Seventh Day Adventist Church
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- Phone 2: 1 876 952 2727
- Fax: 1 876 940 3080
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The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church , as articulated in the church's mission statement, is to proclaim to all people the everlasting gospel in the context of the Three Angels' messages of Revelation 14:6-12. The commission of Jesus Christ compels us to lead others to accept Jesus as their personal savior and to unite with His church, and nurture them in preparation for His soon return. That's at the heart of the church's mission and is accomplished through preaching, teaching and healing ministries.
From its inception, the church was intentional to articulate and practice its mission by communicating the message of the gospel throughout the world. The term "global mission" is synonymous with reaching the peoples of the world no matter where they are, and in the context of their lives. Adventists are a global community. Adventists are committed to making education accessible everywhere. At the heart of the Adventist education system is the conviction that every individual should have the opportunity to study and grow.
Adventists also believe that Christian life includes both spiritual and physical health, thus you will find Seventh-day Adventists involved in promotion of health and wholeness. Recognized as a growing church, Seventh-day Adventists are involved in providing betterment for all human beings and especially reaching out to provide practical help to those affected by disaster or those requiring development assistance. "Do unto others . . ." is a phrase known to Seventh-day Adventists. In order to accomplish the mission goals of the Christian church, Adventists are promoters of human freedom and responsibility, especially emphasizing freedom of religion for all peoples.
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Jamaica Seventh-day Adventist Church was organized on October 9, 1965, as a result of an evangelistic effort held from July 4th to September 12th, 1965 at Merrick Boulevard and Sayres Avenue in Jamaica, New York. Elder E. E. Cleveland, Associate Director, Ministerial Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist was the Teacher/Preacher sent from God to conduct the effort. Hundreds came to the twin tents to listen and learn of the wondrous truths being proclaimed.
When it was time for the big tents to come down, 456 people publicly proclaimed their profession of faith through the rite of baptism, and as at that time, even more precious souls were being led to a decision of commitment, following too in the footsteps of the Saviour, a neighbor, Linden Boulevard Seventh-day Adventist Church, St. Albans, New York, opened its doors for the continuance of the meetings three nights a week.The ardent group of new believers found a temporary home in the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection at 114th Avenue and Mexico Street, St. Albans, New York. It was here, in its first home, that the church was officially organized. Elder E. E. Cleveland, the evangelist for the tent effort and Elder R.T. Hudson, Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Conference president officiated at the Service of Organization and Consecration on October 9, 1965. Elder Clinton F. Warren, a diligent worker during the tent effort, was chosen to shepherd the new flock and guide it forward on its heavenward journey.
On March 26, 1966, Jamaica Church became the 36th church in the Northeastern Conference, and in May of that year, still maintaining a membership of over 400, it moved its new home to 88-28 163rd Street, Jamaica New York. The members worked diligently, giving of their means, time, and talent to furnish and beautify God's house. Services were held in an atmosphere of true reverence and humility and a rich fellowship of faith and love developed within the new congregation.Evangelism has always been a strong thrust among the clergy and membership of this church. The largest(up to that time) graduating class in the history of Faith for Today, received certificates at the church, only a little over a year after the church was organized. Nearly one hundred people completed the course.
Under the direction of its second pastor, Elder O.E. Gordon, the Busy Bee Day Care Center opened as a community service to provide care for the preschool children of working parents. During this same period the Jamaica Church became affiliated with the Linden Boulevard Church in the operation of the Linden-Jamaica Elementary School. The fifth through eighth graders were housed at the Jamaica Church. Shortly before Elder Gordon was called to another assignment, a group of Laymen from the church began a modest program of Bible distribution and Sabbath Bible lessons and study in the Queens House of Detention in Kew Gardens, New York. After a little more than six months of work on this program, eight inmates were baptized. This was the 'first' in the history of the institution and Jamaica's members who had supported and prayed for this effort were proud of the men of courage who had led out in this program, which grew and developed into the Laymen's Prison Counsellor Program. As a result of two evangelistic efforts conducted by Jamaica Church's third pastor, Elder R.R. Brown, we mothered the Lebanon Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is located in Laurelton, New York.
Pastor Norman Snipes the fourth pastor was only with us a short time, but our membership continued to grow in numbers and in faith, and the laymen conducted a strong program of Christian witness in the various neighborhoods that compose the Jamaica community.
Under the ministry of Elder Robert L. Lister, the Spanish speaking community had the opportunity to see the establishment of the Spanish Mission, presently the Jamaica Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church. The evangelistic efforts to launch this church began with a Health Fair and No Smoking Program, followed by a series of meetings held in the lower auditorium of the Jamaica Church. An Evangelistic effort held in South Ozone Park, New York resulted in the establishment of the South Ozone Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in Queens, New York. In a second evangelistic effort the following summer, members were added to both Jamaica and Lebanon churches.
In 1979 Pastor Arthur E. Morgan continued with a series of programs that were geared to touch the community directly, both physically and spiritually. The church became actively involve in the distribution of Government food surplus program, sponsoring Health Fairs for the greater Jamaica Community, Vacation Bible School and many other methods of witnessing and services. In 1985 Pastor Clifford Jones made a significant contribution to our growth, he held an evangelistic effort in 1986 at Francis Lewis Blvd. and Hollis Avenue, Hollis, New York, he also dedicated the expansion of the Church Sanctuary that Pastor Morgan spearheaded, and installed a new digital Allen Organ in our Sanctuary. During his brief tenure Pastor Edwin Humphrey instituted the benevolent fund, he was a very dedicated and seasoned Minister, and he was truly loved by everyone.
Pastor David Glover, truly a man of God coordinated an evangelistic crusade with Pastor Scales on Merrick Blvd. giving birth to the Queensboro Temple SDA Church. Pastor Glover was very dedicated to the work of the Lord, a genuine person who is always willing to lend a listening ear. Pastor Hope L. Ashmeade a visionary and soldier in God's army who preaches the unadulterated word of God to the people, has a special talent and ability to simplify s-c-r-i-p-ture so the youngest child could understand.
He purchased for Jamaica Church the adjacent four story building we use currently to house our Community Services distribution center, also installed a 60 ton air conditioning unit for our Sanctuary, extended the Pastor's Study to include a private bathroom and library and installed 3ABN satellite system for evangelistic purposes. Pastor Ashmeade's contribution to the Jamaica Church has set a standard and platform for his successor to build on. Without delay, Pastor James LaMar continued to move ahead with the establishment of weekly cottage meetings for members to invite family, friends and neighbors for small intimate prayer services in their homes. Pastor LaMar strongly supports Christian education and is currently working with the School's Principal in an effort to expand our school beyond 5th grade. Our Pastor truly loves the young people and is able to bridge the generation gap by connecting with all age groups. We have come 'Thus Far by Faith', and will continue to allow God to lead His Church.
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Its birthplace in the township of Washington, New Hampshire, in 1844, reveals three central truths about the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 1. Before it was "Adventist" or Sabbath keeping Adventist, it was "Christian." 2. It celebrates a history that has emphasized "freedom." 3. It welcomes and grows from diversity within its membership. The Christian Roots of Seventh-day Adventism The local church where "Christian," "Advent," and "Sabbath" combined was established by Christian Connection believers, a religious body that in the mid-nineteenth century was fifth in membership within the United States. Members of the Christian movement sought biblical authority for every aspect of belief.
They wanted "no creed but the Bible." Thus, if they were convinced from the Scriptures of the literal soon advent of Christ and the continuing validity of the seventh day Sabbath, their heritage demanded acceptance.
Because William Miller, a well-known Baptist preacher, exhibited profound knowledge of the Scriptures as he lectured upon the literal soon advent of Christ, scores of Christian Connection churches and many of its ministers and leaders became "Adventist" in the late 1830s and 1840s. The Washington, New Hampshire, Christian Connection church by the early 1840s was an "Adventist" church. Social, Organizational, and Theological Freedom Another element of the Seventh-day Adventist heritage from "Christians" involves the Seventh-day Adventist emphasis upon freedom. Washington, New Hampshire, was the initial town in the United States to name itself after George Washington, and it took that name in 1776, the year of the American Revolution. Its very birthplace seemed a call to personal freedom.
Christians," as did Seventh-day Adventists from their earliest days, actively sought freedom for all and worked toward abolition of slavery as well as roles for women in the church, and fostered a strong opposition to formalized church creeds. Freedom was also emphasized through an orientation toward temperance and health reform. Proper care of the physical frame would yield a clear mind with which to perceive scriptural truths. Thus within nineteenth-century Adventism one finds strong anti-slavery actions, women licensed as ministers, and health reform principles that included abolition of alcohol and tobacco within the membership.
Religious freedom came to mean more than the separation of church and state. It also implied a right to read the Scripture for oneself and come to conclusions not bound by creedal presuppositions. The "present truth" perspective assumed that new insights would arise as Seventh-day Adventists continued to study the Scriptures. The prophetic guidance of Ellen White within the movement solidified this perspective of social, organizational, and theological freedom.
A Diverse Movement
The Washington, New Hampshire, roots also illustrate the diversity within the heritage of Seventh-day Adventists. It was Rachel Oakes, a Seventh Day Baptist, that convinced some of the members of the Washington church about the continuing validity of the seventh-day Sabbath. Not all mid-nineteenth century churches would give a fair hearing to the insights of a woman. Besides that, Thomas Preble, who attended that church and wrote an influential tract on the seventh-day Sabbath, was a Freewill Baptist. Frederick Wheeler, who served as their pastor, was a Methodist minister. We thus have substantial diversity within that original church. At least five different religious faiths formed the first Sabbath keeping Christian Adventist church. Within that diversity, however, unity over central issues prevailed.
Shortly after settling on a denominational name in 1860, Seventh-day Adventists began to talk about a worldwide movement. After all, didn't Christ urge to "go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" and didn't Revelation talk of "the everlasting gospel" to be proclaimed to "them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people"? In 1861 it was discovered that at least five in Ireland were practicing Seventh-day Adventists. But how could a group of only a few thousand perform the task of worldwide evangelism? The denomination was officially organized on May 21, 1863, when the movement included some 125 churches and 3,500 members. By 1864 Michael Belina Czechowski, a former Catholic priest, decided to spread the Seventh-day Adventist message throughout Europe. In 1874 the church was ready to send abroad its first official missionary, J. N. Andrews, who left the United States for Switzerland. By the end of the century Seventh-day Adventism had become worldwide in scope.
Today some 10 million Seventh-day Adventists have established themselves in virtually every country of the world. Less than 10 percent of Seventh-day Adventists live in the United States. While ethnically diverse, they remain united over the everlasting gospel, the basic Christian message of salvation through faith in Christ. Unity prevails also over the other central teachings of their Christian heritage.
The Heritage Continues While Seventh-day Adventists arose within an apocalyptic movement that stressed the nearness of the Second Advent, their "Christian" heritage emphasized the down-to-earth implications of the ministry of the Saviour. The tension between "today" and "later" gives a unique power to the way Adventists serve in their communities. It has focused the energies of church members into education, publishing, the healing arts, community service, and any other activities that allow them to talk about their faith while improving the lives of their neighbors. One result of this desire to touch lives for God is that Adventists have built thousands of schools around the world. It also means that Seventh-day Adventist physicians and medical institutions serve individual needs in more than 98 countries, giving the highest possible quality of personal care whenever people hurt. These physicians, nurses, therapists, and other medical workers have dedicated their lives to providing physical healing so that each person can live the best possible life. Using modern medical knowledge and carefully developed skills, these workers touch thousands of lives each day, bringing healing and hope into families around the world. Schools, hospitals, clinics, and health food factories are just one small corner of the Seventh-day Adventist commitment to improving lives. There is much more: Wherever disaster strikes, ADRA, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency, joins hands with other organizations to provide clean water, food, clothing, housing, and care.Adventist publishing houses produce inspirational books, textbooks, Bible commentaries, health books, and dozens of specialized magazines in scores of languages each month. These are then delivered to millions of homes around the world, providing quality reading and information that improves lives.Local Adventist churches serve their communities by providing recreational and social activities for children and teenagers, vocational and evening education programs for adults, and spiritual programming and health clinics for all.On a worldwide scale, the church's mission activities are exemplified in the Global Mission initiative-to reach the unreached peoples of the world for Christ.Summer camps offer all sorts of activities-from horseback riding and waterskiing to crafts and dozens of other youth activities in country environments in which children feel safe and loved. These activities are combined with a witness for God's message to make people whole-physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.Use of modern technology also describes Adventist commitment to mission and presence in the society with messages of "Good news." Numerous radio studios dot the Adventist broadcasting map around the globe. The same goes for production of television and other media programs. The church's interest is best exemplified in a satellite broadcast system with more than 14,000 downlink sites, and the television 24/7 global broadcasting network for homes, the Hope Channel.Too often it's easy to see all of this as just activities of the institutions and organizations of the church. But the Seventh-day Adventist Church is far more than its organizational structure and institutions. The Adventist Church is people, individual members who have caught a vision and who have chosen to live out that vision for Christ, as His hands of hope.