Denis Kaiser has been named the new editor of the ongoing Adventist Biography Series, one of the most ambitious publishing projects in Seventh-day Adventist Church history. Kaiser is a specialist in Adventist history and a professor at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States. He will be assuming leadership of the series after the retirement of George Knight, who has served as series editor for the past 20 years.
According to the team behind the project, the Adventist Biography Series is a significant step forward for understanding Seventh-day Adventist history through biographies of the prominent men and women who have shaped the church through the years from its beginnings. The first volume in the series (2003) featured James White, and the latest (2019) deals with J. N. Andrews. Other volumes in the series include Joseph Bates, J. H. Kellogg, A. T. Jones, E. J. Waggoner, Uriah Smith, and A. G. Daniels — to name only a few. Future biographies are planned for early figures such as Joshua V. Himes, William Miller, and W. C. White, as well as for more recent figures, including Edward Heppenstall, Anna Knight, and L. R. Conradi.
The Adventist Biography Series started at the Review and Herald Publishing Association and continues now at Pacific Press Publishing Association.
The series is unprecedented in its breadth and scope, according to those familiar with the project. Volumes are based upon thorough research by some of the denomination’s foremost historians, with every biography taking years to produce.
“The biographies portray their subjects as real people who lived and ministered in the complex realm of a developing church in a less-than-perfect world,” they said. “The volumes also explore these people’s relationships with other strong-minded individuals who had their views of how things ought to be done or viewed. Through the lives of these ‘movers and shakers’ readers will gain fresh insights into what it meant on a personal level to live and work as an Adventist during different eras of the church’s evolution.”
Dale Galusha, president of Pacific Press Publishing Association, concurred.
“The Adventist Biography Series is important not only as a historical record of our church’s past,” he said. “It is also a fascinating picture of real men and women who struggled, as we do, to find their way through difficult issues and how best to deal with their brothers and sisters in the church.”
Galusha said that as readers delve into the lives and experiences of Adventist pioneers, they can learn important lessons for their lives and about the mission of the church.
“This series is crucial reading for church members and leaders today as we seek a better understanding of our church’s unique message to the world,” he said.