Adventists.This denomination belongs to that class of religious organizations which accepts the inspiration of the scriptures, take the Bible as their rule of faith, and hold to the fundamental doctrines of Christian churches. This belief arose as a result of the preachings of William Miller, in 1831. He taught that the world would come to an end in 1843, and would be followed by the coming of Christ to reign on earth. Mr. Miller's study of Biblical prophecies had convinced him that the coming would be between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844. When these dates passed many preachers joined the movement and several thousand followers were gathered from different churches. On April 20, 1845, Mr. Miller called a convention of the faithful at Albany, N. Y., which convention issued a declaration of belief and adopted the name Adventists. The declaration was that Christ will come soon, but at an unknown time, as the prophecy for 1843 and also that for 1844, had not been fulfilled. The resurrection of the dead, both the just and the unjust, and the beginning of the millennium after the resurection of the saints, was set forth in the belief.
The Adventists baptize by immersion, and are congregational in polity, except the Seven Day branch and the Church of God, which have a general conference that is supreme. Since their organization, the Adventists have divided into seven bodies. The Evangelical Adventists began to call themselves by that name in 1845. They believe that all the dead will be raised, the saints first to eternal bliss and the wicked last to eternal punishment. The Advent Christians formed a general association in 1861. They believe that the dead are unconscious and the wicked are punished by annihilation. This body is chiefly located in New England. The Seven Day Adventists were formed in 1845, in New Hampshire and adopted the obligation of the seventh day as the Sabbath. They believe that the dead sleep until the judgment and the unsaved are destroyed. This body is the strongest and its members are spread throughout the United States, being especially strong in the west. The Church of God was formed after a division among the Seven Day Adventists in 1864-65, concerning the revelations of Mrs. E. G. White. A general conference is the head of this organization, with subordinate state conferences. It is chiefly located in the western and southwestern states. The Life and Advent Union, organized in 1860, believes that the wicked never wake from their sleep of death. The Church of God in Jesus Christ believes in the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth with Christ as king; the annihilation of the wicked and the restoration of Israel. This sect is established in various parts of the United States and Canada.
The Adventists were not established to any extent in Kansas until the great tide of immigration set toward this state in the '80s, for in 1893, there were but 30 church organizations in the state with a membership of 900. As the country became more densely populated the number of Adventist bodies increased and new organizations were perfected. In 1906 the Seven Day Adventists had 2,397 communicants; the Advent Christian church 247, making a total membership of 2,689.Pages 31-32 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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