The History of the Advent Christian Denomination
Advent Christians trace their roots back over one hundred and fifty years to the life and ministry of William Miller. A farmer and United States army captain from upstate New York, William Miller became a Christian in the late 1820’s. His study of the Bible convinced him of the soon return of Jesus Christ to earth.
Captain Miller’s work caused evangelical churches to take seriously the Bible’s teaching regarding Christ’s Second Advent. From 1840 until the turn of the twentieth century, Advent Christian Churches were established by traveling pastors and evangelists across the United States and Canada.
The Advent Christian Church (officially called the Advent Christian General Conference) was organized in 1860 in Salem, Massachusetts. At first the General Conference simply provided some organization for the new churches and printed a large number of books, tracts, and newspapers. As the churches grew, so did concern for proclaiming Christ’s gospel.
Advent Christian missions grew rapidly. In 1866, the American Advent Mission Society was organized to work with freed slaves enduring the hardship of a divisive war. Mission efforts expanded into China, Japan, the Philippines, Nigeria, Mexico, and India. Today Advent Christians continue to emphasize missions. We want to follow William Miller’s example by proclaiming the hope we find through Jesus Christ throughout the world.