Joseph Bates was the oldest of the three founders of the Seventh- day Adventist denomination. He was born on July 8, 1792 at Rochester, Massachusetts. When he was one year old his father moved to New Bradford (renamed Fairhaven during the war of 1812). He attended the Fair Haven Academy from his eighth to fifteenth years. He was permitted to sail as a cabin boy just before his fifteenth birthday and after subsequent voyages he became emerged as a captain and owner of vessels, whereby he made his modest fortune of twelve thousand dollars and retired.
Joseph Bates had a faithful and devoted wife by the name of Prudence Nye. They got married in 1818, and was a road they took together for 52 years. They had three girls and one boy.
Bates was converted in solitude on board his ship through fears and spiritual struggles. Bates became reformed from evil habits of drinking, smoking, and swearing and soon became a model of health reform and spiritual power for the cause that was so dear to his heart. His wife played a part in helping him spiritually by placing a Bible and devotional books in his luggage for him to take on his voyages. He later joined her church, Christian Connection when he came to land before his last voyage.
In 1839, he accepted the Second Advent preaching of William Miller and became an active successful Mille rite preacher. He eventually invested all his money in the Advent Movement. Bates experienced the 1844 disappointment without losing faith. He read Thomas M. Preble tract on the Sabbath and the next year he wrote a tract called “The Seventh- day Sabbath- a perpetual sign” published in 1846. The newly weds Ellen and James White read it and accepted the Sabbath message.
Bates was often the chairmen of “Sabbath Conferences” of 1848- 1850. He was closely associated with the Whites. He died at the age of eighty at the Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek at was buried at Monterey, Michigan.
1792 July 8 Joseph Bates is born in Rochester, Massachusetts.
1793 Bates family moves to Fairhaven.
1798 Joseph Bates Sr. helps build Fairhaven Academy.
1807 Joseph Bates goes to sea, first as cabin boy, later as captain.
1818 Marries Prudence Nye.
1828 Leaves the sea.
1831 Helps build Christian meetinghouse.
1846 Publishes tract, Seventh-day Sabbath a Perpetual Sign.
1858 Moves to Monterey, Michigan.
1872 Joseph Bates dies.
Downloadable Tracts by Joseph Bates:
A Vindication Of The Seventh-Day Sabbath, And The Commandments of God
An Explanation Of The Typical And Anti-Typical Sanctuary
Sabbath Tract by T. M. Preble
Second Advent Waymarks
The Opening Heavens