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Church History

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Church History

A brief history of one of the fastest growing churches in the world.

In just a century and a half the Seventh-day Adventist Church has grown from a handful of individuals, who carefully studied the Bible in their search for truth, to a world-wide community of over eleven million members and millions of others who regard the Adventist Church their spiritual home. Doctrinally, Seventh-day Adventists are heirs of the interfaith Millerite movement of the 1840s. Although the name "Seventh-day Adventist" was chosen in 1860, the denomination was not officially organized until May 21, 1863, when the movement included some 125 churches and 3,500 members.

History of the Grass Valley Church

Our beginnings in the Grass Valley area go back 120 years to 1880 when just a few families met in their homes for worship. Though records are a bit sketchy, the church was formally organized in 1925 with Elder John R. Patterson being the first pastor. In 1935 a one-room building with a basement was built in the Glenbrook area and used for both a school and church services. By 1948 the school building was so crowded that the "Frank Buck Hall" on the present Episcopal Church site in Grass Valley was rented for services. Elder J. V. Schull was the pastor and membership had grown to 71.

After much planning, land was purchased on Alta Street for $3,000. The money was obtained by a short-term loan from a member, Ben Schafer. A quonset hut was erected and evangelistic meetings were held. Fifty-two people were baptized, nearly doubling the size of the congregation. Several years later the quonset hut was removed and a new church was built on that property. It was completed in August, 1956, and formally dedicated in August, 1958. The church on Alta Street was remodled in 1981, and about that same time a group of members decided to start a sister church in the Penn Valley area.

In the late 1980's, discussions began regarding the purchase of property and the building of a new church in Grass Valley. The congregation had outgrown the Alta Street church and more room was needed, especially for social activities. As it was not possible to expand on that site, property was purchased on Colfax Highway in 1989. Plans were drawn, permits obtained and a buyer for the Alta Street Church was found. Fund raising began and by the summer of 1994 the new property was cleared, concrete poured and construction was well underway. Two years later, the first Sabbath services were held in our new church on September 16, 1995. It was a time of great rejoicing!

Throughout the past 120 years, God has graciously led this church. It was through the devotion of its members and dedicated leadership and with gratitude to our Heavenly Father, that the church on Osborne Hill Road was dedicated to God on March 15, 2003. This is not the end of the story — rather, it is only the beginning!

What Do Adventist Believe? Click here for a brief overview.