About Seventh-day Adventists
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a mainstream Protestant church with approximately 19 million members worldwide, including more than one million members in North America. The Seventh-day Adventist Church seeks to enhance quality of life for people everywhere and to let people know that Jesus is coming again soon.
Adventists believe a Trinity of three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—make up one God. They made salvation possible when Jesus, the Son, came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem and lived a sinless life in accordance with the Father's will. When Jesus was crucified for the sins of the people of the world and arose from the dead on the third day, victory was won for everyone.
When He returned to heaven following the resurrection, Jesus left the Holy Spirit to serve as our Comforter and Counselor. He promised to return to earth a second time to complete His plan of salvation and take His people to heaven. Adventists are among the believers who look forward to that day.
Adventists believe that God is concerned with the quality of human life, and that everything—the way we live, eat, speak, think, treat each other, and care for the world around us—is part of His plan. Our families, our children, our jobs, our talents, our money, and our time are all important to Him.
A History of the Leach Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church began first in Cedar Grove in 1882 when Elder Samuel Fulton came here with a tent. He brought Brother Billy Dortch with him as song leader.
After they had preached a while and gotten an interest they organized a Sabbath School. One Sabbath morning Johnny Kelly (later known as J.W. Kelly) when he was about nine years of age he started to walk to Sabbath School. He got to about where Gregg’s Chapel stands and found a note tacked on one of two white oak trees that stood there together. He took it down and took it with him to Sabbath School. When he got there he found a lot of excitement there already, because he saw that during the night the tent had been burned down. He handed the note that he had found to the folk there and it read something like
this, “If Elder Fulton preaches anymore we will cut off his head and put it on a stake at the forks of the road,” a place just beyond where the tent was.
Night came and people began to come to hear Elder Fulton preach. Elder Fulton got up in the smoke house door at Johnny Leach’s place and read the note that had been posted. Then he asked the people gathered if they wanted to hear him preach and they said they did, so he said, “ Alright, I’ll preach.” Some of the boys said they would guard him while he preached since, hearing of the trouble, they brought their guns with them. One of these boys was Anderson Lewis, Fay Grogan’s father and later one of the charter members of the Leach Seventh-day Adventist Church. Another was John Ike Reeves and another was Willie
Wilson’s father. Elder Fulton went ahead with his sermon and had no more trouble.
Now because they had no place for meetings, they decided they would build a church. Back then there was lots of timber and every man knew how to use tools so they went to the woods, felled the trees and built the log church that stood for some years near where Ray Kelly now lives.
They organized this group into the first Seventh-day Adventist Church in this area in that little log church building in 1883. Charter members were, Brother and Sister Sam Eskew, Brother and Sister Johnny Leach, and their daughter, Sophia, Brother and Sister Jim Jolly, Brother and Sister Nathaniel Pearson, Brother and Sister George Cook, Brother Anderson Lewis and his mother, Sister Rachael Jane Lewis, also his sister, Sister Maggie Lewis Williams, and Sister Annie Haynes. There were about thirty members in all.
Elder Fulton had to leave soon after the church was organized; this left the little church with no leader. Because of this lack if leadership the church began to dwindle- but always some met each week for Sabbath School at least, at first in the little log church, later in some of the members’ homes.
The winter if 1902 and 1903, Elder Hagle and his wife came with a hand organ. He would preach one week in the little log church and the next week at the Christian Chapel. Before he left he reorganized the church with twenty members. They appointed a man to lead, Brother T. W. Kivett. At the 1903 Camp Meeting they asked Brother William Keele to move down here and help strengthen and build up the church. He served as a local Elder for a
long time. He was a Colporteur and he gave many Bible Readings in the area.
Elder Roscoe Burr was President of the Tennessee River Conference (as our Conference was then called.) He was born in this area and did all he could to build up the work here. The Elders met in the little log church until the spring of 1910 when they built a frame churchon the land where the present church now stands. Brother B. R. Carter (father of Hattie May Carter-McLeod, wife of the late Elder J. O. McLeod) led out of the building of this new church. Elder A. L. Dickerson later came and was the first District Pastor so the first pastor of
the Leach Seventh-day Adventist Church. He and later Elder Donald F. Hanes helped to build up the work here. The Church grew and in 1943, under the leadership of Elder Victor Esquilla, the Church built a brick veneer church on the same property. They met in this church until 1970, when, under the leadership of Elder Gordon Collier, the present building was erected.
The charter members believed in Christian Education and the first Church School was conducted in 1883 or 1884 by Sister Samuel Fulton in the little log church. For awhile there was no school, then one conducted where the present school is and Mrs. Keele taught there for some years. “Aunt” Carrie Gregg also taught in this school two years. Later in about 1959 or 1960 the present school building was built. Sister Eager (Elder Eager’s wife) taught several years here. At one time we had a Junior Academy here- first through the tenth grades.