Our Mission Statement
The mission of the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is the expansion of God's kingdom through the preaching, teaching, publishing, and living of the everlasting gospel throughout the cross-cultural communities of our territory.
We Are Global
More than 67,000 Seventh-day Adventist Christians form the Southeastern California Conference (SECC). With headquarters in Riverside, California, SECC is one of the seven conferences that make up the Pacific Union Conference. It has approximately 214,000 members and is one of nine union conferences forming the North American Division. The North American Division has more than 1 million members. It is one of 13 divisions that make up the global church of more than 16 million people living in 200 countries. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists coordinates the work of the worldwide church from headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Taking Jesus' commission seriously to preach the gospel in the entire world, Adventists began an active mission outreach in 1874. Today, our tithes and offerings continue to support the worldwide outreach of the church.
We Are Local
Adventists in the Southeastern California Conference meet for worship, fellowship, outreach, and service in more than 165 local churches. These congregations are found throughout five counties south and east of Los Angeles--Imperial, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego.
Some congregations have fewer than 100 members. The Loma Linda University Church, with nearly 6,000 members, is the largest Adventist congregation in North America. Most congregations are very diverse. The Campus Hill Church in Loma Linda has identified members from 65 countries. Some congregations hold worship services in languages other than English. Besides 45 that use Spanish, there are groups speaking Cambodian, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Portuguese, Romanian, Samoan, Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, and Visayan. Through tithes, offerings and the service of volunteers, Adventists sponsor ministries that benefit the local community, youth, and adult women and men.
Many Adventist families educate their children through the church's school system. SECC enrolls about 5,000 students in 23 schools and child development centers (child care and education for pre-schoolers). Eight schools provide K-12 education, including Loma Linda Academy with an enrollment of approximately 1,500 students. For more information visit the SECC Education Department.
Two Adventist universities are located within the conference territory. La Sierra University in Riverside is operated by the Pacific Union Conference. Approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students enroll in liberal arts, business, education, and religion programs. Loma Linda University, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005, is an educational health-science institution operated by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. About 3,000 students enroll in allied health programs, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, public health, science and technology, and the graduate school.
As Christians, Seventh-day Adventists are a faith community rooted in beliefs described in the Holy Scriptures. The church's name is based on two prominent beliefs: the Second Advent of Christ, which we believe is near, and the Sabbath of the Bible, the seventh day of the week.
The church is a descendant of the Millerites, a group whose study of Bible prophecy led them to expect Christ's return to earth in 1844. Seventh-day Adventists adopted their official name in 1860. With six conferences, 125 churches, and 3,500 members, the denomination established the first General Conference headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1863. Today the global church is headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The first Seventh-day Adventist congregation located in what is now the Southeastern California Conference (then the Southern California Conference) was organized in San Pasqual in San Diego County in 1884.
The Southeastern California Conference (SECC) was established as a distinct entity in 1915 with 27 churches and 1,645 members. Ellen G. White, a co-founder of the Adventist Church, led in the establishment of Paradise Valley Sanitarium near San Diego in 1904, and in purchasing property for a sanitarium at Loma Linda in 1905.
In 1922 a boarding academy opened 10 miles southwest of Riverside, owned jointly by SECC and the Southern California Conferences. In 1927 it expanded its curriculum as a junior college, and in 1939 became La Sierra College, graduating its first four-year students at the close of World War II in 1945. It merged with Loma Linda University in 1967, but in 1990 became a separate entity again as La Sierra University.