Seventh-Day Evangelist Church
The Seventh-Day Evangelist Church is a Christian denomination that recently grew out of the teachings that were embraced by a group of Sudanese people who formerly joined the Adventist Church. The church was founded in 1985 in South Sudan under the leadership of Moses B. Matthew. He was only 15 years old when he started preaching the gospel of God's kingdom. Other members were active. About thirty people joined the church as members but experienced regular and constant acts of persecution by other Christian churches especially because of the Sabbath observance. The Episcopal Church of Sudan then, continued to persecute the Evangelist church which was located in Aborom. They had 32 churches while the Evangelist Church was only one. Many educated people from Bor community often misunderstand the necessity of giving others the right to be different from them. Dr. John Garang De Mabior was from Bor. His region people talked about freedom from the north of Sudan and yet suppressed the freedom of the Evangelist Church members. However, John Garang did not have such an attitude only his country men from Bor did.
The rebel government was not educated about the principles of democracy and religious freedom. Those who were aware of these facts were on higher levels of administration. These churches used the local government at the time to persecute the group and tried to discourage them from spreading their beliefs. In 1987 the local government ran by The SPLA at the time managed to close the Evangelist church and presented their church building as a gift to the Episcopal church for their constant disagreement and pursuit of accusations against the Evangelist Church. The members of the Seventh-Day Evangelist Church fled Bor and went to Ethiopia where they had the freedom to worship and share their beliefs with other people.
The following were among the members. Sarah Ajok Biar Chol, Moses Matthew, Peter Duot Mabior, Andrew Bul Arok, Daniel Duot Aruei, Abdun Aruei Arok, Daniel Deng Akur, Rachel Abuk Atem, Elizabeth Adut Warebek, Mary Ayok, Rachel Awaak Malek, Stephen Nul Biar Chol, Rachel Achol Garang, Rachel Apul Aguil, Mary Achol, Ayen Mabior Gak, and John Mabior Barach. There were around 30 members. Most of these members are now in the Adventist Church. With the exception of Pastor Moses Banak Matthew B. Chol who is the founder and the church leader. They were not called Evangelists then, but the teachings they embraced are among the present fundamental teachings of The Seventh-Day Evangelist Church. The Church in abbreviation is known as " The SDE Church "
The Seventh-Day Evangelist Church has 25 fundamental beliefs. These include the observance of Saturday as day of worship and seventh-day Sabbath according to the Biblical teaching. The Evangelist Church believes that for a person to become a Christian they must experience new birth now and not when Jesus returns. The church teaches that when Jesus came the first time He came to save. This work of salvation is the reason why He has not returned yet, so that everyone has a chance to repent and become a Christian. The Church teaches also that when Jesus comes there will be no more opportunity for salvation, it will be a time of judgement and reward. Those who have been saved will be taken to heaven and those who have not been saved will be condemned to everlasting death.
Another doctrine that the Seventh-Day Evangelist Church teaches is that marriage in God's eyes is not practiced by a large number of people in the world. The church teaches that despite going to church for a wedding ceremony and obtaining a legal documentation and approval without God's approval and recognition it is nothing more than an immoral practice and an organized form of adultery. Among the 25 fundamental teachings there are other unique doctrines like the one pertaining to marriage. All in all The most important doctrine of The Seventh-Day Evangelist Church is the doctrine of salvation. Evangelists may have beliefs in common with the SDA church, but it never originated from the Adventist Church.
The Evangelist Church teaches health programs for a better experience on earth. The Church believes in a set of health programs which promote soundness of mind and body. The Evangelists believe in the healthy environment where cleanliness is embraced and enjoyed on a daily basis. The church teaches that cultures of men can have a negative impact on the church as a heavenly representative on earth. The Evangelist Church is currently enjoying its presence in Uganda, South Sudan and South Korea. It is also reaching Australia, Canada and the United States of America while it is building up its presence in the Continent of Africa and Europe.