Our church was first chartered by a faithful group of Seventh-day Adventist believers in early 2000 under the name Eternal Gospel Fellowship. Included with the name was an expression of faith to let everyone know that we were members of the Seventh-day Adventist faith but not members of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist (GCSDA) denomination, as our name--Eternal Gospel Fellowship--should have made clear.
What made this expression of faith necessary? One reason, though lengthy to explain, is that this group of faithful souls had left the Seventh-day Adventist denomination because of the wide spread apostasy of that organization; an organization that had ceased to live up to their high calling after years of repeated calls to repent from deviating from right principles and allowing open sin in the church, to reform and go back to the foundational pillars.
This action of removing themselves from the GCSDA organization did not change the fact that this group of people were, and continue to be, of the Seventh-day Adventist faith, but that they could no longer be associated with the sin and apostasy of the GCSDA denomination without risking their own salvation and that of others. How, in good conscience, can you bring a new convert into a fallen organization that will lead them to hell? This weighed heavy on the hearts of the members of Eternal Gospel Fellowship. The truth is that you cannot.
To further show the depths of their fall from truth, it had become known by that time that the GCSDA had clandestinely trademarked the names Seventh-day Adventist, Adventist and SDA and forbid the use of such names without their consent. They began covertly suing different entities that innocently used their trademarks to build a consensus of court victories to eventually use in controlling their interests. The church members of the GCSDA denomination became business consumers and it was no longer the household of faith. Those who dared use the trademarked names without permission would ultimately face threats of being sued in a court of law (Please check out 1 Corinthians 6 and see what the Bible says about taking brethren to court). The actions of the GCSDA reminds one of what Revelation describes as the image of the beast, doesn’t it? The church using the state to enforce its mark?
At that time, 2000, the GCSDA were in the process of suing a pastor in south Florida for using the name Seventh-day Adventist as he shared the present truth message of Revelation 14 to the Hispanic community via radio. A lawsuit the GCSDA eventually won, though they compromised and allowed the pastor to use the name but only with their specifications (sign size, font and size, etc…).
In the fear of being sued by the mighty and wealthy GCSDA, this faithful group of the Seventh-day Adventist faith chose their church name very carefully based upon the Bible, the SOP and advice from prominent attorney recommendations picking Eternal Gospel Fellowship as their name. Upon said advice a statement of faith was included with the name, Historic Seventh-day Adventists, in order to show they remained Seventh-day Adventists by faith and to ensure that they would not be sued by the GCSDA for using their mark as a church name. This worked quite well for the group for the next nine years as they worked their mission field and were known throughout their communities as the Eternal Gospel Fellowship and Battle Creek Gospel Fellowship, respectively!
However, in 2009 they received notification from the General Counsel Office of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to cease from using the name Seventh-day Adventist, Adventist or SDA for their church name and the request also pertained to their websites, signs, literature, audios, videos, etc… The first notification was received by email and the church decided to wait for a hard copy by postal mail before addressing the issue. None came so the issue was dropped. Almost three years passed as the church continued working the mission field functioning as Eternal Gospel Fellowship and Battle Creek Gospel Fellowship of Historic Seventh-day Adventists without a word from the GCSDA.
In the fall of 2011 the pastor of Eternal Gospel Fellowship penned an accomodation letter to the employer of a member to help explain about the Sabbath and the member's right to keep it as a day of worship. Within sixty days of penning the letter the church was contacted by the GCSDA the second time, but this time by postal mail, asking to cease from using the name Seventh-day Adventist, Adventist and SDA. ~See the GCSDA letters here~ and here~
The issue was then raised in a church business meeting as to their response to the GCSDA. The church took to prayer, study and discussion and decided that rather than risk a lawsuit, they would choose a new name that better reflects the times in which we live and our end time mission as Seventh-day Adventists—our present truth—the three angels messages and the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
Remaining Seventh-day Adventists by faith, in January of 2012 they chose to no longer be called Eternal Gospel Fellowship or Battle Creek Gospel Fellowship but to now be known as the Three Angels Sabbath-day Church! The response from the community has been remarkable as people ask about the name, thus giving a chance to share the three angels messages and the Sabbath truth!
It is interesting to note that the GCSDA has never been contacted by this faithful group of believers—EVER, and likewise they have never heard from the GCSDA since November, 2011. It is the hope and prayer of the Three Angels Sabbath-day Church that the GCSDA will repent of their course and come back into the faith before probation closes on the house of God.