John Wesley: Father of SDA Health Reform

Speaker: Categories: Jul 10, 1999


[1hr, 11min, 49sec / 1hr, 16min, 3sec]


It is quite possible that you have (or have had) on your bookshelves at least one of the following:Counsels on Diet and Food,Counsels on Health, orMedical Ministry. You may have read from them, perhaps advised from them, maybe even preached from them. These materials, just a sampling of Ellen White's writings, have served as guidelines for many Seventh-day Adventists in matters as diverse as helping to choose not to eat fruits and vegetables at the same meal to the values of hydrotherapy in remedying a host of ailments.

We have understood and promoted Ell en White as aninspiredwriter, often with unique insights bestowed in visions, sometimes even communicated by heavenly messengers.

Why then would our July San Diego Adventist Forum meeting have a title suggesting another source for the Adventist health message?

Might that source be as inspired as EGW?

"Adventists are heavily indebted in many ways to Methodism, and to John Wesley specifically,"notes Dr. Hoyt."As a loyal and dedicated Methodist from an active Methodist family in Portland, Maine, Ellen Gould Harmon could not have escaped this compelling influence during her childhood and youth, although it was never her style to publicly acknowledge such a significant earthly impact on her life."

Perhaps it would be well to point out that Dr. Hoyt's method for research has involved going back to newspaper reports of the time period studied to find out what was being said. Suchnews articlesmay provide greater insight into cultural phenomena than books and papers written many years after the event( s). His findings from such research will be shared on July 10.

Two major questions will be addressed, based on this research, according to Fred Hoyt:"(1) What did John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believe about healthful living practices for Christians? (2) Were his writings on this topic available to young Ellen in Portland, Maine, from 1827-1846?"

"If these key questions can be answered satisfactorily, what reasonable conclusions can be drawn from this evidence? Does the June 5, 1863, Otsego, Michigan, health vision provide definitive answers to these questions as well as to other broader, and perhaps even more significant, questions?"

Want to find out more? Curious as to whether John Wesley should beblamedfor noting thatcheese should never enter the stomachor thatmilk and sugar, in combination, are highly detrimental? Interestingly, Ellen White makes about ten references to John Wesley in her writings, actually quotes him rather at length in three passages inThe Great ControversyBUT on no occasion refers to his convictions on health or on healthful living!


The termcolorfulis most appropriate, but grossly inadequate, to describe Dr. Fred Hoyt's background. After earning his B.A. from La Sierra College, his M.A. from Claremont Graduate School, and also his Ph. D. at the same location, he became a teacher at such institutions as San Pasqual Academy, Pomona Junior Academy, La Sierra College, Loma Linda University, and La Sierra University -- specializing in history, his field of expertise. He has also served numerous administrative roles at La Sierra and Loma Linda. A host of awards for excellence in teaching, in service, and in research accompany those years in academia.

His service in communication intelligence in the United States Navy took him to the Pacific Theater, 1941-1945, from which he received seven medals and citations.

He has been published in numerous historical journals, focusing particularly on the Philippines, and inSpectrum, looking at some early Adventist history. Though retired, his quest fortruthin portraying history is unabated. He has sought to understand and portray the cultural milieu in which Adventism evolved. And of special interest to San Diego folks,"Marketing a Booming City in 1887: San Diego in the Chicago Press", has been accepted for publication in theJournal of San Diego History. Several book-length manuscripts are on hard disk, awaiting a little further work -- and, according to him, a congenial publisher!

Fred Hoyt is married to Vivian Elaine Golden, a registered nurse specializing in school nursing. They have a married daughter, Corinne, and two grandchildren.

Donate to SDAF


San Diego Adventist Forum
PO Box 421320
San Diego, CA 92142

We invite and appreciate your feedback regarding any of our programs or services.

Shopping cart

There are no products in your shopping cart.

0 Items $0.00