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Brief Timeline
of the California Conference and Northern California Conference

1844 - The Millerite “Great Disappointment”

1848 - California became a possession of the United States, admitted as a state in 1850.

1855 & 1857 - Daniel Eaton (perhaps the first Adventist in California) wrote to the Review & Herald asking for an Adventist worker to come to California.

1859 - Merritt G. Kellogg (brother of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and W. K. Kellogg) came west, settling in San Francisco.  His first convert was B. G. St. John.

1860 - The name “Seventh-day Adventist” was officially selected at a meeting in Battle Creek, Mich.

1863 - The Seventh-day Adventist Church was officially organized at the first General Conference Session, Battle Creek, Mich.

1865 - Merritt Kellogg and B. G. St. John raised $133 in gold and sent it to the General Conference with a request for a minister to be sent to California. No one was available to come.

1868 - J. N. Loughborough and D. T. Bourdeau were sent by the General Conference to California. Their first tent meeting was held in Petaluma, with 20 converts.

1869 - Seventh-day Adventists formed a temporary state organization in California with about 75 known members: D. T. Bourdeau, president; J. F. Wood, secretary; J. N. Loughborough, treasurer.

1869 - First Adventist church west of the Rockies was built in Santa Rosa.

1872-73 - Ellen and James White spent the winter with Adventists in California. Their first appointment was at a small camp meeting in Windsor (near Santa Rosa).

1873 - The California Conference was formed with seven churches and 238 members; tithe was $2,151.51. J. N. Loughborough served as president. Offices were in Oakland.

1874 - June 4, Oakland, first edition of Signs of the Times was printed (James White, editor).

1874 - October, Yountville camp meeting, those in attendance raised $19,414 for Signs of the Times. (Yountville church today is named “Signs Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church”)

1875 - Pacific Press Publishing Assn. organized in Oakland. Moved to Mountain View in 1904. Relocated to Nampa, Id. in 1984.

1878 - Adventists in Nevada were taken under the “watch care” of the California Conference.

1878 - Rural Health Retreat established in St. Helena (now St. Helena Hospital), the oldest still-operating Adventist hospital in the world.

1882 - Sidney Brownsberger started an academy in Healdsburg, with 28 students ages 5 and up. Would become Healdsburg College in 1899, and then Pacific Union College in 1906, closing in 1908. (The school relocated to Angwin in 1909).

1883 - Nevada was officially added to the responsibility of the California Conference. (In 1913 the Nevada Mission was formed.)

1889 - Utah and Arizona were added to the California Conference.  (The General Conference took responsibility for Utah in 1894 and for Arizona in 1895.)

1890 - Maiden voyage of the mission ship Pitcairn, which operated in the Pacific Ocean until 1900 (6 voyages). Paid for by Sabbath School offerings. Built in Benicia. Launched in Oakland and sailed from San Francisco.

1900 - Ellen White moved to Elmshaven, near St. Helena. She died there in 1915.

1901 - The California Conference became part of the newly formed Pacific Union Conference, which then included territory that now is both the Pacific Union and North Pacific Union conferences.

1901 - The California Conference was divided into two parts. The area of the state south of the Tehachapi and Santa Ynez mountains was organized into the Southern California Conference. The rest remained with the California Conference, with headquarters still in Oakland.

1908 - Lodi Academy & Normal Institute opened, primarily for the training of teachers.

1909 - Pacific Union College, and PUC Prep, opened in Angwin. (Formerly, Healdsburg College – see 1882 above.)

1911 - The California Conference was again divided, this time into three conferences: the California Conference, the Central California Conference, and the Northern California-Nevada Conference (with headquarters in Lodi).

1915 - The California Conference once again was divided into two parts. The California Conference contained territory south of the San Francisco Bay and west of the Coast Range. The area north of the Bay and west of the mountains was organized as the Northwestern California Conference, with headquarters in Santa Rosa. These two conferences were merged back into one conference in 1918, as the California Conference, headquartered in Oakland.

1932 - The California Conference terminated as a separate conference, and its territory was divided between the newly named Northern California Conference and the Central California Conference.

1962 - Rio Lindo Adventist Academy opened in Healdsburg as the NCC boarding school, replacing the boarding school program formerly available at Lodi Academy.

1972 - The headquarters for the Northern California Conference relocated from Oakland to Pleasant Hill.

For further information:
SDA Encyclopedia
St. Helena Church website
St. Helena Hospital history
Pacific Union College history
Pacific Press history
Pacific Union Conference history

If you find any inaccuracies with this information, please send a notification to info@nccsda.com.
Northern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists | 401 Taylor Blvd. | P.O. Box 23165 | Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 | (925) 685-4300 | info@nccsda.com