About Seventh-day Adventists
The Seventh-day Adventist Church, abbreviated as the "Adventist Church", is a Christian denomination which is distinguished by its observance of Saturday as the seventh-day Sabbath of the Lord. The word "Adventist" lays emphasis on the belief in the imminent second advent, or second coming, of Jesus Christ. As of January 1st 2011 the denomination had over 16 million baptized members world-wide. It is the twelfth-largest religious body in the world, and the sixth-largest highly international religious body. The denomination grew out of the Millerite revival movement in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century. It was established as a formal denomination in 1863. Among its founders was Joseph Bates, James White, and his wife Ellen G. White, whose extensive writings are still held in high regard by the church today.
Theology & Beliefs
Much of the theology of the Seventh-day Adventist Church corresponds to Protestant Christian teachings, such as the Trinity and the infallibility of Scripture. Distinctive teachings include the unconscious state of the dead, known as the doctrine of "soul sleep", and the doctrine of a pre-advent judgment, also known as the investigative judgment. The church is also known for its emphasis on diet and health, its holistic understanding of the whole person, its promotion of religious liberty, and its conservative lifestyle and theology.
The world church is governed by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland USA, a town on the outskirts of Washington DC. The global regions of the Adventist Church, 13 in total, are administered by what are known as "Division" administrative units, for example the "North American Division" comprising the United States, Canada, and Bermuda. The "Divisions" are in turn are sub-divided into what are called "Union Conferences", each of which comprises of two or more local "Conferences". A local "Conference" is typically the smallest administrative unit, and would be approximately equivalent to a diocease in function and geographical size.
The Adventist Church currently has a worldwide membership, or baptized members, of about 16 million people. The church estimates that it has approximately 21 million total adherants worldwide, what the church refers to as "Sabbath School" members. It has a missionary presence in over 200 countries and territories and is ethnically and culturally diverse. The church operates numerous schools, hospitals and publishing houses worldwide, as well as a prominent humanitarian aid organization known as the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists official website:
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