A History of Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Battle Creek
The Second Church
(November 6, 1857 - May 11, 1867)
The second church was built just around the corner from the first church, on the west side of the same lot as the first church.Its opening faced Van Buren Street. It was 28 x 44 and cost $881. Following the Quaker custom of the day, this church had separate entrances for men and women who would set on separate sides during worship. A replica was built in 1998 and today can be visited in the Historic Adventist Village.
It was in this building that the tithing system was initiated in 1859. The denominational name, "Seventh-day Adventist," proposed by David Hewitt, was chosen in the second church by unanimous vote on October 1, 1860. Organization also took place here with the Michigan Conference and Publishing Association being organized in 1861, and the General Conference being organized May 21, 1863.
It closed May 11, 1867, and was sold to a group of Methodists in 1869. The AME congregation has continued to occupy and use the building to this day. It was used unchanged until 1906 when the congregation rebuilt and enlarged their church using part of the same foundation.
The Third Church
(1867 - 1878)
On September 26, 1866, the third Battle Creek Church was raised by a group of 85 men. It was the first of three churches that would be located on the current church lot The opening of this church was on Washington street facing mcCamley Park. Work on the church was soon finished and the church opened for use in 1867 at a cost of $8,100. This church was a 40 x 65-foot wooden building, 23 feet high inside, and each family had a pew. It had a gallery inside over the entry which allowed it to seat about 700. membership when the church was first built was about 300, but with the gallery there were often 500-600 people at the meetings held in this church.
This was the first of our churches to have a cupola with a bell. Beginning with this church and continuing in churches to come for over a century, the bell would ring out over the city of Battle Creek signaling the beginning and ending hours of the sabbath.
In August of 1878, this church was moved across the street to be used by the Review. It was used at first for weekly chapel services, then became a paper warehouse. It was destroyed in the Review and Herald fires of 1902.