James Lamar McElhany

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James Lamar McElhany
James Lamar McElhany.JPG
13th President of the General Conference of Seventh day Adventists
In office
Preceded by Charles H. Watson
Succeeded by William Henry Branson
Personal details
Born (1880-01-03)January 3, 1880
Died June 25, 1959(1959-06-25) (aged 79)
Profession Pastor

James Lamar McElhany (January 3, 1880 – June 25, 1959)[1] was a Seventh-day Adventist minister and administrator. He was President of the General Conference from 1936 to 1950. He was a pioneer seventh-day minister in the Far East Division missionary work.[2]

Mr. McElhany was born near Santa Maria, California on January 3, 1880 to James Lamar Sr. and Mary (Ford) McElhany. James' parents had joined the Seventh-Day Adventist church before his birth, and he was baptized into church membership at the age of 15. in 1900 he began studies at Healdsburg College, where he decided to become a minister.[1]

He entered ministry as a colporteur for the Adventist church in 1902. In 1903 he moved to Australia and worked as a traveling evangelist, until 1906 when he moved to the Philippines and pursued evangelism there. In 1908 they again moved to a new Country, this time New Zealand. He then returned home to the United States, where he was posted to various administrative offices, including presidencies of the Greater New York Conference, the California Conference, the Southern Union Conference, and the Pacific Union Conference.[1]

He was elected President of the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists in 1936. He was elected twice more, serving in this capacity until 1950. He was known for even-handedness and compassion. Reflecting on his tenure, he stated that he did not enjoy this duty, as it "wore me out."[1]

In later years he suffered blindness from cataracts, but had surgery that restored his sight after some time. He suffered a stroke, and died on June 25, 1959.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ochs, Daniel A. and Ochs, Grace Lillian. The Past and the Presidents, Southern Publishing Association, Nashville, Tennessee, 1974. SBN: 8127-0084-8
  2. ^ Iglesia Adventista del Séptimo Día (1994). Nuestra Herencia: Curso de Historia denominacional (1st ed.). Buenos Aires: Asociación Casa Editora Sudamericana. p. 157. ISBN 950-573-388-7. 
Preceded by
Charles H. Watson
President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
1936 - 1950
Succeeded by
William Henry Branson