"And now, as we set forth, we commit ourselves to the merciful protection of God, and we especially ask the prayers of the people of God that His blessing may attend us in this sacred work." –J.N. Andrews, September 15, 1874
When J.N. Andrews set forth from a Boston harbor 136 years ago, he had no idea his service as the first overseas missionary for the Seventh-day Adventist Church would one day serve as a creed of Christian service at a university named in his honor.
Today, virtually every corner of the Earth is represented in the student body at Andrews University. Likewise, the cultural and ethnic diversity of its faculty and staff only serve to further enhance this internationally diverse, faith-based campus community. This is a place where seeking knowledge and affirming faith is how the university prepares its students to set forth and change the world. While they are at Andrews, the students spend their days, weeks, months and years actively living out Christ's example of telling the world about God's love. Andrews faculty and staff are right there behind them, every step of the way, encouraging their Christian walk using the spiritual gifts God gave them. Then, when the day comes that they set forth, Andrews students are rest-assured of those special connections and relationships with the faculty and staff, the kind of resources and support they'll rely on as they begin their own journey to tell the world of God's love.
Everyone has a story: a life-changing event that redirected their course; a time of spiritual darkness from which they awakened with a renewed sense of purpose; or a series of smaller events in their life that gradually led them to the place God had planned for their life. In the pages to follow are just a few such stories from the faculty and staff community at Andrews University.
Their stories are reflective of the myriad of others, but serve to offer you a glimpse of the people who, together, are serving our school, our church and ultimately, our Creator.
Keri Suarez is a media relations specialist in the Office of Integrated Marketing & Communication at Andrews University.
John Nevins Andrews is best remembered as the first official Seventh-day Adventist missionary to work outside North America. This sculpture by Alan Collins depicts the Andrews family, pausing dockside in Boston, September 15, 1874, ready to depart for Switzerland. Andrews, still grieving the death of his wife Angeline, departed as a 45-year-old single parent, accompanied by Charles, 16, and Mary, 12.
The foremost intellectual in the early Adventist movement, Andrews made significant contributions to the development of several doctrines, notably the Sabbath, tithing, sleep of the dead, church organization and the noncombatant status of military draftees. He also served as the third president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (1867–1869). His example set in motion a tide of other missionaries, his History of the Sabbath persuaded thousands, and his journal gave birth to congregations on three continents.
It was to memorialize his commitment to scholarship and to the worldwide mission of the Seventh-day Adventist church that, in 1960, the trustees chose the name Andrews University.
This little family's commitment challenges people of all ages, gender and position to lead lives of wholehearted service to church, community and the world.—Keri Suarez