About Us

The history of the

Haven Seventh-Day Adventist Church


The Elmshaven Church had its beginning in1878 when St. Helena Hospital (originally named Rural Health Retreat and then the Sanitarium) was founded by Dr. Merritt G. Kellogg. It was decided to hold services on the Sanitarium grounds for those who could be excused from their work long enough to attend and to make it easier to take patients to the services.


By 1885 the attendance had outgrown the Sanitarium parlor, so the Conference lent the institution a 16x24 foot tent that was pitched on the Sanitarium grounds. The Sanitarium church, for a time called the Crystal Springs Church, was organized in the year 1886 with an approximate membership of 60. With the growing needs, Elder J.N. Loughborough made a call for donations to erect a two-story frame structure, the lower floor to be used as a gymnasium and the upper floor as a chapel seating almost 300. During the winter of 1989, Dr. Kellogg proceeded with the erection of this first church building, located on a flat, grassy area behind the Oakhurst Sanitarium building. The dedication service was held on May 4, 1890. The chapel was enlarged to accommodate the growing membership.


In 1954 plans were drawn and a site chosen for a new, larger church. This new site was on land once owned by Ellen G. White and later sold to the Sanitarium. On December 22, 1956, services were held in the new church building overlooking Elmshaven, Ellen White’s home, and was named Elmshaven Church. It was dedicated on November 28, 1959, with an interdenominational service held on Thanksgiving morning sponsored by the Upper Napa Valley Ministerial Association.


Throughout the 1950s and 60s, Elmshaven Church served the Napa Valley as the largest Seventh-day Adventist Church in the area. In 1994 the Elmshaven Church, with a membership of almost 500, served community members as well as hospital staff and health center participants. In 2016 the church’s name was changed to “The Haven”. Currently, the Haven Church has an active role in the community through Foothills School and the Haven Thrift store.



About Seventh-day Adventists


The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a mainstream Protestant church with approximately 19 million members worldwide, including more than one million members in North America. The Seventh-day Adventist Church seeks to enhance quality of life for people everywhere and to let people know that Jesus is coming again soon.

Adventists believe a Trinity of three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—make up one God. They made salvation possible when Jesus, the Son, came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem and lived a sinless life in accordance with the Father's will. When Jesus was crucified for the sins of the people of the world and arose from the dead on the third day, victory was won for everyone.

When He returned to heaven following the resurrection, Jesus left the Holy Spirit to serve as our Comforter and Counselor. He promised to return to earth a second time to complete His plan of salvation and take His people to heaven. Adventists are among the believers who look forward to that day.

Adventists believe that God is concerned with the quality of human life, and that everything—the way we live, eat, speak, think, treat each other, and care for the world around us—is part of His plan. Our families, our children, our jobs, our talents, our money, and our time are all important to Him.



Pastor Vince Saunders has served in the Haven Church since July 2022. He and his wife Elizabeth have three children, Andrew in high school, and Robbie and Izabel, elementary aged twins. Their family values differentiation, connection with flexibility and quality time on the boat. As an SDA pastor since 2006, Vince has served congregations in Tennessee, Washington, Michigan, and California. While he can be found at the church office, or Foothills school; Pr. Vince is available for visitation, bible studies, and counseling.