St. John's Seventh-day Adventist Church
St. John's Seventh-day Adventist Church
30 Aldershot Street
St. John's, NL, Canada, A1C 4R8
Origins of the group:
Seventh-day Adventists became established in Newfoundland in 1893, when a small group of New England missionaries traveled to the island, exploring a number of communities and eventually founding a ministry in St. John's. Early on in the group's history, Anna Pippy, whose family had notable social and political status in the area, joined the Seventh-day Adventists and contributed some of her family's resources toward the group's development. A Seventh-day Adventist School was soon established, where children were taught by Pippy's sister in her living room. The group has since held three different worshipping spaces in St. John's.
In 1896, the Seventh-day Adventist Church was founded on Cookstown Road, to be relocated in 1957 to Queen's Road, and again in 1957 to Aldershot Street.
Outside of St. John's, there are Seventh-day Adventist churches located throughout Newfoundland. Localities with churches include CB South, Bay Roberts, Marystown, Lethbridge, Bonavista, Glovertown, Botwood, Cotrill's Cove, Grand Falls-Windsor, and Stephenville.
The St. John's Seventh-day Adventist Church works to teach and promote the Adventist message, which emphasizes the impending second coming of Christ, upholds tenets of the Sabbath (including its observance on Saturday), teaches the belief in conditional immortality (that souls rest in bodies after death until Judgment Day), and promotes an understanding of the sanctuary as sacred place. As a result of its belief that the body is a temple for the holy spirit, the Seventh-day Adventist Church encourages its members to lead healthy lifestyles. Many Adventists consume little to no meat, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church has the largest church-owned hospital system in the world.
The St. John's Church works to develop the faith of its members and to advance its message to the larger community. It holds evangelical services approximately once every two years directed toward non-Adventists in St. John's. It uses various media to promote its message, including St. John's based Voice of Adventist Radio (VOAR).
Being connected to a global Adventist movement, the St. John's Seventh-day Adventist Church also works to contribute to various humanitarian Adventist organizations and efforts. Among other organizations, the St. John's Church is connected to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), which heads humanitarian and relief efforts throughout the world.
Present goals of the group:
Because of the increase in congregation size and the age of its current church facilities, the St. John's Seventh-day Adventist Church is working to relocate its worshipping space. It is currently exploring new spaces and areas in which new structures could be built, and has also begun fundraising.
Current challenges faced by the group:
An ongoing difficulty faced by the St. John's Church, as well as among other Seventh-day Adventist congregations in Newfoundland and elsewhere, is in engaging youth in the faith and in the church. The church continually works to reinvent itself, while remaining true to the faith, so as to be relevant to younger generations.
Comments on religious diversity in St. John's/NL:
Recently, the St. John's Church has noticed an increase in cultural diversity in St. John's, which is reflected both in the community and in the Church. The Church is receiving new international members, many of whom come from Adventist backgrounds in the Philippines and also from a number of African countries. The Church appreciates this diversification and is excited to welcome and learn from Adventists and non-Adventists from all cultural backgrounds.
There are approximately 700 members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Newfoundland and Labrador, 220 of whom belong to the St. John's Church.
The St. John's Seventh-day Adventist Church is organized by a Board of Directors, the chair of which is typically the Pastor. The Board consists of Elders, Deacons, Deaconesses, and other roles which are selected annually by a nominating committee. The congregation has the opportunity to dispute decisions made by the committee before Board membership is finalized.
The current president of the St. John's Seventh-day Adventist Church is Gary Hodder, who works from the Seventh-day Adventist office facilities on Topsail Road.
Gary Hodder, President
1041 Topsail Road
Mount Pearl, Newfoundland
Phone: (709) 745-4051
Aside from its Church on Aldershot, the Seventh-day Adventist Church also maintains an office and conference services building located at 1041 Topsail Road in St. John's.
Information about the group can be found on its website http://www.stjohnssda.org.
Schedule of Events:
The Church holds Sabbath School Saturdays at 9:30 am, worship services Saturdays at 11:00 am, and weekly prayer meetings on Wednesdays at 7:15 am.