Celebrate Sabbath With The Adventists

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The Seventh-day Adventists started holding meetings in Payson in 1964 out of the Payson Womans Club.

Before long, the congregation met in the little house behind what is now Leaves of Autumn Books on Main Street.

Local Head Elder, Gar Baybrook, was visiting Payson when he heard God speak to him, "just like I had headphones on" Baybrook said while he covered his ears.

The second time Baybrook heard the words "There needs to be a work here," he acted.

Baybrook met with his local congregation in Scottsdale and they decided to rotate between four couples who would drive to Payson each month.

It got confusing in a hurry as to who was teaching what so for the sake of continuity, Gar and Eleanor Baybrook made a commitment.

"We drove every week for 10 years from Scottsdale where we lived, up here to get a church started," he said. "We had a pastor who had worked with the Maranatha, which is a group that goes all over the world building churches. He got the California mission builders to come. About 70 or 80 men showed up, all retired doctors, dentists and such and they built the church in two weeks."

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Larry Engel is the current pastor for Seventh-day Adventists in both Payson and Show Low. He has been in Payson about two and a half years.

That was 1980.

Larry Engel has been in Payson about two and a half years and is the current pastor for Seventh-day Adventists both here and in Show Low.

According to Engel, Seventh-day Adventists keep Saturday as a memorial of creation and also do it because Jesus was the creator.

Sabbath school meets at 9:30 a.m. followed by a worship service at 11 a.m. Saturday.

"Sometimes it is confused as being legalistic or cultist," Engle said. "It is a Christian church that any Christian would be comfortable here because the primary teaching of the church is righteousness by faith in Christ. I think that people would be surprised to find that we emphasize both the Old and the New Testaments in our presentations."

Music at the church is mostly traditional hymns, sometimes accompanied by a guitar.

The Adventists ran an elementary school that was open to any Christian children in the community for 14 years. One day the Adventists hope to reopen it. Presently, they are renting the facility to the Payson Community Christian School.

Engle said that according to the Framingham study, Adventists live on the average seven to eight years longer due to their healthy lifestyle.

On the first Sabbath of the month, the community is invited to a vegetarian meal after the worship service.

For more information and service schedules call the church at (928) 474-9209.

This story is a another part of the Roundup's continuing series on churches in Payson and the Rim country and how they add beauty and grace to our community.

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