) is one of the smaller religious groups in the South Pacific island state of Tonga, started by Seventh-day Adventist missionaries from the United States who visited in 1891 and settled in 1895.They set up schools but made very little progress in conversion, handicapped by dietary rules that prohibited popular local foods such as pork and shellfish, and that also banned tobacco, alcohol and kava.Seventh-day Adventists became active in the South Pacific in 1886 when the missionary John Tay visited the Pitcairn Islands.
After keeping a low profile during World War II (1939–45), the church grew quickly from 1950 to the 1970s.
However, membership subsequently declined due to emigration and competition with other churches.
The school closed in mid-1899 just before the Hilliards left the islands for Australia.
and Maria Young, two nursing trainees from Pitcairn Island, and Edwin and Florence Butz with their daughter Alma.
In September 1897 Doctor Merritt Kellogg and his wife Eleanor Nolan came to assist with the medical work.
He built a timber home at Magaia that was long used as the home of the mission superintendent.
The SDA church in Tonga determines the Sabbath as if the IDL ran along the 180° meridian and the time zone were UTC−, so observes the Sabbath on the day that is officially Sunday.
The use of kava was a double problem, since this widely used drug was seen as akin to alcohol, and also had ceremonial and traditional religious connotations, but to refuse a cup of kava is to insult the giver.
In November 1904 Ella Boyd reopened the Adventist primary school at Nukuʻalofa.
She was an American who had trained at the Avondale College in Australia, and had taught in church schools in Australia.
Ida Hilliard was a teacher, and started a small school late in 1895.