Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Seventh-day Adventist Church was established in Tasmania in 1888. The denomination originated in Michigan, USA in 1863, and in 1885 a group travelled to Australia and began preaching in Melbourne. After a church group was established in Melbourne in 1886, some members moved to Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart. Public tent meetings were held in Sandy Bay in 1888, when the Hobart church was organised. Two leaders of the Hobart church began preaching in Bismarck (renamed Collinsvale during the First World War), where a church was organised in 1889 and the first Seventh-day Adventist church building in Australia was erected.

Other churches were organised throughout the state and there are currently sixteen with a total membership of 1119, co-ordinated from an administrative office in Hobart. Large-tent 'camp' meetings have been held annually since 1900 at various sites and, since 1957, at a permanent campsite at Devonport. The Church also operates a youth campsite at Spring Beach and conducts youth-oriented activities for children aged 10 to 15. Church primary schools were begun in Hobart (1901), Launceston (1904), Glen Huon (1918) and Moonah (1933). Schools are still operating in Moonah and Penguin.

To promote a vegetarian diet, health food shops were opened in Launceston (1902) and Hobart (1903) and operated in various locations until 1989. The Sanitarium Health Food Company operated a factory in Derwent Park from 1949 to 1992. Churches originally ran individual community care programmes, and Adracare thrift shops have been established in Glenorchy and Ulverstone. Aged care facilities operated at Rosny (19802004) and Legana (1990s2003).

Further reading: A Petersen, 'The history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tasmania', in the Church's possession; www.adventist.org.au.

Rayleen Irvine