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The Start of Adventism


Who started Seventh-Day Adventism?

Steve Answers:

ml xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word"xmlns="">If you’re interested in an online, official answer, check out www

If you’re interested in an online,official answer, check out Then click on “world church” inthe black bar. In the menu underneath “world church,” click on “facts andfigures,” then click on “history.” Here’s my answer: God started Seventh-dayAdventism through a group of young people in the northeastern United States inthe 1840s. There’s much more to the story. If you like history, there areactually plenty of stories about the start of Adventism. Most of the youngpeople were already Christians. Many of them were kicked out of their churchesbecause they were quite passionate about the “advent,” the coming of Christ.Why? Their enthusiasm annoyed the people in their old churches; it rocked theirboat of comfortable Christianity.

While the majority of the people who started the Seventh-dayAdventist Church were young people, older people were instrumental in providingwisdom and encouragement. These passionate people studied the Bible andexperienced strong convictions about what they found. They didn’t always agree,but they continued to study. Some of their conclusions turned out to be wrong.So they had to admit their mistakes and study some more.

They came to the point of emphasizing “present truth,” whichwas truth especially important at the present time. As a result, they wereoften in the thick of things around them, because they lived in the presenttense.

If you want some key names for the start of Seventh-dayAdventism, they would include William Miller, Josiah Litch, Charles Fitch,Joshua Himes, Joseph Bates, Frederick Wheeler, Hiram Edson, Ellen Harmon-White,James White, John Andrews, Uriah Smith, Stephen Haskell, and John Loughborough.The names continued to grow as the years went by. It wasn’t just one person whocharismatically led a bunch of people.

Anyway, this bunch of people clustered around a messageabout the return of Jesus, the Advent. Later they found the Sabbath to be aforgotten gift and a call from God. By 1863, after much wrestling with the ideaof starting a new denomination, they formed the Seventh-day Adventist Church.They did so primarily for organizational reasons, even though some feared thatby forming a denomination, they’d lose their passion for Christ. That’s what they’dseen happen in so many denominations around them.

For more than 150 years there have been changes in theSeventh-day Adventist Church. The vast majority of the denomination is made upof young people, although that’s not true in Western countries such as Europe,Australia, Canada, and the United States, which all together comprise less than10 percent of the Adventists in the world.

Most of the action in the Adventist Church still comes fromyoung people. If you go to Africa or Latin America or even Asia, it’s the youngpeople who continue to spread “present truth.” And it’s in these countries thatthe majority of Seventh-day Adventists live today.

There are a few pockets of action among young people in theWestern world, but not many. The time is ripe for a new revolution of youngpeople to be active in their world for Jesus, rather than playing church onweekends and living for themselves all week. There’s a need to give up thepleasures, vices, and enticements of the world and to commit to taking Jesus intoevery place and to every person in the world.

When young people do that, they’re living like the youngpeople who started Seventh-day Adventism instead of like the people who gotannoyed with them when they rocked the boat at their nice, complacent churches.

Where are you when it comes to Seventh-day Adventism? Areyou passionate about Jesus’ advent? Or are you part of the status quo?

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