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Lucy Byard — The Real Story


On September 22, 1943, Lucy Byard, a black Seventh-day Adventist woman, was refused treatment at an Adventist hospital due to her race. Since that day, the major details of the event have been subject to the whim of the teller, and variant versions have become embedded in church lore. In the following documentary, Dr. Benjamin Baker reconstructs this pivotal event using primary sources to tell the real story.

WATCH Lucy Byard — The Real Story by Dr. Benjamin Baker:

Dr. Baker’s writings on this subject can be found on the following sites:

The Lucy Byard Story,” Columbia Union Visitor, March 4, 2019

Protest and Progress: Black Seventh-day Adventist Leadership and the Push for Parity by Calvin B. Rock, Andrews University Press, 2018

The Lucille Byard Affair,” Adventist Review, July 31, 2019

Byard, Lucille (1877–1943),” Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists, 2020

Death by Wasting Away: The Life, Last Days, and Legacy of Lucy Byard,” Journal of Black Studies, June 17, 2020

Special thanks to Kevin Burton for assistance with the production of the video.


Benjamin Baker is the creator of He can be reached at

Video and main image courtesy of the author /


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