Leaving the Adventist Church

I was born and raised in the Seventh-day Adventist church. At the age of 6 my personal relationship with Christ began as I desperately needed Him to carry me through the horrible nightmares I would experience at that time and the many years that followed. At 8 years old I was baptized into the church after going through extensive Amazing Facts studies to prepare me for baptism. All my years of education were spent in the Adventist school system, kindergarten through my Bachelor's degree at Southern Adventist University where I studied Theology and Religious Youth Ministry. Looking back, it is clear to me that God used the Seventh-day Adventist church to draw me closer to Him. My mom, teachers, mentors, church family, professors, peers, and so many others in the church encouraged my relationship with Christ and even went above and beyond by supporting me in day to day life. For this I will always be grateful. Nevertheless, God continued to draw me closer to Himself, eventually leading me out of the Seventh-day Adventist church. 

It was a slow transition to get to where I am today. One that happened over the course of 5 years. It first started when I went to a night of worship at The Meeting House, a coffee shop in Red Bank, Tennessee. I was introduced to this event through my mentor and Worship Pastor of my local Seventh-Day Adventist church. The event itself was non-denominational. I remember being among other Christians worshiping and praising God. At the end of the night they offered communion for all believing Christians. 

visited a local Adventist church to participate in special music with a group of artist friends I was collaborating with. There was a stirring in my heart when I sat in the pews listening to the sermon. It came to a point where the pastor began to ask the congregation, "Who are we?". With that he repeatedly and passionately responded to his own question, "WE ARE ADVENTISTS!" He instructed us to never forget our roots and the founders of the church, to never forget where we come from, never forget who we are. Even at that time, when I understood myself to be a Seventh-day Adventist, wholeheartedly believing in the message of the church, I could not help but deny the pastor in my heart and instead claim to be a Follower of Christ first and foremost. Something internal happened to me that day. From then on, when asked about my religious beliefs, I was intentional to answer that I am a follower of Christ.

About a year later, I met my husband. I was riding my long board at the playground where he was playing pick up basketball. We ended up sitting on the same bench. We were strangers to each other so in order to be polite I started a conversation. I asked him if he was planning on jumping in on the next game or if he was done playing. I don't remember his answer. He quickly followed with, "Are you Seventh-day Adventist?" We were sitting on a bench at the playground of a Seventh-day Adventist middle school after all. Even though I participated heavily in the Adventist church and believed their doctrines to be true I was very intentional to answer, "I am a follower of Christ". Later I learned that my answer was very important to my husband. For the next couple hours he could not help but share his testimony with me of how Christ was actively working in his life. Never have I met a man so intentional and passionate about his relationship with Christ. Those two hours were not enough. I wanted to know him more. I was pleased when he offered to exchange emails to keep the discussion going. The rest is history.

I thank God for the spiritual influence of my husband in my life. Several times throughout my life I fell into the trap of doubting that God had a God-fearing spiritual leader out there for me to marry. Such disbelief got me into some serious spiraling trouble, trouble that the Bible warns us about. I will share that testimony as well for those who may be dealing with a similar situation and need encouragement. But for now, back to my testimony of saying farewell to the Seventh-day Adventist church.