From Cannibals to Adventists

Only in Papua New Guinea

  1. The Prime Minister of the country is an Elder of a Seventh-day Adventist church.
  2. The Speaker of Parliament is an Elder of a Seventh-day Adventist church.
  3. The Chief Justice of Papua New Guinea is a senior Elder of a Seventh-day Adventist church.
  4. The Deputy Chief Justice is a Seventh-day Adventist.
  5. The Custom Commissioner is a Seventh-day Adventist.
  6. Most of the Members of Parliament are Seventh-day Adventists.

Seventh-day Adventists first sent religious literature to Papua New Guinea in 1891 on the London Missionary Society boat. In 1895, church leaders decided to send a missionary family to New Guinea, a decision they abandoned when they heard news of cannibals murdering and eating several missionaries of the London Missionary Society.

A few Adventist church leaders made short visits to safe native villages of New Guinea from 1902 to 1905. These visits further convinced them of the need to send missionaries to live on the island. They thought Fijian missionary trainees would adapt more easily to the humid climate, local food and leafy houses of New Guinea. Septimus and Edith Carr, who had previously worked in Fiji, and their Fijian assistant, Benisimani (Beni) Tavondi, arrived at Port Moresby on June 25, 1908.

The missionaries rented a house and began making contact with the government officials, other European and national missionaries and planters. They became familiar with the local area, visited native feasts and gave out salt to befriend the villagers.

The new site was used as a plantation. Soon more missionaries came to help. The missionaries officially started a church on the island on July 11, 1910.