The first Seventh Day Adventist Missionary to come to Indonesia was Ralph Waldo Munson. He, His wife, and their five children arrived in Padang on the west coast of Sumatra on January 1, 1990. His first national concert was Immanuel Siregar who was baptized probably in 1904 and brought Seventh Day Adventist message to his hometown in Sipirok. The Dutch colonial government denied the Seventh Day Adventist church permission to conduct work in the area of Sipirok. This led to the opening of the Batakland English School at Sipogu, a village about twenty five miles from Sipirok. The arrival on the island of Java in 1906 of George Teasdale and Petra Tunheim, missionaries from Australia, marked the beginning of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Surabaya, East of Sipirok. This led to the opening of the Batakland English School at Sipogu, a village about twenty five miles from Sipirok. The arrival on the island of Java in 1906 of George Teasdale and Petra Tunheim, missionaries from Australia, marked the beginning of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Surabaya, East Java.
Munson established the Seventh Day Adventist mission in the west Java by opening a printing press at Sukabumi. In 1912 the first Seventh Day Adventist church with twenty five members was organized in Celebas; in 1923 a church was organized in Ambon, Maluku with twenty two members; and in 1926 the first South Sumatran Seventh-Day Adventist church in Indonesia led to the opening of more church schools and mission schools. By 199 sixteen schools with 1509 pupils were already in operation in Indonesia.
The growth of the church,the increased number of schools, and a plan to organize Indonesian territory as a separate union mission apart from Malaysian Union Mission created the need to establish a training school for the training of the workers and teachers who were urgently needed. Discussion and plans resulted in the purchase of a house at Cimindi ; this was converted into classrooms and readied for use. The school finally opened on November 15,1929, with ten students enrolled. The basic objective of the school was simply to provide Bible workers and colporteurs who had at least some minimal training.
H. Eelsing, president of the West Java Mission at the time, was appointed the first principal of the school- in addition to his responsibility as mission president. Most of His time was spent in the mission field. The two teachers – L.M.D Wortman and K.Mandias was appointed principal of the school. He served until 1942 outbreak of World War II in Indonesia. The major problems for the first nine years ( 1929 – 1938 ) of the school’s operation at the Cimindi campus were seen to be lack of space, lack of funds, and lack of students. Consequently, a larger tract of land was purchased at Gadobangkong, a village eight miles west of Bandung. Buildings were erected and the school moved to the new campus 1938. At this new location Wortman laid plans to change the nature of the educational program of the training school. He planned to develop formal education in the form of a middle school.
Before the opening of the new school year on August 1, 1939, The Netherlands East Indies Union Mission ( Indonesia Union Mission after 1947 ) made the following plans for the Netherlands East Training School :
- to introduce a four year course for teacher and Bible workers – teachers in training after finishing the a four year course, would receive a normal school diploma ( Hollandse Indische Kweekschool ), and the Bible worker would receive a secondary school diploma ( Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs );
- to design curricula for other soon to be established training school consistent with the curriculum of the Netherlands Eash Indies Training School. This last course would provide students with the qualifications for entering one of the programs of the Netherlands East Indies Training School. Unfortunately the war was interrupted the school program. Wortman was interned in a concentration camp in Cimahi and died there in 1944. The school, shut down in 1942, did not reopen until 1948.