• Kurt Fedewa

The Portland Seventh-day Adventist Church


The Seventh-day Adventist Church was founded in Battle Creek, Michigan in the year 1861. The congregation in Portland dates from the 1950s. Ryan Counsell serves it as pastor.


Pastor Counsell attended seminary in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He holds a Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Andrews University and he has been a minister since 1993. He first served his church as a missionary in Burma and in Thailand before returning to Michigan in 1995. Pastor Counsell finds the ministry to be a personally satisfying experience.


“The most rewarding aspect of my ministry is that of working with kids,” said the pastor. “I enjoy children and I am the father of three. It is a great joy for me to instruct our congregation’s children in Biblical lessons at our Bible study following our Saturday service.”


Seventh-day Adventists follow the Old Testament commandment to worship on Saturday.


“Saturday is our church’s day of rest,” said Pastor Counsell. “In addition to church services, we take time to appreciate the Lord’s day by taking nature walks, by reading the Bible, and by having large dinners that we all appreciate.”


On every fourth Saturday, the Portland congregation hosts a fellowship meal. Everyone in the community is invited to it. It is a vegetarian meal that is representative of the denomination’s interest in healthy living.


“We are very health conscious,” said the pastor. “Consistent with this focus, we offer health classes to the community that are devoted to such topics as meatless cooking, physical exercise, and how to stop smoking cigarettes. In keeping with our interest in health, we avoid drinking alcohol, we don’t use tobacco, and we stay away from illicit drugs. The Bible tells us to take good care of our physical bodies and we take those words very seriously.”


The liturgy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church follows the Methodist form.


“We sing Methodist hymns that John Wesley wrote as well as those that Martin Luther wrote,” said the pastor.


Pastor Counsell explained more about his church.


“We are a traditional Protestant church with a conservative perspective,” he said. “We enjoy traditional-style services with Bible readings, with the singing of hymns, and with Bible-based sermons. If people like these things, then I think that they would enjoy our church. Everyone is welcome to visit us. We are a small congregation with a big heart. Our mission is to be of service to others and to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.”


The Portland Seventh-day Adventist Church

810 Kent Street

Portland, MI 48875


Saturday Services at 2:30 PM with Bible Study at 3:30 PM.


Contact Pastor Ryan Counsell at (269) 223-9245


Courtesy photo.

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