Who we are and from whence we came
The historical roots of Seventh Day Baptists lead back to about 1617 in England, during a time of Protestant Reformation, when devout Baptist Christians applying the principle of sola scriptura, or “Scripture alone,” came to the conclusion that keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath was an inescapable requirement of biblical Christianity.
The first organized and existing Seventh Day Baptist church is the Mill Yard Church in London. Peter Chamberlen the personal physician of three British monarchs may have been the pastor from its beginning in 1651 to the time of his death in 1683. Two Seventh Day Baptists, Stephen and Anne Mumford left England to America in 1664, and in 1671, became part of the group of seven individuals to form the first Seventh Day Baptist Church in America.
The Seventh Day Baptist message bore fruit in Jamaica in the year 1923. Mrs. Emily Smikle, then a Free Seventh Day Adventist came upon a Seventh Day Baptist publication called “The Voice”, which caused her to rethink aspects of her doctrinal views. She became the first Seventh Day Baptist in Jamaica, soon to be joined by her husband. Through the commitment, zeal and enthusiasm of Mr. and Mrs. Smikle, the Post Road Seventh Day Baptist Church was started. Sister Smikle made contact with the editor of “The Voice”, Robert St. Claire, and upon receiving a reply, found that four men of Jamaica had also written requesting the American Missionary Board to send a missionary.
Two American missionaries, Pastor C.A. Hansen and W.L. Burdick visited Jamaica in November 1923, by which time, another S.D.B. group was started in the island, in Long Wood Pen, Santa Cruz. This church was led by Mr. H.E. Samms. Pastor H. L. Mignott who was dismissed from the Jamaica S.D.A. Conference, and was now the pastor of the Post Road S.D.B. Church invited the missionaries to all his Free S.D.A. Churches, and together, the three men spent three weeks organizing these churches into Seventh Day Baptist Churches. On December 20, 1923, delegates of the newly founded S.D.B. Churches gathered in Kingston to organize a Seventh Day Baptist Association. Pastor H.L. Mignott was made responsible for directing the Association whose headquarters were in Kingston. In 1924, fourteen churches were received into membership of General Conference.