Ethiopian Adventists Persist in God’s Calling
As you drive across East Union Street toward Lake Washington adjacent to Seattle, Wash., you will find a Lutheran church open on a Saturday morning and a faithful group of Seventh-day Adventists gathered together to worship God in the Amharic language.
You’ll hear voices lifted in a capella harmony while singing the familiar tune of “In a Little While We’re Going Home” and other hymns. You may even be greeted with “melikami Senibeti,” or “happy Sabbath” in Amharic.
Ethiopian Adventist Church is the newest Adventist church in western Washington.
“This is a historic day for us,” says Tammire Darsabo, lay pastor. “Because God is with us, we are here to celebrate victories. God is calling us to shine for Him.”
Following their start as a Sabbath School in 1998, the group grew to afternoon worship services in 2005. They moved from Maranatha Adventist Church to Volunteer Park Church in 2006, requested official “group” church status in 2009, launched a low-power FM radio broadcast twice a week in 2011 and became a church “company” in 2014. Their tithe grew from $5,600 annually to nearly $55,000.
The gathered congregation in January included a 50-50 blend of Ethiopian Adventists from Seattle and Portland to celebrate the “church status” occasion. An elder from Portland shared his words of blessing: “You’ve come a long way. Organizing a church is not a simple task. I’ve seen and witnessed your journey. The work is not done. It’s just started. Our prayer is for you to continue to proclaim the gospel.”