Prophet William Miller to be Commemorated
By Matthew Saari
“We have passed the last round of 1843…Does your heart begin to quail? Or are you waiting for your blessed hope in the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ?”
So spoke William Miller, a Baptist pastor who lived in the Hampton and Poultney, Vermont, area who fervently believed that Christ was returning and the End of Days was nigh.
The Miller Farm, located at 1614 County Route 11 in Whitehall will host a William Miller Day on Saturday to commemorate the life and history of Miller, who went on to become the most well-known prophet of the End Times in American history.
“It’s a time to remember the history of our church and the part William Miller played in the 1830’s and 1840’s,” said site director Travis Dean. “It was very captivating to the minds of Americans in the 1830’s and 1840’s.”
The event is slated to begin at 10 a.m. with a Bible program followed by a church service at 11 a.m. Lunch will be served at noon.
“My wife’s reminding me it’s all vegetarian,” Dean said with a chuckle.
Following lunch there will be a second program at 2 p.m. Tours of the Miller Farm will also begin at 2 p.m. and run until 5 p.m.
Miller was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1782. At the age of four his family moved to what was then known as Low Hampton, New York. In 1803, at the age of 21, Miller moved to Poultney where he was heavily involved in the community, serving as justice of the peace, sheriff and tax collector.
When the War of 1812 erupted, Miller served initially in the Vermont Militia as a recruiting officer. Eventually he received a promotion to the regular Army, seeing combat during the Battle of Plattsburgh as a lieutenant. In 1815, Miller was discharged as a captain and built the eponymous Miller farmhouse, which the Adventist Heritage Ministry later purchased and restored.
“Over the course of 10 years it was restored to its original appearance,” said Dean.
Later in life, during the 1830’s and 1840’s, Miller interpreted four separate Bible prophecies and became convinced Christ was due to return during fall 1843.
“That’s how he became nationally known,” Dean said. “In the farmhouse we have an original chart that has it all mapped out.”
In 1840 Miller paired with Joshua Himes, a Christian publisher from Boston, Massachusetts. It was through Himes that Miller’s teachings reached the national and international stages.
“He literally printed hundreds of thousands of publications,” Dean said.
On the Miller property is the “Ascension Rock,” which is where the Great Disappointment occurred and is discussed in detail.
“The time passed when Jesus was expected to return,” Dean said of the Great Disappointment.
Although Christ did not return when expected, Miller never stopped believing and he expected the second coming of Christ would happen until he died in 1849.
For more information on Miller, Adventism or the William Miller Day, call Dean at 518-282-9617.