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The Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist® Church has a rich and extensive history, dating back to the beginning of Adventism.  Today, it stands as one of the oldest Seventh-day Adventist® Churches in the Greater New York Conference of Churches, with its birth coming forth directly from the preachings and teachings of early Adventist pioneers, James and Ellen White.

In 1840 William Miller preached in the New York City area.   Then in 1848, James and Ellen White visited New York City and held meetings in a certain Brother Moody’s home in Brooklyn.  By 1851 there were 13-recorded converts in Brooklyn, and as a result the Brooklyn City Mission was established January 1886. 

Then, in 1898, J.N. Loughborough, the first Seventh-day Adventist® foreign missionary, reported one Scandinavian Church in Brooklyn. 

Later came the Danish-Norwegian church.  Millian Lauritz Andreasen, a Danish-born administrator, educator and author was credited with the development of this church.  Andreasen lived in Brooklyn from 1905-1910.

In 1911, the Brooklyn Danish-Norwegian group would split into two churches: The Danish–Norwegian and the Swedish. The date is unclear but these two groups eventually became The Bay Ridge Seventh-day Adventist® Church, named after the area of Brooklyn where their church was located.

 Vesta Cash, a Norwegian-Irish Bible Worker, started evangelistic efforts among the Italian people who lived in both Brooklyn and the Bronx.  This spawned the Italian Church that was organized in 1920 with a membership of 17.  Originally, the Bronx and Brooklyn groups met together in Manhattan.  Eventually, as they began to increase in numbers, they were divided into two groups, each meeting in their own respective boroughs. At first the Brooklyn group worshipped in a building on Atlantic Avenue.  Later, they purchased a place of worship on Prospect Place in South Brooklyn, which is now called Park Slope.

The Brooklyn Church Officially Begins

In March of 1964, the Bay Ridge Church merged with the Italian-American Church under the leadership of Pastor William Goransson. The Italian-American Church building on Prospect Place was sold to the Spanish South Brooklyn congregation and the newly merged church began to meet in the Bay Ridge Church building.  The name of the newly merged church became the Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist® Church.

In 1978, under the leadership of Pastor Glenn Hixon, the current building at 1260 Ocean Avenue was purchased for $150,000.

During these years of church growth, the ethnic population also began to grow and change.  In 1961, there were only three African-American families in the Italian Church, and none in the Bay Ridge Church.  After the merger of the two churches, and beginning in 1967, the church became a church of many nations. The membership consisted of Scandinavians, Italians, African-Americans, Indonesians, Latin-Americans, Pakistanis, American-born Caucasians, and Caribbean-Americans.

Today, the congregation is comprised mainly of immigrants from the Caribbean.

The current Pastor is Dr. Artemas Julien.  He serves as our eleventh minister since the church’s inception.

Throughout the years, the Brooklyn Church has fostered the growth of other churches in Brooklyn.  Churches that were formed through association with the Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist® Church are: Maranatha, New Haven, French Jerusalem, and New Jerusalem.

As we reflect upon the growth of our church, we can truly say:  Surely God has led us!

And as we look ahead, we are strengthened knowing this: who we are and what we are today, as a church and as a denomination, is built on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ, supported by the strong “pillars” of the early pioneers of Adventism.  As we continue our march forward toward that Great Day when our Lord returns, we pray that He will find the members of His church without spot and blemish, and we are all able to hear Christ say, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”

Note: Hazel Helen Meade who has attended the Brooklyn Seventh-day Adventist® Church since 1960 researched this history.  The information was gathered from primary sources (older members of both Danish-Norwegian and Italian-American extraction, plus the writer’s own recollections), as well as secondary sources (Volume 10 of the Seventh-day Adventist Commentary).
 

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