Bellevue Remembers Adventist Disappointment
Bellevue Church observed Adventist Heritage Sabbath on Oct. 22 and paid tribute to the Great Disappointment of 172 years earlier, which led to the founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The cover of the day’s bulletin featured the William Miller chapel and the Ellen White quote, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history."
The story of the Millerites and their fervent and happy belief that Jesus would come back on Oct. 22, 1844, was told by actors in 19th-century costume, interspersed with the singing of early Advent hymns and ending with the bitter disappointment when the day ended without their hopes fulfilled. Narrators representing Miller, James White and Joseph Bates looked backward on that experience, while the Ellen White narrator looked forward to the unknown date of Jesus’ return. Today's relevance of the Great Disappointment, or, as it is called in some circles, the day of theological humility, was summed up by Robert Howson. Pictures of the Adventist pioneers decorated the bulletin board.
Carolyn Howson and Dixie Robinson coordinated the program. Pastor Maylan Schurch portrayed William Miller, and Kayla Mellon brought Ellen White to life. James White was played by Jim Mellon, Joseph Bates by Roger Bookter, Joshua V. Himes by Chris Whittemore, and Charles Fitch and Hiram Edson by Eric Wilson.
No one who saw this historical drama will forget our church beginnings.
The look back at our early church history continued in several Sabbath School programs, beginning with Robert Olfert's telling the story of the effect of the Great Disappointment on believers. The next week, Carrol Grady focused on James White, husband to Ellen White, after "James" (played by Bob Grady) strode up the aisle singing "You Will See Your Lord A-Coming" and beating time on his Bible. The final program featured Bob Grady sharing the story of the beginning of church missions overseas.