Around the world, individuals from many different faith backgrounds, including Baptist, Methodist, and Christian Connection, were preaching that the second coming of Christ was imminent. In North America, William Miller, based upon his understanding of Bible Prophecy, set a date – October 22, 1844 – for when the Lord would appear. Eagerly he and his fellow believers, known as Adventists, prepared for the appointed day. When it came and went, they suffered a great disappointment; the message had been sweet in their mouths but very sour in their stomachs just as Revelation 10:9,10 had foretold.
Many of these early Adventists bitterly renounced their beliefs, but a small group decided to restudy the prophecies to understand what had happened. Gradually they came to a new realization: though Christ's return was imminent, a specific date could not be set. As they continued to study, more and more Bible truth came to light: the sanctuary message, the state of the dead, and the seventh-day Sabbath.
Realizing organization was essential to the successful spreading of these Bible truths. In 1863 this faithful group of North American Bible students officially launched the Seventh-day Adventist Church with an initial membership of 3,500.Today the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a worldwide movement composed of almost 13 million members in more than 50,000 churches. And daily more than 2,000 people become part of the Adventist family through baptism or profession of faith.
The world church organization, known as the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, is divided into thirteen divisions: These are the Trans-European Division, Euro-Africa Division, East-Central Africa Division, West-Central Africa Division, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean, Euro-Asia Division, Southern Asia Division, Northern Asia Pacific Division, Southern Asia-Pacific Division, South Pacific Division ,Inter-American Division, and the North American Division. Our Division, the Interamerica Division (IAD) is comprised of six unions including our own.