The Seventh Day Adventists got their start in Washington New Hampshire. Washington NH is the first “Washington” in the United States, having been named “Washington” after General Washington (later President), before any other town.
My friend Ellie was visiting and I thought a nice site to see would be the Washington, the first Washington! Washington is still a sleepy community, very rural, with many seasonal residents that come to enjoy peaceful vacation homes.
I wasn’t sure where the first church of the Seven Day Adventists was located, so we stopped at the local community store. There was I given not only directions, but asked “Would you like the key?”
I laughed a bit, as I felt it looked rather like a gas station restroom key. I was simply asked “Please bring it back when you are done.”
Ellie and I followed the directions carefully, and I decided you would only go to this church if it had been your intended destination. You wouldn’t just simply drive by this church going anywhere else and think “let’s stop”. It is truly in the middle of nowhere.
We arrived to find some volunteers clearing up the area and cleaning up the beautiful nature/meditation trail. The trail is about a mile long through the woods with benches to rest on while you read scripture or a bit of the history of the church. It was a cool trail to follow on a hot day.
Ellie, from a Jewish family, got a kick out of all the stones that clarified for the reader why the Sabbath is Saturday, not Sunday. I joked “Well that’s a novel idea for you Ellie!” We were also interested that the end time predicted in 1844, that did not result in the end of the world, was referred to as “the disappointment”. I was rather pleased, than disappointed, that the world did not end so that Ellie and I could enjoy such a beautiful day together.
After the trail, we went inside the beautiful simple church. It must be cold in the winter, as there were handmade blankets on the backs of the benches. It reminded me of the simple Congregationalist church I used to attend in Windsor, CT.
We drove back to the local store to return the key, and while I was not converted, I found myself impressed with the hospitality and generosity of the town of Washington and the church in allowing me to tour the building. The trail was a delight, having a bad back I wished more trails came with restful benches. I plan to go back, thinking it’s nice to have a place where almost anyone can go for a quiet walk in the woods.
So if you are ever driving in nowhere New Hampshire, and find yourself in Washington, stop at the store and ask for the key. Just be sure to return it!
- Diversity Assignment (ashleyvernet2013.wordpress.com)
- the blog that was going to be about my thoughts on the seventh day adventist church but was changed by a phone call! (kevandjenb.wordpress.com)
- Ellen G. White : A Brief Biography (jesuscaminoluzyvida.wordpress.com)