The Early History of Weimar Institute

About 30 miles north of Sacramento and an hour from Lake Tahoe, nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains is a plot of 475 acres of land. The land has changed hands several times but it had always been used for the same kind of work over the last 100 years. In 1919 the land was home to a small tuberculosis sanitarium, chosen for its ideal location in the Sierra Nevadas. The clean, fresh mountain air was acted a curative to the terrible disease that claimed the lives of so many in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The Sanitarium expanded to become a hospital, chaning its name to Weimar Medical Center in 1960. By 1966 it functioned as a general community hospital but was forced to close its doors in 1972 because of federal financial cuts. The insitution was reopened in 1975 and renamed Hope Village, functioning as a housing facility for Vietnamess refugees undere the direction fo Ruth Graham and others.

By 1977 Weimar was again up for sale and a small group of Seventh-Day Adventist living in attending the Carmichael Seventh-Day Adventist Church came toghether to prayerfully consider purchasing the property. After much prayer the group of 70 voted to go ahead and purchase the property. Their vision to establish an Adventist health institution drew support from all levels of the church, from laity, to ministers and church administrators. The General Conference supported the venture from its inception and both President Robert Pearson and Neil Wilson openly expressed their support through personal visits or corrspondence.

Finally in 1978 the long nutured dream became a reality and Weimar Institute of Health and Education opened its doors for service. The early years were fraught with challenges driving the fledgling ministry to its knees, urging those involved to draw deeply on their faith, courage, perseverance and willingness to sacrifice. On one occasion the dealine for a mortgage payment of $12,000 loomed large over the horizon with less than $100 on hand in the bank. The staff, who were already paid a small wage, were hard pressed to raise the money in time.

But God was faithful and by 3:15pm on the afternoon of the dealine an envelope was delivered to Weimar. Enclosed were give checks totalling the exactly $12,000. God’s providence was a further confirmation to those involved that, indeed, this venture belonged to him and he would provide for its needs.

Weimar: A Continued Journey

The acronym covers eight areas of health and wellbeing that are essential to optimum physical, mental and emotional development. Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Teperance, Air, Rest and Trust in God. These natural principles have helped thousands of people around the world turn their lives around and experience greater wellbeing.
The insititution flourished in the 80s and 90s but challenges in the early 2000s led to the institue breifly closing its doors in 2008. However, a small core of staff and supporters felt the need to reopen the school and after much prayer and planning the institute was reopened in 2009. A new board was appointed and Dr. Neil Nedley was invited to serve as president. Dr. Nedley accepted the invitation and currently serves as president of Weimar, the longest serving president in the history of the institution having presided over more than a quarter of its existence.
Over the las decade Weimar College has opened a licensed Nursing program which was only allowed by the State of California due to Weimar’s unique focus on lifestyle and preventative medecine. In 2018 Weimar college recieved state accreditation, a miraculous acheivement which did require the insitute to compromise any of its long cherished values. The accreditors were impressed by the unique comprehensive lifestyle programme that Weimar prokotes and practices. The accreditation has led to a welcome increase in the student population. The college now offers courses in theology, nursing, pre-med, psychology, business and education.
Sensing a need for more community engagement, the college developed a Total Community Involvement programme greared towards giving faculty and students the opportunity to practically reach out to the community around the college. Each year nearly 100 people commit or recommint their lives to the Seventh-Day Adventist church through Bible baptism. The College has also recently established a discipleship fcoussed church, creating a warm and welcoming enviornment for students and staff to invite new members and friends from the local community.
When Weimar first opened its doors there were only 45 students and a shared vision among a handful of staff. God isn’t interested as much by force of numbers as he is by dedication, consecration and clarity of vision. Today Weimar continues to fill a unique and much needed space in the ministry of the Seventh-Day Adventist church, guided by these words from the pen of Ellen White;“Repeatedly the Lord has instructed us that we are to work the cities from outpost centers. In these cities we are to have houses of worship, as memorials for God, but institutions for the publication of our literature, for the healing of the sick, and for the training of workers, are to be established” 
May this work continue to flourish here and be duplicated across the world.