Roadside History: Washington considered the birthplace of the Seventh Day Adventist ChurchApril 14. 2017 7:30PM
Location: On the east side of Route 31 (South Main Street), just south of Valley Road.
What the sign says: “In April 1842, a group of citizens in this town banded together to form “the first Christian Society.” In the Adventist movement of 1842-43, they espoused the Advent hope. In January 1862, these Washington Sabbath-keepers, after meeting for many years as a loosely knit group, organized as the first Seventh Day Adventist Church. Take second left, opposite the Common, 2.3 Miles on Millen Pond Road to the site of this building.”
The back story: The humble church building on King Street is considered the Mother Church of the Seventh-day Adventists, today a worldwide denomination with more than 19 million members.
The Washington church building was built in 1842, according to the town’s website, “by a group of farmers calling themselves Christian Brethren, who sharply dissented from the strict Congregationalism of the Church in Washington Center. Many of the Christian Brethren became Adventists about the time this building was first used, and thereafter some of them began worshiping on the Seventh Day; and eventually the majority did so.
The building is a regular point of pilgrimage today, though the road to the church is closed during winter and “mud season.” Sabbath School and church services are on Saturdays in May through October.
Sources: www.washingtonnh.org and www.firstadventistchurch.org