WORD OF LIFE PATHFINDERS CLUB
The Pathfinder Club provides an outlet for the spirit of adventure and exploration that is found in every junior youth. Activities included in the Pathfinder Club are camporees, fairs, craft study, nature exploration, Bible study, witnessing projects, field trips, bike-a-thons, and many other interesting adventures.
Enjoy backpacking? Biking? Canoeing? Caving? Camping? Want to be an active young Christian on an adventure with friends who love Jesus? Then join Pathfinders. Club members enjoy club meetings, camping, and service adventures designed to develop Christ-like citizens.
Who started Pathfinders? The short answer is that no one person did, but rather that a diverse group of youth-focused, God-loving, ministry-minded individuals in various location created "Pathfinder-like" clubs in various locations that eventually grew into the ministry we now know as Pathfinders.
The first Pathfinder Club of record was in Anaheim, California directed by John McKim and Willa Steen. This club began in the late 1920's and ran through the 1930's. In 1944 McKim died and the Steens had moved. In 1930 Lester and Ione Martin with co-directors Theron & Ethel Johnston began a club in Santa Ana, California. Both of these first clubs were in the Southeastern California Conference and encouraged by Youth Director Elder Guy Mann and his associate Laurance A. Skinner. For several years there were no clubs of record.
In 1946 John H. Hancock, then the youth director for Southeastern California Conference got a club going in Riverside, California. John designed the Pathfinder triangle emblem and got a ministerial student, Francis Hunt to direct the club. Both John and his wife Helen Hancock taught honors.
By 1947-48 Southern California Conference began having Pathfinder clubs - the first at Glendale, with Lawrence Paulson as director. About that same time, the Central California Conference, under the direction of Youth Director Henry T. Bergh, began their Pathfinder program -- starting 23 clubs that first year.
Beginning with the God-directed program, called Pathfinder Clubs, in California, the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist church adopted the program. It thus, in 1950, became an official worldwide organization of the Adventist church, and grew rapidly.
Pathfinders is now a global ministry affecting thousands (if not millions) of young people worldwide.
Read More in The Pathfinder Story, available as a book or as an e-file, in both English and Spanish. Visit AdventSource.org.
~Article Contributed by Dixie Plata, Pathfinder historian.
Aim & Motto
Aim: The Advent Message to All the World in My Generation
Explanation: My relationship to Jesus Christ is of such a nature that it compels me to share with any who will receive it, the gospel—the good news of His soon return.
Motto: The Love of Christ Compels Me
Explanation: I am drawn to Him by His exemplary life, the symbolic act of His crucifixion, His conquering resurrection, and His promise of an earth made new in the pattern of the original creation. The closer I find myself to Him, the closer I find myself identifying with the needs of my fellow human beings.