Tribute to Elder Kenneth H. Wood
(1917 – 2008)
H. Wood, who served as Chairman of the Ellen G. White Estate Board
of Trustees since 1980, died on May 25, 2008. He was 90 years
Wood is best known to Seventh-day Adventists as the editor of
the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, which officially
changed its name to the shorter Adventist Review during
his tenure. He served as assistant editor beginning in 1955, associate
editor from 1957, and became editor in 1966, a post he held until
nearly 42 years, starting in 1966, Wood served as a Trustee of
the Ellen G. White Estate. In 1980 he was elected the Chairman
of the Board of Trustees, a post he filled ably until his death.
Through the turbulent 1980s and beyond, his leadership helped
to increase confidence in Ellen G. White’s ministry and
the White Estate, among other things supporting greater openness
and access to Mrs. White’s unpublished manuscripts. Under
his leadership eleven Ellen G. White Research Centers were opened
at major Seventh-day Adventist educational institutions around
the world, and two additional Branch Offices were opened in North
America. Including the Main Office, the total number of such facilities
now stands at 18.
editorial skills have contributed much to the publications the
White Estate has issued during his tenure. His own writings were
models of accuracy, clarity, and grace, and his touch greatly
improved the writings of others. Until his recent illness he continued
to come to his office three mornings a week to work on correspondence
and forthcoming publications. The White Estate staff was grateful
for the opportunity to come to him with questions, which he answered
with wisdom, kindness, and humor. He was a true Christian gentleman.
His wife of 69 years, Miriam Wood, known to many by her books
and her “Dear Miriam” column in the Adventist
Review, died March 16, 2008.
The Wood family requests that those wishing to make memorial gifts
direct them to Adventist Heritage Ministry, P.O. Box 1414, Battle
Creek, MI 49017 or at www.AdventistHeritage.org.
reflections on Elder Wood’s leadership and character from
friends and co-workers:
“With the passing of Elder Kenneth Wood one of the influential
and significant thinkers and writers of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church has been laid to rest. . . . Elder Wood was a man of strong
convictions and absolute loyalty to historic Adventism.”
~ Jan Paulsen, World President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Wood] was one of the most thoroughly Christian people that I have
ever met in my life. He certainly loved the Lord and believed
in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its mission and its ultimate
success, without question. . . . He was forward thinking. He [would
say], ‘I’ll never live to see it happen, but that’s
what the White Estate needs to do, so get working on it.’
Everybody in the White Estate loved him.” ~ James Nix, White
Christian character was evident on all occasions, whether in the
Board meetings, his office, or in his personal relationships.
The Church and the White Estate will be missing a great friend,
a great counselor, and a great Christian.” ~ Juan Carlos
Viera, White Estate Director, 1995-2000.
For ten years I worked hand in
glove with Elder Wood. Those were years of deep satisfaction.
We never had a rift even though there were occasional differences
of opinion. His counsel was always the best. The White Estate
was fortunate to have had Elder Wood as our Board chair for so
many years. Someone will succeed him but no one can replace him.
~ Robert W. Olson, White Estate Director, 1978-1990.
always remember Elder Wood’s prayers in staff and board
meetings. As he talked with the Lord, it seemed that he was speaking
with Him face to face. When they see each other at the resurrection,
it’ll be like two long-time friends meeting again. ~ Norma
J. Collins, former White Estate Associate Director.
contributions to the church were immense, and we have lost a great
person.” ~ Denis Fortin, Dean of the Seventh-day Adventist
gleam of his eye, his optimistic insights and positive comments
always lifted my spirits. . . . He is a part of my fabric of the
foundation of this church that I love!” ~ Tom Neslund, President,
Adventist Heritage Ministry.
biographical information and tributes may be found in the online
edition of the May 22, 2008, Adventist Review: www.adventistreview.org.
recent photograph of the five Life Trustees of the Ellen G. White
Estate. (L to R: Elder Neal C. Wilson; Elder Francis Wernick;
Dr. G. W. Reid; Elder Kenneth H. Wood; Dr. William G. Johnsson)