Albert Victor Olson

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Albert Victor Olson (1884–1963) was a Seventh-day Adventist minister and administrator. He was born May 26, 1884, in Kingston, Minnesota.

The Seventh-day Adventist teachings often found their way to new regions by means of printed material. About 1877, the Olson family became acquainted with Adventism by reading tracts that had been sent over to Sweden from Norway by J. G. Matteson. They were among the first Seventh-day Adventists in Sweden. Shortly after this, they moved to the United States and established a successful farm in western Minnesota. They were baptized in 1880 by Lewis Johnson. At the 1936 General Conference Session, Olson introduced Johnson to the gathering.[1] Albert Olson and his five brothers and two sisters were raised in an Adventist home.[2]

Early ministry in Minnesota[edit]

He began his ministry as a colporteur in 1902, and later worked as an educator. He was ordained as a minister at age 22 [2] and served in Minnesota from 1906 [3] to 1912.[4]

Canadian years 1912-1920[edit]

Montreal, Quebec, Canada (1912-1914). In 1913, tent efforts were conducted in Montreal. Olson ran the English campaign and J. Vuilleumier ran the French one.[5]

A. V. Olson, President, Quebec Conference, 1915, Front Row, Second from the Right

In 1914 he was elected president of the Quebec Conference, and in 1916 president of the Ontario Conference. From 1917 to 1920 he was president of the Eastern Canadian Union;

The Latin Union 1920-1929[edit]

from 1920 to 1929 president of the Latin Union, with headquarters in Gland, Switzerland;

Southern European Division 1929-1946[edit]

From 1929 to 1946, he served as president of the newly organized Southern European Division.

General Conference 1946-1958[edit]

In 1946 he was elected a general vice-president of the General Conference and held that office until his retirement in 1958.

During the late 1940s, Church leaders asked Olson to do a thorough study of the question of divorce and remarriage. He investigated biblical and Ellen White references and recommended a slight liberalization of church policy. He concluded that sincerely repentant persons who had remarried contrary to biblical principles should not be permanently denied church fellowship. As a result, the 1950 General Conference modified the Church Manual to reflect his conclusion.[6]

During his time at the General Conference, Olson wrote a series of articles for the Review and Herald on each of the Ten Commandments (1951-1952). He travelled to various places, attending camp meetings and writing reports for the world church through the Review and Herald.

The White Estate[edit]

From 1952 to 1963 he served as chair of the Ellen G. White Estate board of trustees.


His book Through crisis to victory, 1888-1901 [7] was a history from the 1888 Minneapolis meeting to the reorganization of the General Conference and was published after his death in 1966.[8]

See also[edit]

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  • History of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • Seventh-day Adventist Church
Preceded by
Denton E. Rebok
Chairperson of the Ellen G. White Estate
1952 – 1963
Succeeded by
Francis D. Nichol


  1. General Conference Bulletin, 1936-05, p. 13
  2. 2.0 2.1 W. R. Beach. Life Sketch of Elder A. V. Olson. Review and Herald. May 9, 1963, p. 7
  3. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1907, p. 49
  4. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1913, p. 48
  5. M. N. Campbell. Quebec Campmeeting. Canadian Union Messenger, July 2, 1913, p. 1
  6. Schwarz, R. W. (1979). Light Bearers to the Remnant: Denominational History Textbook for Seventh-day Adventist College Classes (PDF). Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publishing Association. pp. 528, 529. Search this book on Logo.png
  7. Olson, A. V. (1966). Through Crisis to Victory. Washington, D. C.: Review and Herald. p. 320. Archived from the original on 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2011-06-18. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help) Search this book on Logo.png

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