W. W. Prescott

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William Warren Prescott (1855–1944) was an influential administrator, educator, and scholar in the early Seventh-day Adventist Church.


Prescott's parents were part of the Millerite movement.

W. W. Prescott graduated from Dartmouth College in 1877 and served as principal of high schools in Vermont, and published and edited newspapers in Maine and Vermont prior to accepting the presidency of Battle Creek College (1885 to 1894). While still president of Battle Creek College he helped found Union College and became its first president in 1891. Then late in 1892 he assumed the presidency of the newly founded Walla Walla College in Washington. Five years later, he helped found Australasian Mission College (now Avondale College) in Australia.

Because of his reputation as a Biblical scholar he was called upon to make a world tour (1894-1895) to hold Bible institutes and to strengthen developing educational interests. Back in America in 1901, he became vice-president of the General Conference, chairman of the Review and Herald Publishing Association board, and editor of the Review and Herald. On relinquishing this editorship in 1909, he edited the Protestant Magazine for seven years. He was a field secretary of the General Conference from 1915 until his retirement in 1937, serving during this time as principal of the Australasian Missionary College (1922), and as head of the Bible department at Union College (1924-1928). He spent the year 1930 visiting the churches and institutions in Europe. On his return he wrote The Spade and the Bible, and then became head of the Bible department of Emmanuel Missionary College, a post he held until 1934.[1]

Prescott suggested that the investigative judgment occurred in the spring, and not autumn, in one of his numerous suggested editorial revisions of the 1911 edition of Ellen G. White's The Great Controversy. In point 70, he declared,

"It seems to me abundantly evident from the Scripture and history that the 2300 days commenced in the spring of B.C. 457...",[2]

also arguing it was the original interpretation of William Miller. This suggestion was rejected.


  • Christ and the Sabbath (International Religious Liberty Association, 1893)
  • The Doctrine of Christ: a series of Bible studies for use in colleges and seminaries (Review & Herald, 1920)
  • The Saviour of the World (Review & Herald, 1929)
  • The Spade and the Bible: Archaeological Discoveries Confirm the Old Book (Fleming H. Revell, 1933)
  • Victory in Christ (Review & Herald, not dated)

See also[edit]


* Gilbert M. Valentine, W. W. Prescott: Forgotten Giant of Adventism’s Second Generation. Review and Herald, 2005. Reworked from The Shaping of Adventism: The Case of W. W. Prescott (Andrews University Press, 1992)

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