The resources at the Center include:
- The writings and biography of Ellen White. (printed, audio, video, microfiche films and reader)
- Materials on Church history (printed, audio, video, microfiche films and reader)
- Artefact (An 8 kilo or 18 ½ pound large Bible held by Ellen White during one of her visions)
- Photographs on Adventist church heritage.
A brief history of Ellen White
Ellen White’s maiden name was Ellen Harmon. Born in Gorham, Maine, November 26, 1827, to Robert and Eunice Harmon, she and her twin sister Elizabeth were the youngest of eight children. In her early teens, Ellen and her family accepted the Biblical interpretations of the Baptist farmer turned preacher, William Miller. With Miller and 50,000 other Adventists she suffered bitter disappointment when Christ did not return on October 22, 1844, the date marking the end of the 2300-day prophecy of Daniel 8.
In December 1844, God gave Ellen the first of an estimated 2,000 visions and dreams. In August, 1846, she married James White, a 25-year-old Adventist minister who shared her conviction that God had called her to do the work of a prophet. They both had four boys two of which died young. Her other two sons, Edson and William, both became Adventist ministers.
Her writing career began in 1851, when she published her first book setting forth a steady stream of articles, books, and pamphlets. She published books on education, health and other topics of special significance to the church. Since her death, over 100 titles of her books and compilations from her 50,000 pages of manuscript are available. Some are devotional in nature. Others are historical and trace the ongoing struggle between Christ and Satan for control of individuals and nations.
In spite of her initial shyness and reluctance, Ellen White eventually became a very popular public speaker in the United States, Europe and Australia. She was a much sought after lecturer on temperance and other topics among Adventist and non-Adventist audiences. In 1876, she addressed her largest audience—estimated at 20,000—at Groveland, Massachusetts, for more than an hour without the aid of a microphone.
In her vision of June 6, 1863, Ellen White was given instruction on such health related matters as the use of drugs, tobacco, coffee, flesh foods, and the importance of exercise, sunshine, fresh air, and self control in diet. The health counsels have provided Adventists with a lifestyle resulting, according to research findings, in living approximately seven years longer than the average person in the United States.
Ellen White read widely. She found that reading other authors helped her in her own writing as she presented the truth revealed to her in vision. Also, the Holy Spirit impressed her at times to draw into her own articles and books literary gems from the works of others. She did not claim infallibility nor did she maintain that her writings were equal to Scripture, yet she firmly believed that her visions were of divine origin, and that her articles and books were produced under the guidance of the Spirit of God. Her primary concern in life was the salvation of souls.
Ellen White was a generous person, and set a good example of practical Christianity. For years she kept loads of cloth on hand so that if she saw a woman who needed a new dress, she would be able to provide assistance. In Battle Creek she attended auctions and bought pieces of used furniture, which she stored; then if someone’s home burned or some other calamity befell a family, she was prepared to help. In the days before the church started its retirement plan, if she heard of an older minister who was in financial straits, she would send a little money to help him meet his emergency needs.
Ellen White died July 16, 1915. She never was elected to an office in the church, yet her advice was constantly sought by denominational leaders and scholars. She did not attend school beyond the age of nine, yet her messages set in motion the forces that produced the present world-wide Adventist education system—from day-care centers to universities. Though she herself had no medical training, the fruitage of her ministry can be seen in the network of Adventist hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities that circle the earth. And though she was not formally ordained as a gospel minister, she has made an almost unparalleled spiritual impact on the lives of millions, from one end of the earth to the other.
The E. G. White writings continue to help people find their Savior, accept His pardon for their sins, share this blessings with others, and live expectantly in hope of His promised soon return.