Protest & Progress: Black Seventh-day Adventist Leadership and the Push for Parity

Protest & Progress: Black Seventh-day Adventist Leadership and the Push for Parity

Calvin B. Rock


Calvin Rock has produced a landmark book on race relations and leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. As an acclaimed leader himself, Rock writes with a pastor’s heart and a prophet’s passion to remind the church of where we have been, where we are, and where we must go. He first gives an overview of history by discussing the successes and failures of four major Black Adventist leadership protest movements: the push for administrative integration, which failed; the push for Regional conferences, which succeeded; the push for Black union conferences, which failed; and the push for a separate and equitable retirement system for Regional conference employees, which succeeded. Rock’s personal participation in some of the events adds rich character to the story. Building on that history, he makes his case for the effectiveness and necessity of the current Regional conference system of mission that administers resources according to racial and cultural opportunity.

Calvin B. Rock has been a major leadership voice in the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than six decades as a pastor, church administrator, and writer. He was president of Oakwood University from 1971 to 1985, and a general vice president of the General Conference from 1985 until his retirement in 2002. He has been an active participant in North American Adventism’s continuing discussions of race relations. He holds a BA degree in theology from Oakwood University, an MA in sociology from the University of Detroit, and DMin and PhD degrees in religious ethics from Vanderbilt University. He is the author or editor of ten books. In retirement in Las Vegas, Nevada, he returned to active pastoring and has a heart for helping the church better understand the full meaning of the Righteousness of Christ.

“This is one of the most important books that I have read in a long while. Written with unswerving honesty, it traces the struggles of African-American Seventh-day Adventists for justice and equality. I found much to admire and applaud, but much that made me sad. Highly recommended, indispensable for administrators and Seminary students.”

William G. Johnsson, former editor Adventist Review and Adventist World