Hope of Israel, replacing W. H. Brinkerhoff (who resided at La Porte City) who had served since 1866. Brinkerhoff's health had been failing, and the mechanical publication of the paper had previously been given over to a D. W. Hull (possibly a former Seventh Day Baptist). Jacob Brinkerhoff, apparently the younger brother to W. H. Brinkerhoff, became the "office editor" when Hull was dropped for inefficiency. Hull drifted away from the church and became a Spiritualist.

W. H. Brinkerhoff is not heard of again until 1869, when H. E. Carver, President of the Publishing Association, wrote that the older Brinkerhoff had defected to the Universalists. This had a disastrous effect on the church at La Porte City, Iowa, where he was pastor.  Another source reports that Brinkerhoff returned to teaching and law practice.

There are also reports of meetings of the Marion and Vinton, Iowa churches on November 28, 1868, and of the Hartford church on December 5 of that year.

Preaching Extent — Even into Missouri

B. F. Snook traveled for years, preaching and raising up numerous Sabbath groups.  He went into southern Iowa, Illinois, and elsewhere.

A. C. Long wrote a letter to the Hope office from his home in Missouri, dated July 6, 1866, requesting a visit from Snook. Apparently Snook went there, and the Church of God in Missouri thus began. Another source indicates that the Sabbath was proclaimed in Hatfield, Missouri, before the Civil War. This was the home of the staunch Sabbath-keeping family of the Moores (D. P. Moore, Jasper Moore, and others), the Davlses and the Ayres.

In Horse Creek, Barton County, Missouri, J. Millard held meetings in 1866 which drew large crowds.  Apparently he was a Sabbath preacher, and was unopposed by the White Party, which had not penetrated this far.

In September of 1868, Snook and "Brother Davison" journeyed to Daviess County in Missouri, stayed at the home of William Rogers,, and began meetings at the nearby Union Church, the following month. They held meetings also in Victoria, Altevista, Pattensburg, Salem, and Fairview School. Twelve new Sabbath keepers were said to have been added. Staunch local members, including Morrison, Long and Rogers, said they had been keeping the Sabbath for many years previously.

During the same time, a church was being organized (September 1, 1868) at Sulphur Springs, Indiana, due to the labors of Snook and Shortridge. It began with 28 members, and took the Bible alone as the rule of faith. This church immediately began a Sabbath School; J. B. Behbow was apparently its pastor. During the summer and fall of 1868, Snook was said to have preached 84 sermons in 82 days, traveling widely and organizing numerous Sabbath Schools and churches. 

Prominent Iowa Sabbatarians

Iowa seems to have been the home of a number of prominent men who later became leading ministers in the Church of God (Seventh Day). Elder J. H. Nichols, grandfather of L. I. Rodgers, began preaching in La Porte City, Iowa in 1861. He was said to have been the first preacher of the Sabbath west of the Rocky Mountains, when in 1862 he preached at Santa Rosa, California.  He also preached in Oregon. Nichols was frequently mentioned in the pages of the Advocate during the later years of the 1800's. When he died in 1916, it was stated that he had preached in every state of the union.

S. W. Mentzer, later president of the Church of God General Conference, accepted the Sabbath in 1860 in Iowa, and "Joined the church" in 1864.  He was ordained in 1876, and died in 1927.

Alexander F. Dugger, Sr., editor of the Bible Advocate from 1903-1909, and father of Andrew N. Dugger, began preaching as an Advent Christian minister in Simpson, Iowa, in 1867-68.  He later came to accept the Sabbath and became a Church of God leader.

Dugger is first mentioned in the Church of God paper in 1874. His first-day church had commissioned him to write a book against seventh day Sabbath keeping, but during his research he became convinced that the Sabbath must be kept in this dispensation. Instead, he wrote a booklet for the Sabbath, called "The Bible Sabbath Defended", which came to be an important tract of the Church of God, of which Dugger became a part.

Controversy Between the Seventh Day Adventists and the Church of God 

The schisms that rocked the, Iowa Sabbath Adventist churches were also felt elsewhere, even in Michigan, the "home" of the Seventh Day Adventists. In the fall of 1866 James White broke the silence with regard to the "Marion Party" and denounced the group strongly in the pages of the Review and Herald. The Church of God paper responded and there ensued virtual mudslinging. In 1871, Elders L. R. Long, A. C. Long, and William Rogers of Civil Bend, Daviess County, Missouri, asserted in the Church of God paper that James White had used the epithets "as ignorant as a Missouri mule," "bold slanderer," "baptized liars," and such like in referring to the Church of God people.

B. F. Snook, during his evangelistic meetings, often engaged in debates with first-day ministers, but was unsuccessful in luring Seventh Day Adventist ministers into debates with him.  Brinkerhoff likewise was rebuffed in his efforts to stir up debate.

Two main points raised by "The Marion Party" were (1) Ellen G. White's visions, and (2) the identity of the two-horned beast. Another concerned the Third Angel's Message.

Extreme opposition to Mrs. White's visions led many to hold that there were no spiritual gifts given to Christians in the present time.

Carver's Objections to Mrs. White

In 1877, a tract, published by the Advent and Sabbath Advocate in Marion, Iowa, gave much of the history of the Marion period of the Church of God. It was called "Mrs. E. G. White's Claims to Divine Inspiration Examined," and it was written by H. E. Carver, the orlginal president of the Christian Publishing Association which began the Hope of Israel in Iowa.

Carver states in this work that he became "fully convinced" of the Sabbath "about 20 years ago" (1857?) in Iowa City, through the preaching of J. H. Waggoner, a Sabbath Adventist preacher. He admitted that he became attached to the group of people who later became known as Seventh Day Adventists,  and did so with a full knowledge of Ellen G. White's claims to divine inspiration.   Carver's previous Advent ideas (apparently he had been a Millerite) predisposed him to receive the common Sabbath Adventist theory of the Three Messages of Revelation 14 and the Two-horned Beast of Revelation 13. He was in "perfect union" with the other brethren on these main points.  Faith in the visions was not then made a test of fellowship, and Carver wanted to see them vindicated.

The Seventh Day Adventist historian Loughborough had stated that opposers to Ellen G. White's visions came from "those who have been reproved for defects in character, for wrong habits, or for some wrong course in their manner of life."   And being thus reproved, the opposers maintained that they were not as bad as the "testimony" stated and broke off from the main body of Sabbath keepers.

Carver maintained that this was not the case with him. He had never used tobacco, had entirely discarded the use of pork, and was never reproved in any way by Ellen G. White, by a vision or otherwise. He long enjoyed the full confidence of both the Whites, and only by an accumulation of evidence was Carver forced to give up hope that the visions would be vindicated, and to have his confidence shaken as to the Christian integrity of the Whites.

Mrs. White maintained that "I am just as dependent upon the Spirit of the Lord in relating, or writing a vision, as in having a vision." A "vision" of hers, published January 31, 1849, purported that she saw that those who stood in the present truth (Sabbath keepers), but rejected the visions, were speaking against the Holy Spirit. Thus, the fear to commit the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit undoubtedly made many reluctant to condemn Mrs. White's visions.


The Pork Question

A brother and sister Curtis were intimate friends of Carver in Iowa for many years.   Mrs. Curtis, long before the Whites believed pork to be injurious, tried to banish it from her table.  She was a sincere believer in Ellen G. White's visions, and wrote to Mrs. White for instruction in the matter. Ellen replied: "I believe you to be in error. The Lord showed me two or three years since that the use of swine's flesh was no test. Dear sister, if it is your husband's wish to use swme's flesh, you should be perfectly free to use It." Mrs. White further stated that it was "fanatical" to "deprive yourselves of nourishing food."

At the time of the 1865 Pilot Grove conference, Curtis had Mrs. White's letter and promised Snook a copy. James White admitted to Carver at this conference that the Whites had just downed a 200-pound porker.

Strangely enough, with all this and other evidence to the contrary, Uriah Smith, an apologist for Ellen G. White, later reported that Mrs. White's visions never taught that swine's flesh was good and nourishing food.

Mrs. White was soon to have a vision contrary to her first one concerning pork.   In Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 4, p. 124, she claims a vision against the use of pork:   "God never designed the swine to be eaten under any circumstances." Thus, "divine inspiration" was claimed for opposite doctrines.

Church of God in the Civil War — James White Counsels Breaking God's Law

H.E. Carver was conscientiously opposed to Christians fighting with carnal weapons, that is, in warfare.  He believed that the church should adopt the same position and urged that the question be discussed in the columns of the Advent Review.   This occurred at the outbreak of the Civil War, shortly before the foundation of the Seventh Day Adventist denomination.

The Whites stated at a council in Lisbon, Iowa, that the subject should not be discussed because of the danger of being destroyed by the war elements in the country for seeming to be unpatriotic.  James White wrote in the Review that to engage in war would be a violation of two of God's commandments, but in case of being drafted, the government would be responsible for an individual's violation of God's commandments. In effect, he said that it was all right to break the law. This error was so obvious that Ellen G. White had to apologize in the Review for her husband, but maintained that something had to be said on this delicate subject.

Conscientious objection was too controversial for Mrs. White to pronounce a vision concerning it. Yet she did publish a vision purporting to foretell the outcome of the Battle of Bull Run, after it had been fought and the result was known.

The Iowa Church of God brethren were firmly convicted that it was wrong for Christians to engage in warfare.  During the initial phase of the Civil War, Elders B. F. Snook and J. H. Waggoner prepared a petition to the Iowa state government, asking their church be exempted as non-combatants. The petition was circulated among the brethren for signatures, and sent to the state capital.   Battle Creek did not sanction this effort, terming it "fanaticism." But due largely to the Church of God petition, a law was enacted exempting non-combatants from bearing arms. Carver termed the non-action of the Battle Creek Seventh Day Adventists as "cowardly."

However, Uriah Smith reported that the Seventh Day Adventist General Conference did indirectly exempt Seventh Day Adventists by petitioning the government to exempt them through an already existing law.

Further Objections of Carver to Mrs. White's Visions

In Seventh Day Adventist publications, it was claimed that Ellen G. White's visions were given "to correct those who should err from Bible truth." Yet to Carver, it became more and more apparent that the visions were given to correct and rebuke those who disbelieved in their divine inspiration.

A friend of Carver's, Samuel Everett, protested Mrs. White's claim and was warned of the result: believe in the divine inspiration of Ellen G. White or be put out of the church. Carver reported that Elder Cornell acted very unkindly towards Everett in an attempt to force him into submission. Carver and most of the church were on Everett's side. Because of the incident, Carver refused to become a member of the Pilot Grove church. Carver did not openly break with the vision believers until after this incident, when he came to disagree with their two-horned beast interpretation. Despite the numerous contradictions he found in Mrs. White's visions, Carver did not separate himself from the White Party until doctrine forced him to do so.

Doctrine of the Church of God at Marion

Carver's 1877 pamphlet against Mrs. White was probably a reprint and revision of one published in 1871. The earlier tract was strongly refuted by James White in the June 13, 1871 Review.

On the cover of Elder Carver's 1877 tract is listed the purpose of the Church of God paper, the Advent and Sabbath Advocate, as it was then called:

The Advocate is devoted to the promulgation of the doctrines of The Second Advent of Christ, The Signs of the Times, The duty of mankind to observe the Bible Sabbath  (the seventh day of the week) together with the other Commandments of God, The Nature of Man, his Unconscious state in Death, The End of the Wicked, The Earth restored to its original glory and condition as the future inheritance and abode of the Redeemed and the Kingdom of God, The Atonement and Redemption by Jesus Christ, The Prophecies, The Christian Life, and kindred Bible subjects.

Further, the pamphlet lists several other Church of God tracts, offered for sale, as follows:

Tracts available, and the prices, were:

"The Bible Student's Assistant" .10

The Seventh Day Sabbath .09

The Second Coming of Christ .03
Moody's sermon on the Second coming

of Christ .03

Who Changed the Sabbath? .02

The Sabbath for both Jew and Gentiles .01

What is the seal of God? .02
Review of J.M. Stephenson on the

Sabbath Question .10

The Soul .02

Where Are the Dead? .02

Man, Mortal or immortal? .03

Man's Condition on death .04

Man, a living soul .02

The Sanctuary .10

The Saints' Inheritance .03

The Kingdom of Heaven upon Earth .20
Three important questions for Seventh

Day Adventists to consider .10
The testimonies of Mrs. E.G. White

compared with the Bible .15

Thoughts on the First day of the week . 04
Mrs. E.G. White's Claims to Divine

Inspiration Examined .18

Some of the doctrines expressed by the Church of God during the Iowa period are these:

(1) In 1869, the tithing principle, called a "systematic tax, " was definitely adopted at Marion.  John Kiesz reports that "Tithing apparently was not much advocated and practiced in general among our people before 1881."  He bases this assumption on a 1881 letter of W. C. Long in the Advocate, in favor of tithing.

(2) As early as 1866, the teaching was that the Jews would

return to Palestine and become a nation once more.

(3) Apparently the Church of God was ahead of the Seventh Day Adventists in prohibiting the use of pork.  Several articles appeared in the Church of God papers as early as 1866, reporting the dangers of trichinosis and the evils of eating pork. The editor was definitely against pork. But since the paper was free to upon discussion, pro-pork articles were also allowed.

(4)  As for the proper time for celebrating the "Lord's Supper," the first definite report of a yearly Passover in Marion was in 1899.

According to Cramer in 1870, the Marion Church adopted foot washing and the Lord's Supper at least once in three months.  But in April 23, 1867 issue of the Hope of Israel appeared an article by Samuel Cronce, Mt. Carroll, HI., contending that the early church, to the time of Constantine, observed the Lord's Supper annually at the beginning of the 14th of Abib, and then we should now show His death until He comes, by also observing it at the beginning of the 14th.   Certainly this is a strong indication that some of the Church of God people observed the annual Passover.

Various Adventists apparently came independently to the observance of the Sabbath and/or Passover. In 1875, J.L. Boyd of Philadelphia wrote the Church of God paper, reporting that he and a group of about 175 Philadelphia Adventists learned to practice the Sabbath and the "feet-washing" accompanying the yearly recognition of the Lord's Supper. This practice began in 1845, the year following the Great Disappointment.

(5) Also in 1867, appeared an article by Thomas Hamilton stating that fermented wine is to be used in the Lord's Supper, since it was used in the drink offerings of the Old Testament, and also at the Passover.  But another article refuted this.


(6) The August 27, 1867 Hope showed that the editorial position was anti-trinitarian, in opposition to the Seventh Day Adventist teaching.

(7)  During 1868 there appeared a series of articles on the question whether the wicked dead will be resurrected or not.  Some held they wouldn't, but others stated that since there was a second death, there had to be a resurrection of the wicked in order to mete out the second death penalty.