Executive officers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday dedicated three physical additions to the Church’s headquarters during a grand opening ceremony.
The program on April 12 marked the opening of the Eden to Eden Art Gallery, Ellen G. White Estate Visitor Center and the Biblical Research Institute Library.
The Eden to Eden art exhibit is a permanent display that illustrates salvation’s story from creation to the restoration of the new earth after the second coming of Christ. Eden to Eden transforms the headquarters’ main lobby into an art gallery that contains more than 70 pieces of art with Biblical stories. Seventh-day Adventist artists, including Nathan Greene, and Lars Justinen, created all of the artwork showcased in the gallery.
Plans for the gallery began shortly after Ted Wilson was elected president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2010. Elder Wilson wanted the Church’s headquarters to give an immediate impression of an institution that believes in the Bible and is centered in Jesus.
“What I’m hoping people will take away from here is the incredible love of God, and his willingness to enter into our lives and be able to guide us towards his eternal purposes for each of us,” Wilson said. “And as they view what God has done in the past, and the way he’s leading now, they will see that God has truly led in their own life. And when they leave here I hope they’ll be inspired to keep their hand in God’s hand.”
Church leaders also had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of the Ellen G. White Estate Visitor Center, which is also located in the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The newly renovated Estate was designed to give a 21st century take on the life and ministry of Ellen G. White, the co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The various interactive exhibits feature many aspects of her life, including her humble beginnings, her acceptance of her prophetic gift and her writings.
Jim Nix, director of the Ellen G. White Estate, had a passion to create an experience for visitors that would prompt them to get to know the woman behind the prophetic call.
“It’s been a dream for a long time. I’ve dedicated my life to try to bring Adventist history to life, for our members, for our young people, and the visitor center in a sense is a culmination of that,” Nix said. “I really wanted a place where parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, families on vacation; they could come here with their young people; pastors can bring new members here, and they can see a bit about Ellen White’s life and her ministry.”
The newly renovated library of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Biblical Research Institute was also dedicated on Sunday.
During the program, Artur Stele, general vice president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Chair of the Biblical Research Institute, presented an award of recognition to Gerhard Pfrandi, part-time associate director of the Biblical Research Institute. Pfandi was honored for his instrumental role in the renovation of the library and for his long-standing commitment to the institution.
The institute promotes the study and practice of Seventh-day Adventist theology. The library will support the institute’s mission by providing Church leaders, employees and researchers the ability to explore scholarly and theological materials.
While the Eden to Eden gallery is currently open to the public, the Ellen G. White Estate Visitor Center is undergoing further touchups and adjustments before its permanent opening to the public in June.