A number of independent churches and small movements use the name ‘Sabbatharian Church’ — sometimes spelled ‘Sabbatarian.’
These churches have in common that that worship on the Sabbath as opposed to on Sundays. The vast majority of groups that do so are so dogmatic about Sabbath worship that they make doing so a mark of a ‘true Christian.’ For this reason, such churches are considered to be — theologically — cults of Christianity.
In most cases, sociologically these churches have cult-like elements as well.
Richard and Laura Dugan
One Sabbatharian group that has been in the news is located in Clarkson, Kentucky. ‘Sabbatharians’ is led by Richard and Laura Dugan. They call their community, ‘Levita Township.’
They are staunch believers in the doctrines of the old Worldwide Church of God.
They told me that they were at one time affiliated with the WCG, but broke away in the 1980’s to practice their own doctrines when HWA was beginning to be discredited from within and without. They opted for a stricter approach to spiritual matters than the WCG was espousing at that time–mainly Old Testament rituals and rules, which were scrupulously followed.
The book The United States and Britain In Prophecy was a constant source for their justification in the plans and operations of the “Township.” HWA was regarded as “A prophet like unto Jeremiah” by the congregation. He was quoted daily, and any occurrence that came close to fulfilling a prophecy of his, his name would be trumpeted around, saying that wasn’t it wonderful that God had chosen such a great and wise man to be His prophet? (paraphrased)
I had been a borderline Christian before moving to their “Township,” called by them “La Vita,” in 2005. As I was a “city boy,” I had to learn the ways of working on a farm with a spread of 400 acres. I was informed of the rules governing the community, about how work had to cease at sundown on Friday and could not commence until Sunday, how the community as a whole had to celebrate the various feasts from the Old Testament, and so on.
Then it was explained that all of the so-called “holidays” that I had celebrated in the past were pagan, and I could no longer participate in them. They told me that if I visited my relatives on a Sunday, that I was engaging in a pagan ritual, because they believed Saturday was the Sabbath. The same with Christmas or Easter, Thanksgiving or New Year’s Eve–all were considered “pagan, sinful, and evil.”
I was told that the leader, a man named Richard Dugan, was a “prophet of God,” and that it was the congregation’s duty to serve him in whatever way he saw fit. As proof of his exalted status, he had two wives, both living with him. There were a few in the congregation that called Richard “Sire” in reference of the claim that he was to be the king whom Christ Himself would appoint, “Who would administer justice in the name of the Lord.”
There was another thing that concerned me, and that was the opposition they expressed toward any state or federal agency. They even said that because Kentucky is a commonwealth, that the state police are not legally police.
– Source: I Got Out While There Was Time Kevin, Exit & Support Network
The Bible predicts it, ministers preach about it and many others fear it.
But few of us expect the end of the world to happen anytime soon.
One religious sect, however, is counting down the days from a strange-looking compound on a Grayson County hilltop, WLKY NewsChannel 32’s John Boel reported Monday.
Many people have been wondering what’s going on up on that hilltop. The compound is growing, and so is suspicion. The Sabbatharians say the war in Iraq is just another sign that the end of the earth is near, fulfilling biblical prophecy, Boel reported.
– Source: Kentucky Sabbatharians Prepare For Armageddon, WLKY, May 5, 2003