Ellen G. White

Prolific Seventh Day Adventist author


November 26, 1827
July 16, 1915
Related topics
History, Christian life, Patriarchs (Bible), Church history, Jesus Christ,


Picture of Ellen G. White
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White was born at Gorham, Maine, the daughter of Robert and Eunice Harmon. When she was still a child, her family moved to Portland, Maine. When Ellen was ten she was struck by a stone, putting her in a coma for three weeks. When she recovered, her devout mother believed she was spared for some divine purpose. For the next six years, the young girl fought a battle to return to a normal state of health.

During a moving evangelistic campaign of William Miller in 1840, Ellen embraced the Adventist faith and looked for the personal return of Christ in October 1844. Being disappointed by this false expectation, and in a state of depression, she held a prayer meeting with four women in December of that year. Subsequently, she had a vision of being transported to heaven and realized that Christ's second advent could not take place unless the great commission was fulfilled.

On August 30, 1846, she married the Reverend James White, born in Palmyra, Maine. He was ordained a minister to the Adventist faith in 1843. In 1864 he became ill and his wife nursed him back to health. This experience turned their thoughts to health reform, and in response to a vision that came to Ellen, the Western Health Reform Institute was founded in 1866 at Battle Creek, Michigan.

After her husband's death in 1881, Ellen traveled about visiting churches and attending conferences and camp meetings. She labored in Europe from 1885 to 1888, and in 1891 she went to Australia, remaining there nine years. In 1901 she directed her interests to the southern states and founded Southern Publishing Association at Nashville, Tennessee, in 1903. She had a definite part in moving the national denominational headquarters to Washington, D.C., in 1907.

During her lifetime she wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books. Today, however, including compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. Some of her more popular books include Steps to Christ, The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy.

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