Williams-Smith and her two older brothers were raised by parents who separated from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, believing that the denomination was too worldly to adequately prepare the family for Jesus Christ’s imminent return. They family abandoned most modern conveniences and lived off the land in a manner similar to 19th-century frontier people, she says.
The family often lived alone — primarily in rural Alabama and Tennessee — although like-minded people would stay with the family for a while to worship and learn, but those connections rarely lasted long because the family’s doctrinal beliefs were so strict and unyielding they caused splits with people who had slightly different views on Scripture.
Williams-Smith wore dresses with hemlines that stopped at ankles and covered her head with a bonnet because her parents believed in a literal interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11. The story of how Williams-Smith maintained her deep faith after undergoing an ordeal that would have caused many to turn their backs on religion is told in her new book, “Born Yesterday: The True Story of a Girl Born in the 20th Century but Raised in the 19th.”Read the Article