The Adventist Church Founded by Youth & Young Adults
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was founded right here in the Atlantic Union Conference territory by youth and young adults who were inspired by God, with an open mind, not afraid of tradition and with a vision for the Advent Message to reach the whole world.
James White, from Palmyra, Maine, was 22 when he starting preaching the advent message; Ellen G. Harmon, from Gorham, Maine, was 16 when she had her first vision from God; John Nevins Andrews, of Poland, Maine, was 16 when he started to observe the Sabbath, 21 when he started his ministry in New England, 24 when he was ordained and 38 when he became the youngest President in the history of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Uriah Smith, who was born in West Wilton, New Hampshire, at 23 he became the Editor of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, at 31 he became the youngest Executive Secretary in the history of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, he served the church for the rest of his life. Rachel Oakes Preston, from Vernon, Vermont, at age 34, presented the Sabbath as the Seventh-day to her church in Washington, New Hampshire. These youth and young adults were so busy founding the Seventh-day Adventist Church that did not have time to think about the Adventist Youth Society.
Adventist Youth Society in the Atlantic Union Conference Territory
The Adventist Youth Society is an active ministry among a good amount of Churches across the Atlantic Union Conference. There are many organized Adventist Youth Societies, which meet on Saturday afternoon/evenings and in some cases on Friday nights, the official meeting time varies from church to church. Some churches have done well by following the traditional AY Society model. Other churches have opted to have more contemporary and on occasions more informal programs, different settings, and new names in order to make it more appealing to the youth of the church and its community. Some churches have renamed their AY Society with the following names: The Cave, Encounters, Upper Room, Escape, among others.
There are also churches, in the Atlantic Union, that no longer have the Adventist Youth Society ministry, and in some cases there is an Adventist Youth Society, or at least a program, called Adventist Youth Society, mostly attended by adults, with very few youth and young adults, in rapid decline and in danger of extinction.
The local Adventist Church cannot expect to live and be an agent of salvation and service for its community without an active youth movement. This is the reason why the Adventist Youth Ministries of the Atlantic Union Conference encourages Adventist Youth Leaders in the local church and it’s Pastors to make of Adventist Youth Ministries a priority. Whether it is the traditional model or another creative model, it is time to plan, strategize, and empower youth leadership in order to strengthen and in many cases re-create the Adventist Youth Society in the local church.