Miller, William,1782–1849, American sectarian leader, b. Pittsfield, Mass. He was the founder of the sect of Second AdventistsAdventists
[advent, Lat.,=coming], members of a group of related religious denominations whose distinctive doctrine centers in their belief concerning the imminent second coming of Jesus (see Judgment Day).
..... Click the link for more information. , sometimes called Millerites. In 1831, convinced from study of the Bible that the prophecies pointed to the second coming of Christ in 1843, he went about spreading his belief among large audiences. Many prepared for the Day of Judgment, and when the year passed without a fulfillment of Miller's prophecy, a date in 1844 was set. In 1845 Miller and his followers founded the Adventist Church.
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Miller, William(1782–1849) religious leader; born in Pittsfield, Mass. A farmer, minor officeholder, and militia veteran of the War of 1812, he underwent a religious conversion around 1816 and convinced himself—and, eventually, thousands of followers—that the Second Coming of Christ was imminent. He became a licensed Baptist preacher in 1833. His Millerite (Adventist) movement peaked in 1843 and declined rapidly when Christ failed to appear as predicted between the period March 1843 to March 1844. His followers, however, organized the Seventh Day Adventist movement in 1863.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.