Updated: Jul 28, 2015The following news has been released by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
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North American Division
July 17, 2012
Re: Walter McGill and the Creation “Seventh-‐‑day Adventist Church”
Note: Recent news reports have addressed the trademark infringement claims between Mr. Walter McGill and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The following news release from the Seventh-day Adventist Church serves as an accurate account of the relationship between Mr. McGill and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
According to church records, Walter McGill was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church but left in the early 1990s citing reasons of doctrinal differences. He has never been a pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
After leaving the Seventh-day Adventist Church, McGill began a new ministry–utilizing the name “Seventh-day Adventist.” Prior to filing a claim in 2006, the Seventh-day Adventist Church attempted on multiple occasions to reach out to McGill asking him to cease and desist the usage of the name “Seventh-day Adventist.” These attempts were made because McGill’s ministry was not a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
After numerous attempts to resolve this matter amicably, the Seventh-day Adventist Church filed suit against McGill to stop using the name “Seventh-day Adventist.” As a part of the court process, the Court ordered mediation but McGill did not appear at any of the court ordered mediations. The Court warned McGill that his lack of participation in the mediations could result in sanctions. McGill continued to disregard and disobey the requests of the Court. During this time, McGill also ignored the District Court’s orders by placing and re-placing signage on his church’s property containing the name “Seventh-day Adventist” as well as operating Web sites bearing the name “Seventh-day Adventist.” It was at that point McGill was found in contempt of violating the District Court’s orders.
It is not now nor has it been the intention of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to shut down McGill’s ministry or for him to be jailed. Recent developments are the result of actions taken by the court because Mr. McGill did not comply with the court’s ruling.
We believe that Mr. McGill has the right to exercise his religious beliefs and operate a ministry, however to falsely identify himself with an organization of which he is not a part, is not acceptable. This false association confuses the public, media and at times members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has defined processes and procedures for establishing and maintaining congregations.
The doors of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are always open to the community and to anyone who wishes to worship in one of our more than 6,200 congregations in North America.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Bible-believing Protestant denomination. Its members base their faith, hope and future in Jesus Christ. “Seventh-day” indicates our adherence to the biblical Sabbath, while “Adventists” means we anticipate the promised return of Christ and identifies our faith community and distinct value system. The Church has more than 17 million members worldwide and 1.2 million members in North America.
Note: If you have any questions, please call George Johnson, communication director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, at (240) 338-2219 or Garrett Caldwell, public relations director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, at (240) 401-7279.