The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a protestant, Christian denomination which grew out of the world-wide religious revival in the mid-nineteenth century. The name Seventh-day Adventist includes vital beliefs for us as a Church. ‘Adventist’ reflects our passionate conviction in the nearness of the soon return (‘advent’) of Jesus. ‘Seventh-day’ refers to the Biblical Sabbath which from Creation has always been the seventh day of the week, or Saturday.
The mission of the church places great emphasis on different aspects of human freedom and responsibility. These include: religious liberty and human rights, humanitarian aid and development, better lifestyles, health and wholeness, education and personal growth, as well as social issues and community involvement.
A Growing Church
Seventh-day Adventist Churches literally circle the globe. There are over 17.2 million members (2011 figures) worshipping in more than 141,000 congregations in 209 countries. (Note that the UN recognises 232 countries in the world!) The membership in the UK and Ireland is 31,622 (December 2010) with attendence being considerably higher than this.
A Caring Church
The Adventist Church also operates 173 hospitals, 348 clinics and dispensaries, medical centres, nursing homes, retirement centres, orphanages and children’s homes, that in the year 2010 served almost 16 million people.
A Teaching Church
In addition the Church runs a world-wide system of more than 7,800 schools with over 1,668,000 students from kindergarten to graduate professional schools.
A Serving Church
In response to Christ’s invitation to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, Seventh-day Adventists try to help friends and neighbours in need irrespective of race, colour or religion. Internationally, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) helps victims of war, famine, floods, earthquakes, and other disasters. In addition, many Adventist congregations have community service facilities, from which volunteers help those in need close to home.
Basing its faith and practice wholly on the Bible, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has developed 28 fundamental beliefs. It is these key beliefs which unify the otherwise very diverse world-wide Seventh-day Adventist Church: