Seventh-day Adventism


Name of Group: Seventh-day Adventism

Other Names of Group: SDAs; Adventists.

Related Organizations: The Biblical Research Institute, Christian Record Services, Family Ministries, and International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA). There are numerous other Adventist organizations which are easily identifiable by the word Adventist in their names.

Estimated Membership: Over 17 million members worldwide. Missionaries are in over 200 countries.

Symbols: A logo of an open Bible with a cross in its center, with a burning flame (representing the Holy Spirit) over it.


Headquarters: The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Meeting Places: Seventh-day Adventist churches.

Year Began: 1863

Founder: Ellen G. White (1827-1915)

Current Leadership: The General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, with Ted N. C. Wilson as the current President.

Sacred Scriptures: The Bible. “The Clear Word” Bible is a paraphrase version used by many Seventh-day Adventists.

Other Sources of Authority: The writings of prophetess Ellen G. White

Periodicals & Publications: A number of magazines including Adventist World, Adventist Review, Liberty, Vibrant Life, and Signs of the Times. Numerous periodicals such as the “Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guides”, the adolescent targeted “Young Disciple” magazine, and a host of publications tailored to small children are published for SDAs. Also included are many books and compilations by Ellen G. White. Books are often mailed unsolicited to entire zip codes, especially The Great Controversy (including an edited version called The Great Hope), Steps to Christ, and The Desire of Ages. The Bible Story books by Arthur Maxwell often appear in medical and dental office waiting rooms.

Publishing Houses: Of the many, the two largest are – the Review and Herald Publishing Association and Pacific Press.

Radio & Television Programs: Television programs - It Is Written and Amazing Facts. Radio program – Voice of Prophecy is broadcast on many mainstream Christian radio stations and networks. The church operates a television network, the Hope Channel, which broadcasts 24 hours a day in several countries on cable and satellite, as well as over the Internet. Independent Internet, satellite television and radio network 3ABN (Three Angels Broadcasting Network) is also Adventist.

Schools and Other Institutions: Loma Linda University and Hospital (Loma Linda, CA); Andrews University and Griggs University (Berrien Springs, MI) Pacific Union College (Angwin, CA), La Sierra University (La Sierra, CA), Walla Walla University (College Place, WA), Southern Adventist University (Collegedale, TN), and the private black Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL) are among the many. A number of health food stores are run by members of the Church.

Means of attracting new members: Prophecy conferences (such as “Signs of the Times”) are often used to attract new members. When someone is approached by the Adventists (especially from mainstream Christianity), many of the more controversial teachings of the church and the authority of the Ellen G. White are not immediately shared, but are disclosed gradually as that person becomes more committed to Adventism. In addition, local churches sponsor vegetarian/vegan cooking schools and health clinics and often re-label their local church buildings “community health centers”.

Mindset towards Christianity: There are two types of SDAs – the more modern type who have been influenced by mainstream evangelical Christianity, and the old hardliners who look to Ellen G. White as a prophet. The neo-evangelical SDAs will typically embrace mainline Christians as true believers, despite some doctrinal differences. Many of the Adventists who hold Ellen White in high regard will see the Roman Catholic Church as the great whore of Revelation chapter 17, with the Protestants as her harlot daughters. This same type of Adventist will typically see those who go to church on Sunday as having received the mark of the beast.

Seventh-day Adventists, like followers of most new and controversial religious movements, are experts in saying what people want to hear, and usually especially to those in mainline Christianity. They will try to appear sincere and say that they are in agreement with and believe in most of the same things that the mainstream Christian believes in, but will either intentionally leave out certain controversial teachings from the discussion, or will redefine common terms. As with other groups, the wise and discerning Christian should keep these things in the forefront of his mind despite any apparent commonalities.

Famous Members: Actors - Angus T. Jones; Clifton Davis. Musicians – Little Richard; Brian McKnight; The Isley Brothers., Take Six. Basketball player - Magic Johnson. Former members include rapper Busta Rhymes, musician Prince. Actor Clifton Davis is an SDA minister. Radio broadcaster Paul Harvey. Will Keith Kellogg who started the Kellogg Company. The owners of Food For Life products (such as the well-known Ezekiel bread, tortillas, etc.) are dedicated Seventh-day Adventists.