David Trim, director of Archives, Statistics and Research at the General Conference, talks about The Great Disappointment of 1844.
October 22, 1844, was the day William Miller had calculated Jesus would come back to earth to take his followers to heaven. By some estimates, 50,000 people accepted his message. End-of-time prophets had proselytized for centuries before Miller, and continue to win believers today, as world-end dates come and go. But Miller’s prediction didn’t end in 1844 – it evolved into the beginnings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, now with nearly 18 million members around the world. And Miller-style prediction graphs and charts, complete with beasts and horsemen, are still discussed at evangelistic meetings everywhere.