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Screening offers insight into Adventists' life spans

April 04, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION
  • Omar Oliveira and his wife, Samantha Abbade, watch a screening of "The Adventists" at the Seventh-day Adventist Church on Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown.
Ric Dugan, Staff Writer

HAGERSTOWN -- About 90 people attended a special screening Sunday night of a new documentary film that explores the body, mind and spirit connections of Seventh-day Adventists and how followers of the faith have enjoyed long life spans, among other benefits.

The special screening of "The Adventists" was shown at the Hagerstown Seventh-day Adventist Church on Robinwood Drive and the producer of the film appeared to take questions and to talk about the film.

Martin Doublmeier, founder of Journey Films, said before the screening that Seventh-day Adventists on average live seven to 10 years longer than other Americans and he explores in the film how followers of the faith blend religion, exercise and diet in their lives.

"We felt this was a perfect message to come to Americans with today," said Doublmeier, referring to the current national healthcare debate.

Seventh-day Adventist Church is an American-born religion that from its outset has focused on healthy lifestyles as part of its understanding of Scriptures, according to the Journey Films Web site.

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The film talks about various health facilities operated by Seventh-day Adventists including Loma Linda University in Southern California and Florida Hospital. In one of the film's segments, a 95-year-old doctor who is still participating in open heart surgeries is interviewed.

The doctor said he was a primary surgeon until he was 76 years old.

The film also explains how Seventh-day Adventists have turned to cutting edge technology, like relying on computer software to come up with ways to perform surgeries in minutes instead of hours.

Many Seventh-day Adventists are vegetarians and the film talked about how followers of the faith center their diets around fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And Seventh-day Adventists place a high importance on a sense of community, according to the film and Doublmeier said.

Rick Remmers, senior pastor at the local Seventh-day Adventist church, spoke highly of the film.

"It covers a lot of ground in an hour," Remmers said.

Jack Jones, who came to see the film, called the documentary "excellent."

Jones, who lives in Hagerstown, said his father was a patient at Florida Hospital and raved about the treatment he received there.

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The documentary film "The Adventists" will be shown at 8 p.m. Thursday on Maryland Public Television.

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