Eugene Farnsworth


Eugene Farnsworth, a pioneering evangelist and church leader, was also one of the first children born into a "Seventh-day Adventist" family. Although the movement was not yet organized under that name, Eugene's father, William, is often referred to as the first "Seventh-day Adventist" because he accepted the seventh-day Sabbath truth early in 1845 at Washington, New Hampshire.

The Adventist congregation in Washington had been strong in its early days, but became careless, with Sabbath school discontinued and most of its youth not baptized. In 1867 James and Ellen White, along with J. N. Andrews, visited the church to hold revival meetings.

At one of the revival meetings, as Ellen White was speaking, she began pointing out specific problems that various members were having. As she spoke, 19-year-old Eugene sat near his father. Eugene knew that his father was using tobacco and wondered if Ellen White had been shown his father's case. Almost immediately she turned to William Farnsworth and said, "I saw that this brother is a slave to tobacco. But the worst of the matter is that he is acting the part of a hypocrite, trying to deceive his brethren into thinking that he has discarded it, as he promised to do when he united with the church."

Eugene could hardly believe what he was hearing. He had been working with his father in the snow, and had watched him spit tobacco juice in the snow and then quickly cover it. Eugene experienced a startling confirmation that Ellen White was truly God's messenger. The meeting proved to be a turning point, with genuine revival as a result. Parents confessed to their children, and children to their parents.

Many of the young people of the church had not been baptized, but during the next couple of days that changed. Several requested baptism, some wanting it immediately. It was the dead of winter, with snow on the ground and thick ice on Millen Pond, the baptizing site by the home of Cyrus Farnsworth. A hole was cut in the ice, and 12 young people were baptized that December. Six more were baptized in the spring. More than half of them went into active church service later, or married church workers. Eugene worked for many years in the United States, England, Australia, and New Zealand.

John Nevins Andrews
Joseph Bates
John Norton Loughborough
Fredrick Wheeler
George Ide Butler
Marian Davis
Otis Nichols
Stephen N. Haskell
Eugene Farnsworth
S. M. I. Henry
Uriah Smith
W. W. Prescott