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E.E. Cleveland
Letting Christ Be Our Example
Sermon Library
One Of God's Greatest Fishermen!
born March 11, 1921, passed August 30, 2009

One of the greatest evangelists of the 20th century, Cleveland combined soul-winning with concern for social justice, pioneered the concept of national campaigns before satellite technology influenced gospel work globally. The first Adventist to baptize more than 1,000 people in a single campaign, Cleveland took every opportunity to enter the pulpit and inspire new generations. “The power of Cleveland’s preaching and personality overwhelmed me,” explains C. D. Brooks about his decision in 1947 to become an evangelist instead of a dentist. He speaks for many others. “Cleveland earned the respect and appreciation of untold millions of people in more than 60 years of ministry. He was truly a man of God,” reflects Neal C. Wilson, retired GC president

Dr. Cleveland is a world renowned evangelist with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Dr. Cleveland participated in the first March on Washington in 1957 with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He has conducted evangelistic campaigns nationally and internationally in such cities as Melbourne, Australia; Washington, DC; Tokyo, Japan; New York City; Cape Town, South Africa; Houston, Texas; Kampala, East Africa; Detroit, Michigan; Manila, Philippines; Los Angeles, California; Dar-es-Salaam, East Africa; Cincinnati, Ohio; Johannesburg, South Africa; Columbus, Ohio; Sydney, Australia; Chicago, Illinois; Bombay, India; St. Louis, Missouri; Warsaw, Poland; Birmingham, Alabama; Helsinki, Finland. He has circled the world twice, crossed the Atlantic Ocean 16 times and the Pacific Ocean 6 times. His air travel totals nearly 2 Million miles!

He has baptized approximately 16,000 persons, including George Juko, the Crown Prince of Uganda. In one campaign in Port of Spain, Trinidad, 824 persons were baptized and another 420 were left there to be baptized during the follow-up ministry of Evangelist G.H. Rainey.Pastor E.E. Cleveland is formerly (1950-1977) visiting professor at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. He was ( 1957-1977) also a visiting professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

On March 8, 1989, Dr. Cleveland was invited to Montgomery, Alabama and presented an award as Alabama’s most distinguished Black clergyman by Guy Hunt, Governor of the State of Alabama. This was in connection with the Alabama Reunion Celebration and represented Governor Hunt’s first ever salute to great Black Alabamians.

Dr. Cleveland’s honors include a Doctorial Degree from Andrews University (1968), an L.L.D. degree from Daniel Payne College (1968), a D. Hum. Degree from Union Baptist Seminary, citing from Who’s Who in Black America, citing from Who’s Who in Religion in America, listed in Men of Achievement (I.B.C. Cambridge, England), listed in Andrews University Focus Magazine as one of the most widely recognized Adventist personalities, twice voted Alumnus of the Year at Oakwood College, invited to the Whitehouse by former President Ronald Regan for a briefing on international and national affairs.

Dr. Cleveland is co-founder and member of the Human Relations Committee of the General Conference. He organized the N.A.A.C.P chapter for students on the campus of Oakwood College. He is a member of the Washington, D.C. branch of the Organizing Committee of the Poor Peoples March on Washington of the S.C.L.C. dating back to 1968. He secured the 18-wheel tractor-trailer that served as a supply base for blankets and clothing for that march on Washington. Elder E.E. Cleveland was also twice the speaker for the South Florida S.C.L.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. day celebrations in 1986 and 1987. As a result of those endeavors, Elder Cleveland was credited by the local Director of the S.C.L.C. with helping the branch get a street named for Dr. King in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has conducted Feed the Hungry programs in over 20 cities in the United States. Reverend Cleveland also helped to set up a feeding depot in Washington, D.C. for the relief of the hungry during the civil disturbance that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Cleveland was a member of the Flying Squad, a special unit set up by the North American Division of the SDA church to investigate racial injustices and recommend action. He is the first Black to receive a Doctorial Degree conferred by Andrews University in 1968. He is the only African American SDA to receive a conferred degree from an A.M.E. school (Daniel Payne College, 1968). He is the first African American church leader sent to Asia (excluding India), Europe, South America and Australia. On February 25, 1993, Dr. E.E. Cleveland was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. collegium of preachers and scholars at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

He has been cited by many including Richard G. Schwartz, Ph.D. (Messengers To The Remnant), Louis B. Reynolds (We Have Tomorrow) and Pastor Eric John Murray (Seventh-Day Adventism in Trinidad and Tobago).

Dr. E.E. Cleveland’s literary works include; Mine Eyes Have Seen (1968), Come Unto Me, (1968), The Middle Wall (1969), Free At Last (1970), Ask the Prophets (1971), Sparks From the Anvil (1971), No Stranger Now (1972), Without a Song (1972), Living Soul (1973), The Gates Shall Not (1981), The Exodus (1986), Milk and Honey (1986), One More River (1987), Evangelism Syllabus for Public Evangelism, and his autobiography Let the Church Roll On (1997).

Dr. Cleveland’s denominational service include, Ministerial Intern at Carolina Conference of Seventh Day Adventist (1942-1946), Evangelist in the South Atlantic Conference of Seventh Day Adventist (1946-1950), Evangelist in the Southern Union Conference of Seventh Day Adventist (1950-1954), Associate Secretary of the Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists in Washington, D.C. (1954-1977), Director of Department of Church Missions at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama (1977-1986) and Instructor in the Department of Religion at Oakwood College from 1977 to present.

Overall, Dr. Cleveland has spent over 23 years at the World Headquarters of the Seventh, Day Adventist Church in Washington, D.C. He has over 58 years of service to the gospel ministry. He has conducted over 60 public campaigns in Evangelism and trained over 1100 ministers worldwide.

Interesting facts about Dr. Cleveland include that he has preached on 6 continents; visited over 67 countries; preached to integrated audiences in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa; is a regular columnist for the monthly religion journal – The North American Voice; founder of the Annual Council on Evangelism (held at Oakwood College annually since 1979); Associate Editor for Ministry, a monthly religious journal; contributing editor to Message Magazine; contributing writer to Signs, The Adventist Review, These Times, TopBlacks.com and other publications; coordinator evangelism for the Seventh Day Adventist church in North America (1972-1977); he is the first director of the Academy of Adventist Ministers (AAM); and founder of the Floating Seminar  of the AAM.

Many churches have been organized from campaigns conducted by Dr. E.E. Cleveland. The churches were organized in New York, New York; Port of Spain, Trinidad; Birmingham, Alabama; and Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Cleveland was born in Huntsville, Alabama on March 11, 1921 and is married to his right arm; Celia Marie Abney Cleveland. They wed on May 29, 1943. They have one son, Earl Clifford Cleveland.
Dr E. E. Cleveland Receives Acknowledgement In Haiti

Former Ministerial associate secretary for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and renowned evangelist Edward Earl Cleveland passed at a Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama on Sunday August 30, 2009. He was 88.

Cleveland served the Adventist Church for more than 60 years as a pastor, evangelist, church leader, teacher, civil rights leader, and mentor to thousands of preachers.

"His genius was that he modeled and taught mass evangelism in large cities on nearly every continent," said James Cress, secretary for the Ministerial Association.

Cress recalled memories shared by former Ministerial Association Secretary Bob Spangler. Spangler believed Cleveland "probably did more than anyone to help us understand racial diversity and cooperative ventures."

"He taught us as a church to help break the racial barrier of exclusion," Cress said.

During his lifetime Cleveland published 15 books, including his autobiography "Let the Church Roll On." In it, Cleveland recounts working for racial equality within world church leadership.

When elected associate secretary for the Ministerial Association in 1954, Cleveland became the first black man to integrate a department of the Adventist world church headquarters. He remained in the position for 23 years.

Cleveland officially became a pastor at age 21 when he went to work for the Carolina Conference. His ministerial work, however, began many years before when he preached his first sermon at age 9. By age 13 he was serving as Sabbath school superintendent for his church in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Before his election to world church leadership, Cleveland worked as an evangelist in the South Atlantic and Southern Union Conferences. In 1977, Cleveland joined the faculty of Oakwood University -- then Oakwood College -- where he served as director for the department of church missions and as an instructor in the department of religion.

Cleveland received honorary doctorate degrees from Daniel Payne College in Birmingham, Alabama and from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Cleveland was preceded in death by his wife Celia Marie Abney Cleveland who died May 29, 2003.

Survivors include: his son and daughter-in-law, Earl and Pinkie Cleveland; a sister-in-law, Elizabeth Cleveland; four grandsons; three granddaughters, one cousin, Dolly; and other relatives.