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Huntsville First Seventh-day Adventist Church Offers Sunday Services, Starting This Weekend

Huntsville First Seventh-day Adventist Church Offers Sunday Service...

6 February 2015 | Jared Wright

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The Huntsville First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Huntsville, Alabama will begin offering a Sunday morning service called "Surge Church" this weekend. Billed as a casual, come-as-you-are worship service, the 10:00am event aims to attract "unchurched" community members, according to an article in AL.com, an Alabama-based media outlet. First Church senior pastor Debleaire K. Snell told AL that the congregation communicated their intent to South Central Conference leadership, who allowed the service to proceed.

"We have communicated to the Conference office because they wanted clarity on this, but once we communicated the purpose to them, they saw that it is not a big deal," Snell said, according to AL's report.

The article went on to note Snell's insistence that the new contemporary service would not supplant Saturday worship services at First Church, but would supplement them. The service will target non-members who may feel more comfortable with the idea of Sunday services as practiced in most Christian denominations. The service will be offered for the first time this Sunday, February 8.

The Huntsville First Church is less than two miles from the campus of Oakwood University, and all three of its pastors are Oakwood graduates.

According to the First Church website, Snell, a Florida native, graduated with a B.A. in theology from Oakwood in 1999, and graduated with his M.Div. from Andrews University in 2001. In the four years Snell has served as First Church senior pastor, the congregation has seen rapid growth. Snell has twice been named South Central Conference Pastor of the Year.

Alfonzo Green, pastor for Discipleship and Administration also received an M.Div. from Andrews, and is currently pursuing a D.Min. degree in Missional Leadership.

Alfred Hill, pastor for Visitation and Pastoral Care, served in several districts in Mississippi and Alabama before joining the Huntsville First Church staff.

Snell expects some current members to attend the new "Surge" Sunday service. According to the AL report,

Snell said that many of his members have said they're likely to come on Sunday even after attending the Saturday, 11:30 a.m., service. The Sunday service, he said, would be a bit shorter, more informal and more focused on teaching than the Saturday service.

But in case there was doubt about the congregation's beliefs about the Sabbath, the church's website spells them out. The church's statement of beliefs includes a paragraph entitled "Jesus' Day" that states, 

JESUS' DAY comes each week on the seventh day (Saturday). He called Himself Lord of this day and He faithfully observed each Sabbath. Because He initiated it during creation week (before the entrance of sin), Jesus desired that all of His people would keep this day as a memorial to His creative power. He also reminded us that His Sabbath is a sign of His power to deliver us. It is, indeed, the Lord's Day. This weekly Sabbath is a foreshadowing of the rest Jesus will one day give His people in Heaven! Mark 2:27-28; Colossians 1:15-17;Genesis 2:1-3; Hebrews 4:1-11

Still, that did not seem to appease many concerned commenters on the AL.com article, who clearly considered holding services on Sunday anathema.

One commenter called Shaz said, "As an ex-Muslim who became a Seventh-day Adventist I have kept, to the best of my ability, the Sabbath of the Lord, not always perfectly, but always intent on it, and I want to add the Sabbath of the Lord is NOT Sunday!"

Another respondent, Rudy Butler, had stronger words still:

Wrong choice! A Seventh-day Adventist Church should not have the formal worship service on Sunday. Here are the reasons: Sabbath worship is one of the identifying marks of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. That day sets Seventh-day Adventists aside from all the other protestant churches. Having Sunday worship will confuse the world about who Seventh-day Adventists are. 

Nevertheless, if the Huntsville First Church's recent growth is an indication of its successful attempts to bring in new members, this new service may be more of the same.

 

Jared Wright is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Peace

I see this topic getting allot of headwind on Facebook... There is nothing wrong having religious services on Sunday, from what I read nobody is saying Sunday is the Sabbath. SOP speaks on this...




EGW: "Sunday can be used for carrying forward various lines of work that will accomplish much for the Lord. On this day open-air meetings and cottage meetings can be held. House-to-house work can be done. Those who write can devote this day to writing their articles. Whenever it is possible, let religious services be held on Sunday." (Testimonies for the Church Volume 9, Page 233)


Blessings!!

An ex Muslim SDA pastor too, interesting may he do good, bringing in others our fold

Shalom

Praise God,

Sabbath is a holy day set aside at creation and blessed by God. That doesn't mean that Sabbath is the only time we worship God.

I have played in Sunday churches over the years from time to time. On occasion I have received criticism because it wasn't an SDA church. However, I have played for an evangelist meeting every day of the week and been praised for it. Figure that one.

Worshiping God is Worshiping God no matter what day we worship. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. It is a special day of worship, a day set aside, but by no means the only time of worship.

Over the years I have found that many folks would never come into an SDA church until after they have heard about the Sabbath, and then they are happy to come.

The worship of God is certainly not limited to holy days. As people accept Christ, they can be introduced to the Sabbath, not the Sabbath first and then Christ.

If the service were held on Wednesday no one would even question it.

Keith

This was expected

What was expected?

EGW said, when ever possible let religious services be held on Sunday!

Yes indeed,

she wrote quite a lot about the "Sunday question" as our people were beginning to work in the Southern States.

"On Sunday there is the very best opportunity for those who are [SDA] missionaries to hold Sunday schools, and come to the people in the simplest manner possible..."

A question was put, "Should not those in the Southern field work on Sunday?"

Some of our people, when entering the South, felt that they should NOT abstain from work on Sundays, and believed that it was right for them to work on that day.

Mrs. White replied,

"If they do this [i.e. if they work on Sundays], there is danger that as soon as the opposing element can get the slightest opportunity, they will stir up one another to persecute those who do this, and to pick off htose who they hate. At present Sundaykeeping is not the test...  You need not cut short your work [in the South] by yourself labouring on Sunday."

"Refraining from work on Sunday is not receiving the mark of the beast; and where this [restraint] will advance the interests of the work, it should be done. We should not go out of our way to work on Sunday."

(The Southern Work p.68-70)

Good principles! At that time, it was right to observe Sunday laws (or even customary Sunday "rest") in the South.

Keith 

Blow me down you are quoting E G White. Be that as it may. 

The Roman Catholic Church Introduced the Sunday worship in a similar way. So perhaps we will wait and see how this will turn out. 

This is the result of the North American SDA Church bleeding members. If we continue as we are our presence will diminish mightily. We must be willing to shed tradition and take on the mission of Christ true ministry. The SOP is the ministry of Christ, if he becomes our center then we will be filled to the brim, the Spirit will bring them in.

Indeed it has been foreseen.

The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure. {1SM 204.2}

Peace

 

 Hey Brother Ian, aka Elijah & Lazarus, you change your name more than prince.. lol.. just joking with you...

 

trying to figure out what your trying to say...  the quote you gave (1SM 204), from what I read, the context is about a book called the Living temple that seems to have taken EGW writings to make it say something it's not..

 

 Do you believe this quote indirectly has something to do with having religious services on Sunday (1st day)? (ofcourse still observing the Sabbath Day on the 7th day)

 

 Do you believe by having religious services on Sunday opens the door to SDA giving up their doctrines? 

 

 

 EGW: "Sunday can be used for carrying forward various lines of work that will accomplish much for the Lord. On this day open-air meetings and cottage meetings can be held. House-to-house work can be done. Those who write can devote this day to writing their articles. Whenever it is possible, let religious services be held on Sunday." (Testimonies for the Church Volume 9, Page 233)


 This quote is part of a answer to what should be done in case of Sunday laws being enforced, something that is still future.

 

 

 Blessings!

 

 

 

 

Reasoning 

Actually I feel that a risk exists that the church may slip in to Sunday keeping. True you are right that it could be a good thing, yes and good things can be done.

The post was in response to Herberts post, he is a man who has no great regard for the Sabbath or any of the Church fundamentals. In particular the IJ. 

Newer the less I fear that the church may loose its way we see many of the tings EGW said that is happening. For one the  church Logo is a questionable thing and to me do not send the right signal. The teachings of the church has been toned down to not agravate the Catholic church. This constant move to be more like the worldly churches is also a concern to me. I sincerely hope the move to ordain women as pastors will fail. Because if it does not we will see even some more worldliness creeping in to the church. 

Somebody is stalking Ian!  That's my favourite one. Elijah? Naa! Lazarus? Worse! Ian it is!! Lol

Now...reasoning, how will sunday lay law really work. 

Suppose the government's announce that Sunday is to be honoured world wide. What will it entail? 

1. Will it mean adventists will be forced to work on Saturday?  

2. For adventists to hold services on Sunday,  like say this church above, will it be considered as receiving the mark of the beast?

3. What will become of the Jewish nation? Will it be forced to give up the sabbath tradition and start honouring Sunday as a nation?

4. What of the moslems,  and their hardcore belief? Do u think it will,  be possible to force these guys to obey the Pope? 

5. What of the atheists will,  adventists be persecuted together with these as they refuse to honour Sunday? 

After listening to president Obama's 2015 national prayer breakfast speech, I could not help but think how almost impossible the Sunday law enactment would be...at least in secular America. The defense of religious freedom is so strong it really would be tantamount to mount everest relocating to Zambia! I have heard about those European countries that have enacted similar laws and wonder how adventists are treated there. Are they persecuted and how is it going on.

Quite frankly I don't see how the Sunday law will work especially with the above quote. The Context of the quote was an advise to Australian students to still use Sunday for the Lord.  Apparently they were being forced to honour Sunday.  I may be wrong,  that's how I remember it tho. Does this not invalidate the Sunday law issue. 

I mean if these guys come to kill me, I would just have a service on Sunday,  and keep sabbath at home.  After all my work may not require me to work on weekends! 

I don't see how the Sunday law will work!

Funny thing is that I hear of Christians being persecuted and killed by moslems,  and we  seem not to think so highly of these persecutions. We are waiting for the big one! I have a suspicion we shall get a rude Shock! Worse if my no 1 mentor (academic, professional and spiritual) wins the 2016 elections. (Ben s carson).  Rest assured Sunday law will be pushed to at least 50 years!! What think thee?

 Mutinta.

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