We work to position the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its services to a standing of credibility, trust, and relevance in the public realm.

Bert B. Beach [Photo: courtesy of the Beach family]

A Tribute to Dr. Bert B. Beach

God chose Dr. Bert beach to build the SDA Church foundation of interchurch and interfaith relations, God being the architect of such construction.

The distinct contributions of Dr. Beach are threefold.
First, to have positioned the church to a standing legitimacy and credibility before leaders of other Christian denominations.

Second, to have articulated terms of reference by which seventh-day Adventists can meaningfully relate to other Christians, and partner with them to make a difference in making the world a better place for millions while ultimately keeping alive the blessed hope of the restoration of all things at Jesus' Second coming.

Last, to have modeled how to genuinely mingle with other Christians in a personable way, and develop friendship and mutual respect without losing or compromising the SDA church identity, mission, and message.

As a result of Dr. Beach's specific contributions, the church is indebted to him, especially for his perseverance in building networks of cordial and meaningful relationships with people who now trust SDA and are exposed to what distinguishes us as an authentic restorationist movement, heir of the Protestant Reformation branch of Christianity.

We express our deep gratitude to such a towering figure for having significantly shaped the reputation of the Seventh-Day Adventist church and its championing of religious freedom for all.

A Gift to the World of Faith and Beyond

From time to time, under the effect of divine providence, men, and women demonstrate an exceptional capacity and ability to discern the real issues underlying the course of events in human history in general and in the people of Christ in particular. They display exemplary tenacity, refusing to be molded by popular opinion.

Bert Beach was undoubtedly of this caliber. A Seventh-day Adventist who, without a complex of inferiority or superiority, displayed his loyalty to the restoration movement the Seventh-Day Adventist Church claims to be and this in line with the Reformation. Yet despite his strong sense of belonging to a restoration movement, and out of fidelity to the character of Christ and the mandate of the church inscribed in its constitution, Bert Beach remained open to genuine relationships not only with governments and politicians but also with brothers and sisters of other denominations who together form the body of Christ.

Bert did not allow himself to be intimidated by the incomprehension of those who think they have the exclusivity of the election and divine favors, nor by those who militate for a naive inclusivism open to all compromises and syncretism, relativizing the demands and responsibilities of covenant partners with the biblical God. Bert knew how to navigate between the extremes without getting lost in the meanders of the confusion of naive ecumenism while working for the unity that Christ advocated. The antidote that preserved him from possible abuses was undoubtedly the religious freedom of which he was the pioneer and the architect in the Adventist world and elsewhere.

The political and religious worlds owe him a debt. We are all grateful to God for giving us a gift in the person of Bert Beach. For my part, by the grace of God, I will continue to bring bricks and lay them to the edifice of religious freedom that Bert so carefully erected and so brilliantly promoted.

God be praised for what he has done through our brother Bert Beach in his success in bringing credibility and confidence to those Christians who are called Seventh-day Adventists.

Ganoune Diop, Ph.D.
Director of the Public Affairs Department and Religious Liberty
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Churches