The Millerite movement defended Christian values with the prediction of the Second Great Awakening and their Baptist leader, William Miller, interpreted the Bible writing of Daniel to declare their Saviour's return to Earth on October 22, 1844.
His followers gave away their houses, horses, and possessions in preparation for the Rapture. Some climbed church steeples to leap into the air, so angels could seize them for a flight to heaven. To the Millerites the world couldn't come to an end fast enough and thousands of his followers gathered for the moment on October 22.
Dawn came and went without the horns of salvation sounding in the heaven. Few of the devout jump from their perches. They struck the ground with a thud. None died, but many suffered broken bones.
Noon passed without the appearance of the Man from Nazareth.
Non-believers ridiculed Miller's flock throughout the rest of the day and the sun set on what would become known as 'The Great Disappointment'.
William Miller re-predicted the 2nd Coming for 1845 only to be disappointed once more.
The preacher's faithful examined the text of the Bible and the Millerites fragmented into opposing camps from the wreckage of the Great Disappointment. The 'shut door' camp believed that the door to heaven was closed to foolish virgins and only the wise virgins would be accepted through the Pearly Gates. The majority of the remaining Millerites rejected this theory and even convinced their leader that heaven was open to all believers. William Miller died in 1849 without achieving his much desired rapture. His followers continued to believe as Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and Advent Christians.
Madmen and madwomen.
I'm disappointed that their Messiah hadn't taken them away on October 22, 1844.
The world would have been a better place without them.
Maybe next time.
What a wonderful world it will be.