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Kenneth H. Wood, November 5, 1917 - May 25, 2008

Memorial Service Information

Former Adventist Review editor Wood dies at 90
Kenneth H. Wood served for 16 years as editor-in-chief of Adventist Review.

May 27, 2008  Silver Spring, Maryland, United States ... [Mark A. Kellner, Adventist Review/ANN]

[photo courtesy Adventist Review]:

Kenneth H. Wood, for 16 years editor-in-chief of Adventist Review and 28-year chairman of the board of the Ellen G. White Estate, died Sunday, May 25, 2008 in Potomac, Maryland. He was 90 years old and had been ill in recent months.

His wife of 69 years, Miriam Wood, a longtime Review columnist, died in March.

Until his recent illness, Wood was a regular presence at the world headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Even at age 90, Wood could be found three mornings a week at his White Estate office.

"I'm a little bit like Cal Ripken, the baseball shortstop who set a record for consecutive games played," Wood said in his last interview. "He never had any thought of setting a record. [Ripken] said, 'I just went to work every day.' Going to work has just always been a part of my life and my work ethic."

Adventist Church President Jan Paulsen referred to Wood as an "influential" and "significant" thinker and writer of the Adventist Church.

"He was a man of strong convictions and absolute loyalty to historic Adventism; never reluctant to express his convictions, whether shared or not," Paulsen said.

"Elder Wood was widely and highly respected," Paulsen said. "He will be missed by many to whom he was both a colleague and friend, but the loss will be felt particularly acutely by his family. They will be in our prayers as we offer our heartfelt condolences. We look forward to the morning when our Lord will do away with losses such as this."

Adventist Review editor Bill Knott said Wood "opened his heart in his writing and preaching to an uncommon degree. We knew how seriously he took the call to discipleship by what he shared with us. His was a rare combination of godly passion, literary skill, and the good judgment to know how to pastor the people of God through print."

The Review editor who followed Wood, William G. Johnsson, said he was "shocked and grieved at the sad news."

Johnsson noted that Wood followed longtime Review editor F.D. Nichol, and added, "Kenneth Wood quickly put his stamp on the paper. Under his leadership, the Review became a more open forum in the church, which is what the times demanded."

Johnsson said that "openness" was also apparent in Wood's "second career" chairman of the board of trustees for the Ellen G. White Estate, which exists to safeguard and promote the writings of the church's co-founder.

Current estate director James Nix said "Wood was one of the most thoroughly Christian people that I have ever met in my life. He certainly loved the Lord and believed in this church and its mission and its ultimate success."

Wood was born in Shanghai, China, November 5, 1917, to lifetime American missionary parents. He attended Far Eastern Academy there before continuing his education in the United States. He graduated from the academy of Southern California Junior College in 1934 and from Pacific Union College in 1938 with a major in Bible and minors in speech and French. In 1979 Andrews University conferred on him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree.

Wood served the Adventist Church first as a ministerial intern in Fresno, California. That same summer he married Miriam Brown. The couple spent four years assisting in evangelistic meetings -- some held in churches, some in tents, and others in Quonset huts.

In January 1942, Wood studied for a term at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, then located in Takoma Park, Maryland. He later served as a church pastor in the West Virginia and Ohio. In 1947, Wood accepted a call to serve as a ministries director in New Jersey, and in 1951 he was elected Sabbath School and Lay Activities director for the church's Columbia Union in the mid-Atlantic.

Wood, however, never lost interest in publishing. He contributed numerous articles to various Adventist magazines and journals, which may have caught the attention of Francis D. Nichol, editor in chief of the Review. In 1955 Nichol invited Wood to join the staff of the Review as one of the editors.

Soon after accepting the position, Wood earned his master's degree in systematic theology and Greek from the Adventist Theological Seminary. Then in 1966, after Nichol's unexpected death, the Review board elected Wood as editor-in-chief of the church's general paper -- a position he held until he "retired" in 1982.

Along with the hundreds of editorials and articles he wrote for the Review and other journals, Wood also authored the books Meditations for Moderns and Short Essays on Relevant Religion, and with his wife, Miriam, coauthored His Initials Were F.D.N., a biography of Nichol, his predecessor.

As well as being the parents of two grown daughters, the couple had seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Arrangements for a memorial service honoring both Kenneth and Miriam Wood are pending and additional information will be posted when available.

Source: Adventist News Network
-- additional reporting by Sandra Blackmer

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