The Seventh-day Adventist began as part of what was known in 19th century as the “Millerite” movement. That movement was based on the belief of one William Miller, a farmer in New York, who believed that the second coming of Jesus was going to happen about the year 1843. Miller based his conclusion on his study of the prophecies of Daniel. Miller had been a Deist and had converted to Christianity as a Baptist.
The word “advent” means “coming” and followers of Miller were thus called Adventists.. The anticipated day of coming came and went; however, followers remained that believed in Jesus’ imminent coming.
The Seventh-day Adventist movement continued and was especially reinforced in the ministry of James and Ellen White. Ellen White was identified as having a ministry of prophecy, and her writings became the authoritative source for doctrine within the movement. Part of Ellen G White’s vision was concerning the dietary laws which eventually came out against the eating of unclean meats. [i]
Seventh-day Adventists are called so also because they believe in a Sabbath that goes from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.
Besides baptism, Seventh-day Adventists adopted the ordinances of footwashing and Communion.
James White began publishing both the Advent Review and the Sabbath Herald. He established a publishing house in 1852.
In 1860 The Whites started establishing conferences of Churches thus creating a denomination.
Seventh-day Adventists focused on publishing and medical institutions. These endeavors resulted in the creation of numerous schools and sanitariums which eventually became hospitals. Their efforts started reaching abroad, and the greatest growth in the twentieth century resulted in a global organization that numbered about five million people in 1985.[ii]
[i] Religionfacts.com, http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/denominations/seventh_day_adventist.htm
[ii] DICTIONARY OF CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA, Daniel G Reid, Editor, Intervarsity Press, Downer’s Grove, Illinois, 1990, p. 1076
© copyright 2011 Mark W Smith, all rights reserved.