February, 28, 2017
Dear SDARM family around the world,
Christian greetings with:
“I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).
Our dear Brother Alfons Balbach went peacefully to rest in the Lord at age 93 in Sacramento CA, USA, on Monday, February 27, 2017.
Brother Balbach was born in Lithuania in 1924 and grew up not far from São Paulo, Brazil.
Raised as a Lutheran and married to a Roman Catholic, he first became acquainted with the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement in 1948. Soon after embracing the Sabbath truth, he volunteered his services to the church as a translator. He became a member of the Reform Movement in 1950, and his wife—Maria Balbach—in 1952.
In 1954 he was ordained to the ministry and became active in the denominational missionary school and publishing department. He authored several books, most of them large, full-color, sold by the hundreds of thousands by our colporteurs, in addition to pamphlets and articles on varied subjects such as apologetics, prophecies, and health. His books are in millions of homes and have led thousands of souls to the knowledge of the present truth.
Brother Balbach served as General Conference Secretary from 1963–1967 and from 1971–1980. He was transferred to the U.S.A. in 1972, along with his wife, Maria, and three sons, Alfred, Paul, and Charles. Here he continued his ministerial, teaching, and editorial work with The Reformation Herald magazine, Sabbath Bible Lessons, and the Standard Bearer. He served as the main editor of these publications for many years and was also the principal author of the Good Way Series, a set of studies which explain the major points of distinction between the SDA Church and the SDA Reform Movement. Several years ago, Brother Balbach was asked by church leaders to begin gathering data for the book The History of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement. This was quite a monumental yet fascinating task, requiring much research and hard work. The finished product was published in 1999 and has been a blessing to many.
Though technically retired in 1991, throughout the remainder of Brother Balbach’s life, he was ever ready to help wherever help was needed.
The influence of Brother Balbach will not cease during this time when he will be resting in Jesus:
“When a man dies, his influence does not die with him; but it lives on, reproducing itself. The influence of the man who was good and pure and holy lives on after his death, like the glow of the descending sun, casting its glories athwart the heavens, lighting up the mountain peaks long after the sun has sunk behind the hill. So will the works of the pure and the holy and the good reflect their light when they no longer live to speak and act themselves. Their works, their words, their example will forever live. ‘The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.’ ”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 429.
Our heartfelt condolences to Brother Balbach’s children, their spouses, and his grandchildren.
As a church family, we look forward to that day when our Lord Jesus will return and, “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it” (Isaiah 25:8).
On that day we will meet Brother Balbach again and those who did not have the privilege to meet him here on this earth will then be given this privilege.
With Christian love, yours in the Blessed Hope,
Eli Tenorio da Silva
SDARM GC Secretary
On behalf of the General Conference Executive Committee and Council
If you’d like to view the funeral service, please visit this link: https://livestream.com/accounts/6873756