Non Affiliated Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Publishes Controversial Billboards
West Palm Beach, FL (PRWEB) March 28, 2014
A self supporting Seventh-day Adventist pastor recently published two billboards in northwest Michigan that is grabbing the attention of people.
There are two controversial billboards that have recently been placed in northwest Michigan. One depicts the Virgin Mary and asks if Virgin Mary sightings are real and if the dead can really speak to us. The other describes Saturday as being the true Lord's day and claims that the day was changed to Sunday by the Antichrist. Both billboards offer a free book to those who call the phone number listed: 1-866-7TH-DAY-2.
Pastor Raphael Perez of the Eternal Gospel Church is responsible for the billboards. A look at his website describes his ministry as being founded in 1992 by Seventh-day Adventist believers.
"We have been engaged in a campaign for over 15 years with more than 100 billboards in the major cities and highways across America," says the Florida pastor.
When asked if he thinks his message could be characterized as controversial, he says yes. "Every present truth that God has for His people will always be considered unpopular. And it is no different today," he explains.
Even though Pastor Raphael Perez is not part of the 18 million member Seventh-day Adventist denomination, he claims that the message of his billboards is deep-rooted in Seventh-day Adventist theology.
"Historically, our Seventh-day Adventist pioneers of the 19th Century used to engage in this same work. Sadly, during the last few decades, the leaders of the church have been shying away from this work in order to become more ecumenical," Pastor Perez continues.
Both billboards are located outside of Cadillac, Michigan, one on State Road 115 and the other is on Business Highway 131. Michigan is considered a central point in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The church was founded in Michigan in 1863 during its first world convention. Later their first hospital and college were established there also. The founding fathers of the church, James and Ellen White, are buried in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Pastor Raphael Perez's church was previously known as the Eternal Gospel Seventh-day Adventist Church. But as a result of its straightforward style of evangelism, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the highest governing body of the denomination, sued what they described in federal court as a "hate group" from using the denomination's name. A federal lawsuit was filed in 1999 over trademark infringement, unfair competition, and dilution. The lawsuit ended with a settlement which resulted in the current name of the church - "Eternal Gospel Church, Founded in 1992 by Seventh-day Adventist Believers."
"It is true that my church suspended my membership and even sued me in federal court, but I am still a Seventh-day Adventist believer," says Pastor Raphael Perez when asked about the lawsuit. "The message I believe in and preach is still the same message that the church once taught and still teaches," he continues. "It's not me who has changed. They have changed."
Pastor Perez says that the work of his ministry is supported by people from both within and without the denomination.
Labels: Seventh-day Adventists