What is the Adventist Youth Society?
The Adventist Youth Society is a specialized ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that: (1) seeks to address the particular needs of young people in their own environment and respond to them as they are, and (2) to incorporate them into the fellowship of the church – a caring Christian community. Every local church has an Adventist Youth Society that works for and through her youth to fulfill the mission of Christ.
The Northeastern Conference Franco-Haitian Adventist Youth Federation is an organizational arm of the Northeastern Conference Adventist Youth Society consisting of more than 30 Churches & Missions spanning the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island that seeks to unite, support and guide our youth in the efforts . Historically, our churches have had French speaking populations, especially from Haiti, but we continue to serve all populations regardless of background. For a complete directory of our member churches , visit www.northeastern.org.
“We have an army of youth today who can do much if they are properly directed and encouraged. We want our children to believe the truth. We want them to be blessed of God. We want them to act a part in well-organized plans for helping other youth. Let all be so trained that they may rightly represent the truth, giving them reason of the hope that is within them, and honoring God in any branch of the work where they are qualified to labor.” (General Conference Bulletin, January 29, 30, 1893, p. 24.) – Ellen G. Harmon-White
“Young men and young women, cannot you form companies, and as soldiers of Christ, enlist in the work, putting all your tact and skill and talent into the Master’s service, that you may save souls from ruin? Let there be companies organized in every church to do this work.” (Signs of the Times, May 29, 1893) – Ellen G. Harmon-White
The History of the Adventist Youth Society
The first youth organization in a local Seventh-day Adventist church began in 1879 when Harry Fenner, age 16, and Luther Warren, age 14, organized meetings in Hazelton, Michigan. For boys only, the meetings were held in a small room of Luther’s parents’ home. The purpose of this first little band of youth was to promote missionary work, raise money for missionary literature, and further the cause of temperance. Later, girls were invited to join, and the meetings were held in a large parlor in a private home with some of the adult family members present.
In 1901, the General Conference took steps toward forming an official young people’s organization, approving the youth society concept and recommending that a committee be set up to form a plan of organization. The Sabbath School Department, directed by Mrs. Flora Plummer, was asked to care for the youth work at the General Conference level. Mrs. Plummer carried that responsibility until 1907.
The General Conference Session met in Gland, Switzerland (the first time outside of the United States). Among its most important decisions was the formation of a department exclusively devoted to providing leadership to the youth in all their endeavors (named: Seventh-day Adventist Young People’s Society of Missionary Volunteers). There were more than 100 people attending the convention.
The church voted to hold the first Young People’s Day on Sabbath, January 26, 1907. It was changed the following year to “Missionary Volunteer Day” hence this day became the forerunner of the Pathfinder Sabbath.
In early spring of 1907, the General Conference officially approved the formation of a Youth Department and elected M.E. Kerns as chairman and Matilda Erickson as secretary.
Northeastern Conference Federation of Adventist Youth Societies – Our Purpose
(Article II of the Youth Ministries Constitution & Bylaws)
The purpose of this organization shall be to:
- Promote and help maintain the high spiritual standards of its members
- Furnish additional motivation to the Adventist Youth membership
- Provide opportunity for spiritual enrichment and broader social fellowship
- Promote united support for greater interest in Christian Education (i.e. establishing scholarships)
- Give coordinated assistance for the full support of all phases of Adventist Youth Societies
- Promote and encourage its members to engage in well planned outreach activities
- Set soul winning goals each year, and provide means of reaching these goals, and make annual reports to Northeastern Conference Youth Ministries Department
- Promote and encourage the effective use of the information “Super Highway” in order to accomplish the holistic needs of our youth