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8-4-15 Finding Peace Where Adventism Began
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By Scott Christiansen


 
 
The church has a unique double-entry front [Photo by Tanique Cundiff]
 
 

Sabbath at the Adventist church in Washington, New Hampshire: One reason it’s special is because on the way to the church you pass a New Hampshire Historic Marker that proclaims Washington as the birth-place of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Another reason Sabbath there is special is because the church it is so quiet and peaceful – it is located deep in the woods and is accessible only by a narrow dirt road. There are other things about the church that make it special – the Adventists you meet from other states and other countries who have come to see the birthplace of their faith, the rounded plaster ceiling of the church and its ideal acoustics, the cemetery beside that church the holds the resting places of Adventist pioneers. But the thing that really makes Sabbath at the Washington church special is a sense of connection.
 

 
  Elder Jonathan Duffy, President if ADRA, was the featured speaker. Note the original Daniel and Revelation chart on the wall. [Photo by Tanique Cundiff]
 
Sitting in the hard wooden pews, with their straight backs, you marvel at the thought that Adventist pioneers sat in these same benches. Looking down at the broad-board pine floor held in place by old, square nails, you marvel again that the floor was trod by Adventist pioneers. From the weathered pulpit to the old glass in the windows to the original 1863 Daniel and Revelation chart on the wall, everything in the church gives a very real feeling of connection to the pioneers that started a movement that now numbers some 18 million members. 


 
 
The graveyard next to the church is dotted with the headstones of many Adventist pioneers.  [Photo by Tanique Cundiff]
 
 
On August 1, Washington Church had its annual meeting, featuring Jonathan Duffy of ADRA as its speaker. The church was full and an overflow audience was seated outside in camp chairs. Kenneth Brummel, volunteer Site Director, gave a report on the state of the church, the need for repairing headstones and monuments in the cemetery next to the church, and the progress on the near-completed construction of a screened pavilion to accommodate the church’s many visitors, both Adventist and non-Adventist. 

But the highlight of the day was a walk of the Sabbath Trail. The one-mile trail through the woods is punctuated by 31 stone waymarks that give the history of the Sabbath through the ages, and tell why the Sabbath of the Bible is still God’s Sabbath. The church building provides a connection to those who have gone before, but the Sabbath Trail does much more than that – it compellingly tells visitors about a central reason the Seventh-day Adventist movement exists. 

If you are looking for peace, for connection, and for a reminder of why the Adventist movement exists, consider visiting the Washington, New Hampshire church. Consult the schedule and other information on the church’s website – www.firstadventistchurch.org
 
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 USA
Telephone: 301-680-6400
Fax: 301-680-6464
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