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Sabbath in America

Sabbath in America
Throughout history, small groups of faithful believers have followed the seventh-day Sabbath despite almost worldwide conformance to Sunday worship. In the early 1600s, a revival of Sabbath-keeping began in England and, by the end of 1664, it had spread to the New World.

As they settled in America, these believers began to share their convictions regarding the importance of keeping all of God’s Ten Commandments—including the seventh-day Sabbath. Often, they were accused of focusing too much on the fourth commandment, but they contended that all the commandments were of equal importance. Pointing to the words of Paul, these committed Christians maintained that “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12).

Within a few years, this band of believers organized into the first Sabbath-keeping church in the New World at Newport, Rhode Island. The second church started after a gentleman in New Jersey reproved a neighbor for working on Sunday—the day he regarded as the Sabbath. But this gentleman soon discovered and began to honor the true Bible Sabbath after his neighbor challenged him by requesting biblical support for Sunday-keeping. The neighbor’s faithful witness led to the beginning of a Sabbath-keeping church in New Jersey.

Over the next one hundred years, eight more churches were organized across the United States. In 1802, these churches united their energies together as Seventh-day Baptists. This step resulted in exponential growth from 8 to 80 churches, several schools, and a publishing house by the end of 1870.

During this time, the Great Second Advent movement spread across the United States and Europe, pointing thousands to the soon coming of Jesus.

The revival, brought about by the message of the Second Coming, eventually intersected with Sabbath-keepers, who encouraged committed followers of Christ to keep all the commandments of God. In response, several Advent ministers began to preach the truth of the Sabbath and to print tracts that brought the Sabbath message to a larger audience. Although some of these early preachers later rejected the Sabbath, the seeds they sowed brought forth a harvest of faithful Sabbath-keepers who have continued to spread the message of biblical faithfulness throughout the United States and around the world.

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