A small group of Christian believers founded the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in the mid-1800s. Through their study of the Bible, they came to believe that the seventh day of the week, Saturday, was set aside by God during Creation as a permanent day of rest and spiritual renewal. They also believed that the Creator, Jesus Christ, would return to Earth to fulfill His promise of eternal life. These major beliefs are reflected in the name: Seventh-day Adventist.

The Adventists also realized from their study of Scripture that Jesus devoted a great deal of His time on Earth healing the sick and helping those in need. In fact, He seemed to seek out people with problems, offering them a new and better life. The members of the young church wanted to pattern their service after His, and Seventh-day Adventist healthcare began to take shape.

The accepted health beliefs and “medical” practices of the time were both quaint and horrifying by today’s standards. These medical pioneers wanted to offer a better, healthier way to live.