The Graves of Questions on Doctrine
A visual retrospective and memorial
Presenter: Larry Kirkpatrick
Delivery: 2007-10-22 15:55Z
Publication: GreatControversy.org 2007-10-22 15:55Z
In October of 1957 the book Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine was published—fifty years ago. The purpose of this short pictorial article is simple. It is not to provide a theological analysis of issues surrounding the book. Nor is its purpose to canonize or declare these men heretics or heroes. The purpose, very simply, is to visually document the resting places of chief participants in the Adventist/evangelical conference and in the production of the book Questions on Doctrine.
Graves provide linkage with history. They give us pause to ponder the lives that were lived, the goals and actions of these people, and any other insights that can be gleaned from their resting place until the resurrection.
At the time of publication, we had acquired only scant knowledge concerning the spouses of these men, and so while we do not intend to leave them out, we have said very little here concerning them.
I have kept any theological commentary to a minimum. Better to think on the hopes these men entertained, and to beware any over-certainty that we, as these, may be inclined to indulge. These men thought they would see the Second Coming of Jesus, but today they are still at rest.
T. E. Unruh
Our modest tour begins in Loma Linda, California, in the Montecito Cemetery, at the grave of Tobias Edgar Unruh.
The Questions on Doctrine odyssey all began with a letter by T. E. Unruh. At the time he was serving as president of the East Pennsylvania Conference. As he was driving he was listening to the radio and heard a broadcast presentation by Donald Grey Barnhouse on the topic of righteousness by faith. Unruh, moved by what he had heard, sat down and wrote a short thank you note to Barnhouse. It would be most interesting to have heard Barnhouse’s presentation. He would be coming decidedly from the Calvinist perspective, so it is difficult to know what Unruh heard that struck him as so helpful. The Adventist and Calvinist perspectives, as a rule, are opposites. Be that as it may, Unruh sent the letter. Barnhouse replied, equally surprised that an Adventist would appreciate what he had presented. Thus began what eventually would culminate in the publication of Questions on Doctrine.
Unruh was born July 15, 1894. He was a teacher and principal, never a pastor until he became head of the Wisconsin Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in 1941. He died in Loma Linda, California on June 8, 1982. Unruh’s grave is located in Montecito Memorial Park and Mortuary, 24145 Barton Rd., Loma Linda, CA, 92354. Inside the cemetery, his plot is Magnolia, Space #2, Section 442.
Roy Allan Anderson
Roy Allen Anderson was one of the three principle (unnamed) authors of Questions on Doctrine. Anderson had an interest in end-time events, and wrote a popular commentary on the book of Revelation. His private correspondence shows that he felt that Questions on Doctrine was a historic event that would usher in the falling of the latter rain. Although there were occasional tensions between him and Froom, these were the two principle crafters of the book.
Anderson was born in Australia, March 15, 1895. Adventism eventually brought him to America. He is buried alone. His grave, distinctively, is marked by two inscriptions. First, “Beloved Husband & Father.” Secondly, “The Trumpet Shall Sound…. Even So, Come, Lord Jesus.” He died in San Bernardino on December 12, 1985. His mother’s maiden name was Linklater. He, too, is buried at the Montecito Memorial Park and Mortuary in Loma Linda. The location of his plot is Olive, Space #2, section 17.
Walter Ralston Martin was born on September 10, 1928 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York. Like Barnhouse, he comes from a Calvinist line of thought, although he often identified himself as a “Calminian” (Calvinist-Arminian). He stood at the center of the dialogue as the chief representative of the evangelicals. Martin was a researcher and a writer on the topic of cults. He contacted the Adventists as he was planning to write a book on them and label them as a cult. When he dialogued with the Adventists, they vigorously denied several of the teachings he had attributed to them. He decided that Adventists had been misunderstood and really, except for some peculiar doctrines, fit within the category of true Christianity. But he demanded of the Adventists that they publish statements that would give evidence of their claims. The eventual result was Questions on Doctrine.
Martin’s death occurred on June 26, 1989 in San Juan Capistrano, Orange, California. Martin’s mother’s maiden name was Ainsworth. Martin is buried at the El Toro Memorial Park, 25751 Trabuco Road, Lake Forest, California. To locate his grave, enter the cemetery grounds, drive to back (keep left at fork, then quick right, to end, “T” on road. His plot is NE Section, Block 4, Lot 22, Space 9.
M. L. Andreasen
Milian Lauritz Andreasen was born June 4, 1876 in Denmark. He is described at age 33 as height 5’ 7.5” eyes, gray; hair brown. His came to North America with his family. He learned the trade of tailor from his father. Eventually he became an Adventist pastor. He married Annie Nelson, a Bible Instructor from Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1896. M. L. and Annie had two daughters, Vesta, born in 1897 and Eunice, born in 1901.
Andreasen became a prolific writer and wrote some of the most popular books in the denomination in the 1930s and 1940s. He taught at the seminary. He retired in 1948. On November 14, 1948, after their move to California, Annie Andreasen died of a stroke. In 1950 he married Gladys Grounds who was many years his junior.
When Questions on Doctrine came, Andreasen was the principle opponent. First he wrote privately to the General Conference President, but when that did not avail, he went public. Any discussion of Questions on Doctrine is likely to turn sooner or later to M. L. Andreasen. He is often portrayed as the chief villain. However, many who have a familiarity with the theology involved in the conflict see him as heroic.
Andreasen died on February 19, 1962 in Los Angeles. His funeral was held on February 23. His mother’s maiden name was Thorgens. He is buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 1712 S. Glendale Blvd., Glendale, California. His site is Meditation, Lot 177, Space 4B. If you are driving from the entrance to Meditation, you will find his grave very near the beginning of Meditation about 24 spaces up from the road. Look for the little round cement place markers, figure out the pattern, and find the one marked 177.
With the passage of Questions on Doctrine into history, the future of Adventism remains with Andreasen. Only Adventism as he offered it, among all the participants in the matter, remains unvitiated and inviting.
R. R. Figuhr
Reuben Richard Figuhr was born of Prussian descent on October 20, 1896, like T. E. Unruh, in Wisconsin. At the age of 58, just a year before the evangelical conferences, Figuhr became General Conference president.
Figuhr was an individual of definite opinion. Questions on Doctrine became the centerpiece of his young administration. At times he was frustrated by how far Froom and Anderson were going with the book. But he stood behind it.
Figuhr served as president until 1966. He died on October 28, 1983 in Napa, California. His mother’s maiden name was Ferris.
L. E. Froom
Le Roy Edwin Froom was born on October 16, 1890. According to genealogical websites, he was the youngest of numerous children. Froom was the driving force behind Questions on Doctrine. Froom was bold. His philosophy was that no problem was beyond solution. He served just a few years as pastor and then moved into writing and researching. He wrote the unparalleled 4 volume work, The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, and other works. His 1972 book Movement of Destiny includes charts showing Questions on Doctrine as playing a central role in the finish of the work of God.
Froom died at Washington Park Hospital on February 20, 1974 in Takoma Park, Maryland. His funeral was held on February 22 at noon at the Takoma Park Seventhday Adventist Church. He is buried in George Washington Cemetery, 9500 Riggs Rd., Adelphi, Maryland. His graveside is Masonic B, Plot 860. GPS coordinates for his location are N 39°, 00.667’, W 76°, 58.133”.
Walter E. Read
Walter Edwin Read was born in England on November 17, 1883. Before becoming a Seventh-day Adventist minister, Read trained for two years to become a Baptist minister. Just a few years before the publication of Questions on Doctrine, Read had held the position that Jesus took the nature of Adam after his fall. We don’t know for sure what happened between then and the book, or if his views ever were the same as the book that he helped to author.
Read died on February 27, 1976 in Takoma Park, Maryland. At this time our best understanding is that his body was returned to England for burial. If anyone in England reads this article and can track down his grave site and send us digital photos and permission to publish them, we will add his photographs to this article.
Donald Grey Barnhouse
Barnhouse was born on March 28, 1895, in Watsonville, California. As an adult he stood 5’9”.
Barnhouse died in 1960, we think, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At this time we lack more specific information on his burial location. If there is anyone in Pennsylvania that can help us track down further information on Barnhouse, we would like to hear from you. Barnhouse’s data would help make this article more complete.
[NOTE: Special thanks to Victoria Arakawa, Emil Baer, Johnston Robinson, and Susanna Roe, who in short time, by volunteer investigation and work, contributed many of the photographs used in this project.] GCO
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