General Conference Constitution and Bylaws

The basic documents of the organization called the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The General Conference is an unincorporated body brought into existence to administer the general affairs of the church, and especially to pursue its evangelistic aim, “to teach all nations the everlasting gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the commandments of God” (Constitution, Art. II). The adoption of the first constitution in Battle Creek, Michigan, on May 21, 1863, climaxed a decade or more of lively discussion among the members regarding the advisability of church organization. Those who opposed organization, or “order,” argued that it would trespass upon the believers’ individual Christian liberty, and some even said that such a church organization would immediate...

From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Published with permission from the Review and Herald Publishing Association.