The Seventh-day Adventist® Church
The Seventh-day Adventist® 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 we’re looking for the return of Jesus Christ.
In 1863, the new Sabbath keepers officially organized into a denomination with 3,500 members worshipping in 125 churches.
They soon began sharing their faith outside of North America, first Switzerland in 1874, then in Russia, Ghana, South Africa, Argentina, and Japan.
Today, as one of the fastest growing Christian Protestant churches, 16 million baptized Seventh-day Adventist members live in 204 countries of the world. This includes more than 625,000 members in the Northern Asia-Pacific Division territories.
The Northern Asia-Pacific Division
The beginning of the Seventh-day Adventist work in the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) goes as far as May 3, 1888, when Abram La Rue, an American self-supporting missionary, arrived in Hong Kong. By 1909 the the Three Angels’ Message had been introduced to China, Japan, Korea, India, Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Ceylon Island, Australia, and New Zealand, But the work was not well established but rather seemed fragile.
In 1909, General Conference (GC) Session named Irwin H. Evans as the Vice President of the GC for the Asiatic Division that was to be the third division after the European Division and the North American Division. The new division embraced the whole Asia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Burma, and Ceylon, but excluding Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In 1919, by the decision of the GC, The Asiatic Division was split into the Far Eastern Division (FED), the Australian Union Conference, and the Inda Union Mission, The FED was made up with China, French Indo-china, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Singapore-malay, and Thailand. Since 1921, the East Siberia Union Mission was a part of the FED for a while.
In 1931, the China Division was separated from the FED with the territories of China including Mongolia, Hong Kong, and Macao.
Leaving Shanghai that became the seat of new China Division, the FED office sojourned about in Manila and Baguio until it settled down in Singapore in 1936. It stayed there until the Southern Asia-Pacific Division office moved to Manila in 1999.
As the China Division ceased functioning in 1951, South China Island Union Mission was formed with Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and joined the FED. The East Asia committee (Association) started functioning in mid 1970’s under the guidance of the GC until it became a part of the new NSD in 1997.
In 1986, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka were transferred to the FED from the SUD. In 1995, the name of the FED was changed to the Asia-Pacific Division which lived only for two years due to the bifurcation of the division.
As of January 1, 1997, the Asia-Pacific Division was split into the Northern Aisa-Pacific Division (NSD) and the Southern Asia-Pacific Division. Currently, the territory of the NSD is D.P.R Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan and R.O.Korea.
The NSD office was located on the 5th, and 7th floor of Samhee Plaza near Juyeop Station, Ilsan, Korea, and then moved to its current location in Paju city, Korea, in July 2020. As there is a freeway from Imjingak, Korea, to Gaesung City, North Korea, we expect the new headquarter will take an essential role as a missionary base for mission work in North Korea.