B.F. Snook was a former Methodist minister. W.H. Brinkerhoff was a lawyer and a teacher. Both men were ordained to the ministry by James White in the spring of 1862 at Knoxville, Iowa. They rose to prominence as leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Iowa. Snook became the first president, and Brinkerhoff, the secretary, of the newly formed Iowa Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Snook was recognized as an able evangelist who was considered by the Executive Committee of the General Conference as a candidate to be the first SDA missionary to Europe in the fall of 1863.
By 1865, upon returning from the spring meeting of the General Conference held in Battle Creek, Michigan, Snook and Brinkerhoff began to question openly the divine inspiration of the visions of Ellen White. Over the period of the next several months, their dissatisfaction grew until they wrote a letter on November 30, 1865, addressed to the General Conference, withdrawing their membership from the SDA church. The reason they offered for leaving was their inability to accept the visions of Ellen G. White.
Snook and Brinkerhoff joined what later became known as the Church of God (seventh day). Brinkerhoff became editor of their church magazine, The Hope of Israel, in 1866. In 1868, Snook replaced Brinkerhoff as editor. Brinkerhoff moved to LaPorte City, Iowa, and raised up a sizable Sabbath-keeping church. Later, Brinkerhoff returned to the practice of law in LaPorte, and began associating with the Universalist church.
Snook remained active as an evangelist throughout the midwestern United States. He raised up a number of congregations. One of Snook's converts was elder A.C. Long, a minister who would later cause the SDA church great grief by reprinting Ellen White's earliest visions revealing her belief in the shut door.