Today, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the fourth largest denomination in the country with over 11,000 members and some 35 churches in New Providence and the Family Islands.
On November 27, 1893, two colporteur missionaries from New York, C. H. Richards and his wife, arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, after a three-and-a-half-day voyage and sowed the seeds of Adventism via the printed page. Thus from this humble beginning, the church in the Bahamas began. Today, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the fourth largest denomination in the country with over 11,000 members and some 35 churches in New Providence and the Family Islands.
Upon the arrival of C. H. Richards, the arrival of C. H. Richards, the population of the country was estimated at 50,000. He reported that one third of the population was Caucasian and the balance with shades from yellow to black. In fact, C. H. Richards implied that the Bahamas was a virgin territory and that "now one of whom so far as we know, fully understands and obeys the (Sabbath) truth for this time."
During the tenure of C. H. Richards, evidence of possible conversions has been limited to their report of a young police officers who was a lay preacher of the Methodist Church and had begun to show a keen interest in Adventism. He was planning to receive formal education in an effort to instruct others, but financially his family depended on him and so he could "not yet" see his way clear to leave his post on the police force. It was not documented whether the young officer eventually became a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In March of 1895, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Parmele, also literature evangelists, under the directive of the Foreign Mission Board, succeeded the Richards in the Bahamas. Mr. Parmele reported that the work of his predeccessors had sparked quite a bit of interest in the colony. In fact, about one week after his arrival a family of six, for the Richards toiled, started to keep the fourth commandment.
Charles Antonio, a shoemaker was the first Bahamian to accept the Seventh-day Adventist message. His son, Brother William W. Antonio was among the first Bahamians to serve on the Bahamas Mission of Seventh-day Adventist Executive Committee.
Pastors Silas N. McKinney and Neville E. Scavella, were the first Bahamians to train for the ministry