Historical Origins of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Church of God Seventh Day
By Kelly McDonald, Jr.
In the 1800s, a man name William Miller believed that he had a mandate from God to prepare people for the return of the Lord. He believed that the Lord’s return would occur in 1843. He began a movement that would become known as the Millerite or Adventist movement. It was interdenominational. One could be Methodist, Episcopalian, or belong to any church group and still be considered an Adventist. It simply meant that you believed in the return of the Lord according to Miller’s teachings.
After a series of failed dates, Miller set the final calculation for the Lord’s return to be October 22nd, 1844. People gathered and sang hymns to God as they awaited the return of the Messiah. As we know, the Lord did not return. This became known as the “Great Disappointment.”
During this time, a connection was made that would have a world-wide impact for many years to come. In the spring of 1844, Rachel Oakes Preston, a Seventh-Day Baptist believer, convinced a Methodist Adventist named Frederick Wheeler to believe in the Sabbath. Over time, Frederick Wheeler shared the Sabbath with other Adventists.
One of the main issues among Adventists at this time was the belief in the “shut door” doctrine. A certain portion of the Adventists believed that after October 22, 1844 no one else could be saved. They thought that the door to heaven was shut and no one else could enter in. For a time, the Sabbath-keeping Adventists only shared the Sabbath understanding with other Adventists.
As more time passed, two main groups were formed: the Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA) and the Church of God Seventh Day (CG7). This gives us some background history as to the founding of these two groups. We are thankful to the contributions that both of these groups have made to the Body of Christ.
Kelly McDonald, Jr. BSA President
You can follow Kelly on his website: www.kellymcdonaldjr.com