Herbert Camden Lacey

1871 - 1950

Herbert Lacey, first principal and music teacher at Avondale School for Christian Workers, later Avondale College, became involved with the new school in Australia in 1895, two years before it opened. When it started, he served as acting-principal in its first month, in addition to teaching Bible, physiology, and music.

Lacey was born in England and raised in India and Tasmania, an Australian island state located off the southern coast of the mainland, where his family settled in 1882. Five years later, the entire family joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Lacey, who was a student in an Episcopal college in Hobart at that time, then traveled to the United States to study at Healdsburg College, forerunner of Pacific Union College, where he completed the ministerial program in 1892.

He next enrolled at Battle Creek College and graduated from the classical course in 1895, at age 24. Immediately following graduation, he married Lillian Yarnell of Orange, California. The day after the wedding, they left for Australia to assist Ellen White in establishing a new school in that country.

Lacey's study in BCC's classical program had required two years of voice study with Edwin Barnes, a highly trained musician from England. Given his training at BCC, it is likely that Lacey's music teaching at the new Australian school consisted of giving music lessons in voice. Midway through his second year at AC, a music specialist, Orwin Morse, became the music teacher.

The Laceys continued to teach at AC for four more years, Herbert teaching Bible and New Testament Greek and Lillian teaching bookkeeping. In 1902, they were invited to teach at Healdsburg College, where until 1904 he taught Greek, Latin, and Hebrew and she taught mathematics.

In that year, they moved to England, where he was head of the Bible and New Testament Greek departments at Stanborough Park Missionary College. They returned to the U.S. to teach at Union College in 1913 and five years later left to teach Biblical languages at Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, for three years. In his last two years at WMC, he assisted at conventions in Asia for fifteen months.

He later served as pastor of the Adventist church in San Diego, California, and the New York Temple, before returning to California to teach Bible exegesis at the College of Medical Evangelists, now Loma Linda University. He ended his career as a pastor of churches in Southern California.


Sources: Review and Herald obituary, 25 January 1951; Milton Hook, Avondale: Experiment on the Dora, 1998; Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Volume 10, Second Revised Edition, 1996, (Review and Herald Publishing Association) 890.