Protestant (Four Family ‘sub’ groups) – A term used to describe those Christians who sought to “reform” the Roman Catholic church. Contrary to popular misnomer, the word did not arise as a result of “protesting” the Pope or the Roman Catholic church. Rather, the etymology of “Protestant” is tied to a group of German princes, civic centers, and authorities all of whom voiced their dissent from the Diet of Speyer which was decidedly against Luther reforms. It has since come to be known as a term for “anti papist” groups and although it primarily referred to German reformers (Lutherans) and the term “Reformed Churches” referred to Swiss and French reformers, the term protestant has today come to represent all denominations besides the Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Orthodox denominations.
Begun primarily by Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, the Swiss Reformation resulted in a large number of denominations considering the Swiss Reformation (Reformed Church) as their historical foundation: Presbyterians, Amish, Evangelical Free, and Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Birthed by the teachings of a Deist turned Baptist preacher named William Miller who began in 1831 to declare that the second coming of Christ (The Advent) would occur sometime between 1843 and 1844. He was soon joined by many congregants of the “Christian Connection” (Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian groups that were the early forerunners of the Church of Christ) and when, after the false prediction of the “advent” bombed, William Miller faded into obscurity and his followers, called “Millerites” shrank to only a few followers. In 1844, a woman named Rachel Oakes Preston introduced the idea of the Saturday Sabbath observance or the “Seventh Day”. This was quickly accepted by the small group that included James and Ellen White. An alliance was formed with other disillusioned “Millerite” groups in the region and in 1860 this sparse group settled on the name “Seventh-day Adventist”. In 1863, the movement became an official organization.