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Health Ministries Director

Why are Seventh-day Adventists interested in Health?

(The Adventist Health Advantage)

The work of healthcare and healing is a central belief of the Adventist Church.

As early as 1863, Ellen White, co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, counseled the fledgling on the importance of healthful living. The outstanding feature of her initial message was the relation between physical welfare and spiritual health, or holiness. In 1866, the early Adventist Church started the western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, a Seventh-day Adventist pioneer, and his brother William were complicit in developing what we know today as corn flakes and improving the production of peanut butter.

Throughout her life, Ellen White was the channel of information that fashioned the church’s philosophy and emphasis on health. Long before medical evidence emerged on the dangers of smoking, Ellen White spoke out strongly on this and other issues, including the use of alcohol and poisonous medications such as arsenicals and mercury-based drugs.

The drinking of tea and coffee, and use of stimulants was very strongly discouraged, as, ultimately, was the use of flesh food. She promoted a lacto-ova vegetarian diet as the optimal diet. In addition, the use of fresh, clean water (inside and out), clean air, adequate exercise and rest, faith, appropriate sunshine exposure, integrity and social support were strongly encouraged.

These principles still form the foundation of our health education and practice. The health teaching and initiatives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are based on the Bible, Ellen White’s counsels, and evidence-based scientific health principles.



"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." Hebrews 10:25

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