The Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), colloquially referred to as the Adventists, is an evangelical Protestant Christian denomination that grew out of the prophetic Millerite movement in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century.

According to historians of the movement, this group gained its more recent name from the teaching that the expected return of Jesus Christ in 1844 had been fulfilled in a way that had not previously been understood (see also: Great Disappointment). Further Bible study led to the belief that Jesus in that year had entered into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary, and began an "investigative judgment" of the world: a process through which there is an examination of the heavenly records to "determine who, through repentence of sin and faith in Christ, are entitled to the benefits of His atonement"¹ after which Jesus will return to earth. This completion of the return of Christ may occur very soon, according to the church's teaching.

In addition to orthodox Trinitarian Protestant theology, Seventh-day Adventists:

  • Believe in a literal six day creation process, culminating in a seventh day sabbath of rest, which is still to be observed from Friday's sunset to Saturday's sunset, in accordance with Scripture.
  • Maintain that there is no biblical mandate for the change from the true Sabbath to Sunday observance, which is to say that Sundaykeeping is merely a "tradition of men".
  • Believe that death is a sleep during which the "dead know nothing" (Ecclesiastes 9:5), which is to say that nothing of a person survives death, that the dead simply cease to exist until they are resurrected, either at the second coming of Jesus (in the case of the righteous) or after the millennium of Rev.20 (in the case of the wicked).
  • Health message includes tendency towards vegetarianism and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.

Table of contents
1 Number of members
2 Footnotes
3 External links

Number of members

1961 1 million+ Adventists worldwide.

1970 2 million

1980 3.5 million

1990 nearly 7 million

2000 roughly 11 million

As of 2003 roughly 12 million

Rate of growth estimates indicate the following for the near and mid-term future: 2013: 20 million members. 2025-2030: 40 million members.


  1. Ellen G. White The Great Controversy (1911 edition) p.422

External links