Washington Church History
WASHINGTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE, CHURCH.
In the township of Washington, about three miles from the village of Washington Center, stands a rural church building, a white wooden structure (for description, see Church Buildings), that is often referred to as "the first SDA church." More precisely, it is the church in which originated the first group of Sabbatarian Adventists. In 1844, apparently, in this church of the Christian Brethren, a traveling Methodist minister and a number of the lay members, who were already Adventists (Millerites), began to keep the seventh day and thus became, in that limited sense, Seventh-day Adventists. In 1851 and on they were visited by the Whites and others. In 1862 they became an organized SDA church, but only later acquired possession, and eventually ownership, of the church building.
The Washington, New Hampshire, church was not the first organized SDA church, nor was the building the first SDA house of worship; for by 1862 there were other SDA churches already fully organized, and as early as the autumn of 1855 there was an SDA church building in Buck's Bridge, New York, and one either built or under construction in Battle Creek, Michigan (Review and Herald, 61:60 footnote, Jan. 22, 1884; 78:765, Nov. 26, 1901). However, the Washington church may be considered the birthplace of the first Sabbath keeping Adventist congregation. James White described it as "the place where Sabbath keeping was first practiced among Adventists" (ibid., 31:104, Jan. 28, 1868).
Accounts are contradictory as to the number of the Sabbath keepers and the time when they began to observe the day, though the principal facts are clear. For the differing views on these points, see A. W. Spalding, Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists, volume 1, pages 397-400, on which are notes to pages 115-121. These notes summarize the principal sources on the Washington church, apparently derived largely from the research of D. E. Kobinson. See also L. E. Froom, Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, volume 4, pages 945-953.
From the Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, Volume 10, page 1575, 1976. Review and Herald Publishing Association. Used with permission.
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Washington, New Hampshire
Seventh-day Adventist Church
153 King Street
PO Box 175
Washington, NH 03280
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