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The Seventh Day Adventist church started in 1895 when the first missionaries arrived. Although SDA had very significant activities in the field of education and health care, it moved very slowly for 90 years.
The Church gained momentum in 1986. This helped ever growing number of adherents. In 1935, there were only 211 ‘Sabbath Keepers’ recorded. 1992 grew to about 5,000.
Adventist education since the very beginning of SDA has played an important role in Tonga.
For instance, in 1992, one high school and three primary schools were established and ran by the SDA Church. They had a total enrolment of about 500 students. This was of which 60% were non-SDA.
‘After having been an observer member of the Tongan national Council of Churches, the SDA withdrew in 1986 because of complaints, especially by the older members of the Church, who perceived the work of the TNCC as too political and interfering with government.’ Winds of Change.