John William Norwood

Arkansas Conference President, 1909-1913

His Early Years

John William Norwood was born on November 16, 1874, in Bedford, Iowa, to Sophia and George Edwin Norwood. John was the oldest of four children including Arvesta, Walter, and Lillie. When John was seven, his parents moved to Castle, Kansas, then to Fayetteville, Arkansas, when John was thirteen (Ancestry, 2020). He was brought up by Seventh-day Adventist parents and joined the Seventh-day Adventist church when he was a boy (Cottrell, 1925). When John was fourteen he began to colporteur in northwest Arkansas (Beeler, 1996). John attended Union College to acquire an education and training for the work of gospel ministry. He was united in marriage to Eufaula Harkrider in 1897, to which union were born three children, Bernice, and twin sons, George Edwin, and William Fred (Ancestry, 2020).

Years of Service

Elder John W. Norwood ca. 1909. Photo courtesy of the Review and Herald.

John W. Norwood entered the ministry as a licentiate at the age of twenty in the state of Arkansas, where he labored four years, serving as the vice president under Elder Asa E. Field in 1899. John W. Norwood then moved to the Kansas Conference, where he labored seven years, and was ordained while there in 1901. He labored a short time with the church in St. Louis, and then went to the Colorado Conference. From there he was called to the presidency of the Arkansas Conference, where he served four years. He later served as president of the Tennessee River, Idaho, and Western Oregon Conferences.

Final Days

While laboring in the Western Oregon conference, carrying heavy responsibilities, his health failed, and he was obliged to retire from public work. After a lingering illness of seven months, Elder Norwood passed peacefully away the morning of August 8, 1925, at his home in Portland, Oregon (Cottrell, 1925).

Citations (2020, Apr. 14). John William Norwood. Retrieved from

Beeler, Charles R. (1996). A History of Seventh-day Adventists in Arkansas and Louisiana 1888-1996. Keene: Arkansas-Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, p. 55.

Cottrell, H. W. (1925, Sep. 10). Review and Herald, p. 22.

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