A.N. Dugger and the Jerusalem World Headquarters of the Church of God, Seventh Day
This brief history is about the Jerusalem World Headquarters, started through the efforts of Andrew N. Dugger. This historical perspective of the Church of God (Seventh Day), is written through the eyes of the Caribbean and African movement of the church.
During the fall of 1931, Andrew N. Dugger, was commissioned by the Executive Committees of the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Salem, WV, and Stanberry, MO, to set up a World Headquarters in Jerusalem. His focus was not to be on North America but on foreign countries. He moved to Israel and established a headquarters there with a printing press. Because of this, the gospel went throughout the Caribbean, Scotland, Africa, Europe, India, and other third world countries.
It seems certain that there were a few Churches of God (Seventh Day) in the Caribbean before the 1930s — because of the oral history that have been passed down through the years. The first islands known to have churches were Trinidad, Jamaica and St. Lucia. In years following, missionaries and evangelists were sent throughout the different parts of the Greater and Lesser Antilles and the Virgin Islands to establish churches.
Until Dugger’s death in 1975, these churches benefited greatly and enjoyed years of progress. This was in part due to A. N. Dugger’s writing of over 150 different tracts and books such as “Israel Correspondent Bible School” lessons, the very popular Mt. Zion Reporter (also known to some as the Judah Magazine), Sabbath Lesson quarterlies, the Jerusalem Messenger, Jewish calendars and the Chart of the Daniel image and Beasts of Revelation. The Mt. Zion Reporter was such an intricate part of these churches that an article was read from this magazine every Sabbath morning during service. This tradition has continued to this very day. The three most famous books are Bible Home Instructor, History of the True Religion, and Daniel and Revelation. These are all available from Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849.
The churches that began in the New York metropolitan area of the United States are the results of evangelists and ministers migrating to America during the 1960s and 70s. Even though they moved for different reasons, the truth was preached and churches were raised up and continued to grow because of this Jerusalem work. For example, in the Greater New York area, there are about 15-20 churches that either came out of the Jerusalem work, have members who still support the Jerusalem work, or have ministers who originally grew up within the Jerusalem church. Since the Jerusalem work has been stagnant for some time, some of these churches have joined the Denver group or became independent.
From the beginning, the Denver group did not support the idea that a world headquarters was necessary and needed. The committee appointed A. N. Dugger to Israel. The Jerusalem work in the early stages was supported by the Denver group but things changed some years later.
During the progressive years, when an abundance of printed materials and teaching come out of Jerusalem, many were not informed of the history and origin of the Jerusalem work. There is some misinformation about these groups. The history of the beginning of the Jerusalem and Denver work is the same.
What you will find today is that some of the churches that came out of the stagnant Jerusalem movement have shifted focus, and have left and have become affiliated with the Denver Conference. There are a number of reasons for this but here are the two main reasons:
There was no more printed materials or communication from Jerusalem because of the death of Dugger and old age of the Fauth. No more organizational structure with leadership in place to assist local churches. This created a big gap and many churches in need of support, printed materials (quarterlies, tracts, and magazines) and other assistance to help strengthen their local churches could not get any. Thus, some churches moved back under the Denver umbrella.
Another set back for the organizational structure was the passing of Elder William Heuer in 1994. He was very instrumental in forming the Caribbean Conference that was to serve under the auspices of the World Headquarters. He made many visits to the Caribbean and African region to continue building the work. Dugger gave William Heuer of Yakima, WA the reigns to serve as the Overseer of the Caribbean, Africa and the few churches that started in America. This Conference is very active today and holds yearly conventions in selected Caribbean islands. There have been delegate churches in most, if not all the islands. These churches have and will continue to consider Jerusalem as their Headquarters.
In 1984, an International Conference was held in Brooklyn, New York. Delegates from Africa, US and the Caribbean gathered at the Mt. Zion Church of God (7th Day). The Caribbean and African Conferences was formed at that time. Bishop Eckobu was picked to be the Overseer for Africa. This is the only formal African Conference that was ever established. Churches in Africa, North America, Canada and the Caribbean that were waiting for the work to revive are now independent. For a listing of churches, visit our Directory. Elder A. M. Shoemaker was also sent to Kenya, Africa to evangelize that region.
It is very important that the history of the Church of God (Seventh Day) is shared. In doing so, there can be a unique opportunity for the churches to share in their strengths and realize that we all had the same beginning. But because of the miseducation and misinformation, the Churches of God remains further apart.
Andrew N. Dugger (1886-1975) was the most famous Church of God leader in the twentieth century. Born in Bassett, Nebraska in 1886, Andrew N. Dugger’s father, A.F. Dugger, Sr., had been an Advent Christian Minister. When commissioned by his church to do a study refuting the Sabbath, A.F. Dugger instead became convinced that the Sabbath should be observed. The result was a book he later published, called The Bible Sabbath Defended.
For more than thirty-five years until his death in 1910, A.F. Dugger, Sr., was a leader in the Church of God, Seventh Day. His son Andrew, a schoolteacher and farmer, was in his early 20s when his father died.
A bright light in the sky around him seemed to Dugger to be a sign from God that he should follow his father’s footsteps in the ministry. A.N. Dugger immediately sold his large farm and equipment, and went to the University of Chicago, where he majored in theology and public speaking, mastering Greek, Hebrew, and German.
From time to time, Dugger returned to Bassett to visit his mother and Effie Carpenter (1895-1980), a student of his whom he wanted to marry. Although he first proposed to her when she was sixteen, it wasn’t until 1925 until they were married. They shared fifty years together.
Soon after college graduation, Dugger was invited by the Executive Committee of the Church of God to move to Stanberry, Missouri, to become editor of The Bible Advocate, a position his father had held before being forced to retire because of ill health. In 1914, Dugger arrived in Stanberry to begin his work in the ministry. For eighteen years he was editor, also serving as President of the General Conference. As field representative, he traveled widely, holding evangelistic meetings and public debates (see below). The famous “Porter Dugger Debate,” between Dugger and W. Curtis Porter, a Church of Christ minister, was later published as a book of over 230 pages. In 1919, Dugger wrote The Bible Home Instructor, which publicized the Seventh Day Church of God, and substantially increased its membership during the 1920s.
Two of Dugger’s most adamant doctrinal positions were: a scriptural form of church organization with leaders chosen by lot rather than election, and a world headquarters in Jerusalem, Israel. After visiting Israel for only a year in 1931-32, Dugger returned to live in Sweet Home, Oregon. In 1935, A.N. Dugger and C.O. Dodd published a book, A History of the True Church, which traces Sabbath-keepers from apostolic times to modern days. Dugger greatly influenced Herbert Armstrong, who was for years affiliated with the Church of God, Seventh Day, but later formed his own church, the Radio (later Worldwide) Church of God.
Dugger remained pastor at Marion, Oregon until 1953, when he and Effie settled permanently in Jerusalem, and launched the Mt. Zion Reporter. His aggressive leadership resulted in thousands of converts around the world. Andrew N. Dugger died in 1975 at the age of 89. Dugger’s son-in-law, Gordon Fauth, continued the Jerusalem work.
Perhaps the most well-known historical figure in the Church of God (7th day) is Andrew N. Dugger (1886-1975). In the 1920’s, Dugger was the vigorous leader of the Church at its headquarters in Stanberry, Missouri. At times, Dugger was quite a showman and debater.
Younger Church of God ministers often challenged and were challenged for public debates on the Sabbath question. Often they called for the well-versed Dugger to take over in their place. Stidham and Canadian, Oklahoma were scenes of two 1921 debates recalled by Dugger. His debate at Canadian shows how he operated.
Dugger’s opponent at Canadian was Elder Searcy of Oklahoma City, one of the leading theological and political debaters of the south. They signed an agreement for ten nights of discussion in Canadian and Dale, Oklahoma. Each night there were two thirty-minute speeches by each debater. The one on the rostrum could ask questions of his opponent that had to be answered by a yes or no. Dugger deliberately played weak on certain scriptures, leading his opponent to grasp at them, resting the entire Sabbath question, and a $1,000 bet, on whether the word “rest” in Hebrews 4:9 was translated from the Greek word sabbatismos, meaning “Sabbath” instead of katapausis meaning “rest.”
Having held so many public investigations with different clergymen, Dugger had previously written ahead to a local university professor of Greek, and already had a letter from him stating that the word was sabbatismos, meaning “a keeping of a Sabbath,” and thus won the debate.
The whole town was said to have been convinced of the Sabbath, but Searcy refused to pay the $1,000, even though he was well able to do so. The debates at Canadian and Dale resulted in the conversion of T.J. Marrs and his sons Burt and Mitchell, all of whom later became Church of God ministers. Forthwith, a Sabbath meeting was set up at Dale by Dugger, led by T.J. Marrs.
Frontiersman Davey Crockett has been quoted as saying, “Be sure you are right, then go ahead.” Today, if some young minister wants to debate others on the Sabbath question, it would be wise to be well-grounded in the Truth before such a thing is even considered. Think what might happen if you end up facing a Sunday-keeper who is more prepared than you are.
William Heuer (1904-1994) passed away on June 16, 1994 at the age of 89 years 7 months, 15 days. He was born on November 1, 1904 in the Northwest Territories in Canada, near what in no Regina, Saskatchewan. He was the fifth child of Otto and Anna Heuer. He grew up on a farm at Burnham, Saskatchewan where he also received his education. He enjoyed playing baseball and hockey.
As a young man in his early 20s, he moved to a farm in North Eastern Saskatchewan. It was while living in that area that he met his future wife, Emma Baker. They were married on January 10, 1928. After there marriage they returned to the Burnham district.
In 1939 the family, which now consisted of Mom, Dad and two daughters, move to British Columbia. It was here that William Heuer met Elder Severson and E. A. Straub. In 1940 he accepted the Lord as his personal Savior and was baptized. He remained faithful to this commitment until his death. A few years after his conversion, he felt the Lord calling him to the ministry. Surely this must be a mistake, he thought, “I’m a farmer, not a preacher.”
Like Gideon of old, he put out a fleece and surely the Lord had called him. In 1947, the family sold the dairy farm and moved to the Yakima Valley. In November of 1947, he held his first meetings in the Toppenish area.
From that time forward, until ill health no longer permitted, he was busy working in the vineyard of the Lord. He labored extensively in the Caribbean, US Virgin Islands, South America, and Africa and made a trip to Jerusalem, Israel, to visit the Church of God World Headquarters. His greatest joy was to see souls accept the Lord. Even after his stoke in 1988, on days when his thoughts were more clear, he would talk about going to the mission fields. The Lord was very precious to him. Even during the past years when everything else was often in disarray, a mention of the Lord would change his spirit and he would praise Him.
Elder Heuer loved his family deeply and nothing would make him as happy as to have the grandchildren and great grandchildren stop by. He is survived by his loving wife, Emma, two daughters and their spouses, Gertrude and Reuben Fauth; Bernice and Theo Schelert. He was preceded in death by a great grandson, Scott Fauth, his parents, 3 brothers, 2 sisters and 2 nieces.
Source: This was written by Bernice Schelert and read at Elder Heuer’s funeral in Yakima, WA. Elder Gilbert A. Monrose (St. Thomas, VI) along with his wife, Elizabeth attended the funeral and provided this information.
For more information see www.mtzioncog7.org/churchpioneers.htm.