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Our History

Seventh-day Adventists are Bible-believing Christians who base their faith, hope, and future in Jesus Christ. Seventh-day Adventists strive daily to develop a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, to become more like Him, and to serve others as He did.

The heart of our mission is to help others realize the hope found in experiencing a personal relationship with a living God and loving Savior, and nurturing them in preparation for His soon return. Many people know Adventists because of our strong emphasis on healthy living practices, but there's so much more. Because we believe education improves quality of life, we operate nearly 6,000 parochial schools around the world, from the elementary to university level. A number of our institutions specialize in health care, including Loma Linda University in southern California. Known for its pioneering work in cancer research and heart transplants, it's one of 600 Adventist health care facilities committed to promoting wellness.

Community service is another way we work to raise quality of life. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency provides humanitarian and development aid in more than 120 countries. In North America, Adventists regularly volunteer in community-based centers, disaster relief efforts, short-term humanitarian projects, and tutoring programs. To make a positive difference in the lives of youth, we offer Pathfinders, a mentoring club with 975,000 members.

To spread the good news and hope that comes from knowing Christ, we publish books, magazines, and literature in 310 languages and produce radio programs that can be heard by 70 percent of the world. In addition, the church recently established a worldwide satellite television network to expand our ability to share our faith with others.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church was born out of the Millerite movement of the 1840's when thousands of Christians searched for greater understanding of biblical prophecy. Among these believers was a small group in New England that rediscovered the seventh-day Sabbath. They chose the name "Seventh-day," which refers to the biblical Sabbath, Saturday, ordained by God at Creation. "Adventist" means we're looking for the return of Jesus Christ.

In 1863, the new Sabbath keepers officially organized into a denomination with 3,500 members worshiping in 125 churches. They soon began sharing their faith outside of North America, first in Switzerland in 1874, then in Russia, Ghana, South Africa, Argentina, and Japan. Today, as one of the fastest growing Christian Protestant churches, 12 million baptized Seventh-day Adventist members live in 204 countries of the world.

Adventists believe a Trinity of three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit - make up one God. They made salvation possible when Jesus, the Son, came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem and lived a sinless life in accordance with the Father's will. When Jesus was crucified for the sins of the people of the world and arose from the dead on the third day, victory was won for everyone.

When He returned to heaven following the resurrection, Jesus left the Holy Spirit to serve as our Comforter and Counselor. He promised to return to earth a second time to complete His plan of salvation and take His people to heaven. Adventists are among the believers who look forward to that day. We believe God is concerned with the quality of human life, and that everything - the way we live, eat, speak, think, treat each other, and care for the world around us - is part of His plan. Our families, our children, our jobs, our talents, our money, and our time are all important to Him.

From Friday evening sunset until Saturday evening sunset, Adventists enjoy a 24-hour Sabbath rest from work and school to join family and fellow believers in worship, fellowship, prayer, and communion with God.