The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts: Volume 1


EVERTS, Elon (c. 1807-1858) and Maria (c. 1810-1856)

A traveling preacher from Vermont, Elon Everts is first mentioned in the Review in 1851. From 1852 to his death in 1858 Everts’ preaching schedule and reports, as found in the Review, give evidence of a vigorous ministry centered in Vermont until 1855, and after that in Illinois. He was ordained to the ministry together with J. N. Andrews and others in 1853, at one of the earliest recorded ordination services among Sabbathkeeping Adventists. In the area of Adventist theology Everts is noted as the first writer to use the expression “investigative judgment.” 1EGWLM 824.5

A little more than two years before his death at age 51, Everts and his family moved west to Illinois, bought land, and increased in prosperity. Most of Ellen White's interaction with the family dates from this period. In an article about the Evertses (without actually using the name) written shortly after Elon's death, Ellen White revealed the dramatic struggle between materialistic pursuit and spirituality within the Everts family. Even after Elon became convicted through personal testimonies from Ellen White that he ought to resume wholehearted evangelism and donate part of his large lands to support the fledgling Sabbatarian movement, his wife and teenage daughter adamantly opposed such a plan, and Everts could not bring himself to cross their wishes. 1EGWLM 825.1

When his wife, Maria, died in 1856, Everts still hesitated to oppose the entreaties of his daughter not to donate any property. Two years later, in 1858, Everts himself died. The net result, as Ellen White noted in an article poignantly entitled “A Warning,” was that Everts “left his large property to his daughter. Nothing was bestowed upon the cause of God. … Satan had it just as he wanted it at his death.” 1EGWLM 825.2

See: Obituary: “My dear companion,” Review, Nov. 6, 1856, p. 7; obituary: “Elon Everts,” Review, Mar. 11, 1858, p. 135; 1850 U.S. Federal Census, “Maria Everts,” Vermont, Addison County, New Haven, p. 187; Ellen G. White, “A Warning,” Review, Apr. 15, 1858, p. 174; Lt 14, 1857 (July 12); Lt 5, 1857 (Nov. 22); search term “Everts” in Words of the Pioneers; Paul A. Gordon, The Sanctuary, 1844, and the Pioneers, p. 87. 1EGWLM 825.3