Seventh-day Adventist Church
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600
The Seventh-day Adventist Church grew out of a worldwide religious revival in the mid-19th century. People of many religious persuasions believed Bible prophecies indicated that the second coming or advent of Christ was imminent.
When Christ did not come in the 1840s, a group of these disappointed Adventists in the United States continued their Bible studies and concluded they had misinterpreted prophetic events and that the second coming of Christ was still in the future. This same group of Adventists later accepted the teaching of the seventh-day Sabbath and became known as Seventh-day Adventists. The denomination organized formally in 1863.
The church was largely confined to North America until 1874, when its first missionary was sent to Europe. Today, over 154,000 congregations (churches and organized companies) meet in 216 countries and areas of the world. Membership exceeds 20 million.
In addition to a mission program, the church has the largest worldwide Protestant parochial school system with approximately 8,208 schools with more than 1,922,900 students on elementary through college and university levels.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) helps victims of war and natural disasters, and many local congregations have community service facilities to help those in need close to home.
The church also has a worldwide publishing ministry with 61 publishing houses producing magazines and other publications in over 375 languages and dialects. In the United States and Canada, the church sponsors a variety of radio and television programs, including Christian Lifestyle Magazine, It Is Written, Breath of Life, Voice of Prophecy, and La Voz de la Esperanza.
The North American Division of Seventh-day Adventist includes 58 Conferences and one Mission (comprised of United States, Canada, Bermuda, and Guam and Micronesia) which are grouped together into nine organized Union Conferences; and the one Mission. The various Conferences work under the general direction of these Union Conferences; the Mission works directly under the Division.