The Seventh-day AdventistÂ® Church was born out of the Millerite movement of the 1840s when thousands of Christians searched for greater understanding of biblical prophecy. Among these believers was a group in New England that rediscovered the seventh-day Sabbath. They chose the name “Seventh-day” which refers to the biblical Sabbath, Saturday, ordained by God at Creation. “Adventist” means weâ€™re looking for the return of Jesus Christ.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church consists of over 16million members worldwide. In the Southern African Union Conference the church has more than 122 231 members (as of June 2010). These members worship in churches spread throughout South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and St Helena. The churches together form administrative units that serve the different geographical sectors of the territory. These are:
- The Cape Conference
- The KwaZuluNatal-Free State Conference
- The Lesotho Conference
- The Namibian Field
- The Trans-Orange Conference
- The Transvaal Conference
- The Swaziland Conference
These six conferences and one field together form the Southern Africa Union Conference (SAU) with its headquarters in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The SAU is one of eight Unions that make up the regional administrative unit of the church called the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID) based in Irene, South Africa. The other Unions/Mission Unions are: Zambia and Zimbabwe Union Conferences; and the Angola, Botswana, Indian Ocean, Malawi, and Mozambique Union Missions.
The Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR) serves as the official records center and archive of the world headquarters and the North American Division. ASTR also conducts research projects for the General Conference administration; evaluates General Conference departments and agencies; produces the denomination’s Yearbook and Annual statistical report.
It also provides other information on the suite of websites accessible from www.adventistarchives.org ASTR is located in the lower level of the headquarters complex, and includes a fireproof, climate-controlled vault, as well as satellite and off-site storage; a research center and library; and staff offices.
The Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research is commissioned to preserve all materials produced by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and its departments. The archives houses over 20,000 linear feet of records covering the entire period of the Seventh-day Adventist Church history. Patrons can trace the development of the church through these records, which include legal instruments, minutes, reference files, reports, correspondence, publications, recordings, films, video and audio tapes, and photographs. This site marks the beginning of an effort to place some of the most referenced archival documents in a flexible and expandable online system.
It also holds online records of The South African Missionary.
Originally entitled The South African Missionary, this periodical was renamed to The African Division Outlook on April 15, 1921. It was again renamed to The Southern African Division Outlook on August 1, 1931. Finally then, it was renamed to the The Trans African Division Outlook on February 15, 1964.
Other Useful Links:
SA History Online: ‘Church Archives’
Faith Communities and apartheid A Report Prepared for The Truth and Reconciliation Commission by the Research Institute on Christianity in South Africa - March 1998
The Adventist News Network is the official news service of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church.
Law and Religious Freedom in South Africa: Challenges facing the Seventh-Day Adventist Church: A Research Article
The Genealogical Society of South Africa
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church: Ancestry24
The Adventist Directory
The Seventh-Day Adventist Student Association (SDASA) is a voluntary, faith- based organisation of students established in 1967. SDASA seeks to empower students by facilitating their growth and development. Also, it seeks to mobilize professionals and entrepreneurs to utilize their skills, abilities and expertise for professional contribution so as to introduce best practices in the Seventh-Day Adventist church community in an attempt to reach out to heal the nation.
SDASA has vibrant chapters in the nine provinces of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. (in order to capture this properly we need to include a map of Southern Africa with a legend depicting the existing Chapters).
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Southern Africa - Race, Relations and Apartheid: A Research Article
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) was established in November 1956 by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to provide humanitarian relief and welfare. Originally called Seventh-day Adventist Welfare Service or SAWS, the name was changed to Seventh-day Adventist World Service in 1973. ADRA was registered in South Africa in August 2000 incorporating the rich history of Adventist Community Services (ACS) which operated since 1973, and Meals on Wheels which operated in South Africa since 1964, and other community programmes like Love in Action and dorcas societies. ADRA South Africa now benefits from the global ADRA network as well as from the rich local history of the community service of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in South Africa.
Implantation and Growth of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Rwanda (1919-2000): MA in Theology, UNISA.