Providing Church Buildings

Memorials for the Truth—When an interest is aroused in any town or city, that interest should be followed up. The place should be thoroughly worked, until a humble house of worship stands as a sign, a memorial of God's Sabbath, a light amid the moral darkness. These memorials are to stand in many places as witnesses to the truth. God in His mercy has provided that the messengers of the gospel shall go to all countries, tongues, and peoples, until the standard of truth shall be established in all parts of the inhabited world.—Testimonies For The Church 6:100 (1900). Ev 375.3

It Assures a Stable Work—Wherever a company of believers is raised up, a house of worship should be built. Let not the workers leave the place without accomplishing this. Ev 376.1

In many places where the message has been preached and souls have accepted it, they are in limited circumstances, and can do but little toward securing advantages that would give character to the work. Often this renders it difficult to extend the work. As persons become interested in the truth, they are told by the ministers of other churches,—and these words are echoed by the church members,—“These people have no church, and you have no place of worship. You are a small company, poor and unlearned. In a short time the ministers will go away, and then the interest will die down. Then you will give up all these new ideas which you have received.” Ev 376.2

Can we suppose that this will not bring strong temptation to those who see the reasons of our faith and are convicted by the Spirit of God in regard to present truth? It has to be often repeated, that from a small beginning large interests may grow. If wisdom and sanctified judgment and skillful generalship are manifested by us in building up the interests of our Redeemer's kingdom, we shall do all in our power to assure the people of the stability of our work. Humble sanctuaries will be erected where those who accept the truth may find a place to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience.—Testimonies For The Church 6:100, 101 (1900). Ev 376.3

Securing City Properties—In every city where the truth is proclaimed, churches are to be raised up. In some large cities there must be churches in various parts of the city. In some places, meetinghouses will be offered for sale at reasonable rates, which can be purchased advantageously.—Letter 168, 1909. Ev 377.1

No Less Humble Than Our Homes—There have been times when it seemed necessary to worship God in very humble places; but the Lord did not withhold His Spirit nor refuse His presence because of this. It was the best His people could do at the time, and if they worshiped Him in spirit and in truth, He never reproved or condemned their efforts. But He has blessed us with means, and we expend that means in making our houses attractive, in planning and executing to please, to honor, and to glorify ourselves; if we are content to thus leave the Lord out of our plans and to worship Him in a much poorer and more inconvenient place than we are willing to live in ourselves; if, I say, our selfish purposes are thus made supreme and God and His worship secondary, He will not bestow upon us His blessing.—Manuscript 23, 1886. Ev 377.2

Plain, Neat, and Perfect in Design—We have no command from God to erect a building which will compare for richness and splendor with the temple. But we are to build a humble house of worship, plain and simple, neat and perfect in its design. Ev 377.3

Then let those who have means look to it that they are as liberal and tasteful in erecting a temple wherein we may worship God as they have been in locating and building and furnishing their own houses. Let them manifest a willingness and a desire to show greater honor to God than to themselves. Let them build with nicety but not with extravagance. Let the house be built conveniently and thoroughly so that when it is presented to God He can accept it and let His Spirit rest upon the worshipers who have an eye single to His glory. Nothing must interfere between God's glory and us; no selfish plans, no selfish schemes, no selfish purposes. There must be an agreement.—Manuscript 23, 1886. Ev 377.4

Substantial Buildings—Some may ask, Why does Sister White always use the words, “plain, neat, and substantial,” when speaking of buildings? It is because I wish our buildings to represent the perfection God requires from His people. Ev 378.1

“But,” some say, “if the Lord is so soon to come, why do you urge our builders to put the best material into the buildings they erect?” Would we dare to dedicate to God a house made of cheap material, and put together so faultily as to be almost lifted from its foundation when struck by a strong wind? We would be ashamed to put worthless material into a building for the Lord. And I would not advise anyone to put worthless material into a house. It does not pay. The floors of our houses should be made of well-seasoned wood. This will cost a little more, but will in the end save a great deal of vexation. The frame of a building should be well matched and well put together. Christ is our example in all things. He worked at the carpenter's trade with His father Joseph, and every article He made was well made, the different parts fitting exactly, the whole able to bear test. Ev 378.2

Whatever you do, let it be done as well as upright principles and your strength and skill can do it. Let your work be like the pattern shown you in the mount. The buildings erected will soon be severely tried.—Manuscript 127, 1901. Ev 378.3

Members to Help Build—When a church is raised up, the members are to arise and build. Let the newly converted ones, under the direction of a minister who is guided by the advice of his fellow ministers, work with their own hands, saying, We need a church and we must have a church and we will each do our best in helping in the building.... Ev 379.1

Let us reveal Christ by making advancement. God calls upon those who claim to follow Jesus to make cheerful, united efforts in His cause. Let this be done and soon will be heard the voice of thanksgiving, “See what the Lord hath wrought.”—Letter 65, 1900. Ev 379.2

Financial Help From the Outside—We all need to be wide awake, that, as the way opens, we may advance the work in the large cities. We are far behind in following the instruction to enter these cities and erect memorials for God. Step by step we are to lead souls into the full light of truth. We are to continue working until a church is organized, and a humble house of worship built. I am greatly encouraged to believe that many persons not of our faith will help considerably by their means. The light given me is that in many places, especially in the great cities of America, help will be given by such persons.—The Review and Herald, September 30, 1902. Ev 379.3

Different Styles of Architecture—Churches are built in many places, but they need not all be built in precisely the same style. Different styles of building may be appropriate to different locations. Ev 379.4

In the breastplate of the high priest there were many stones, but each stone had its special light, adding to the beauty of the whole. Every stone had its special significance, bearing its important message from God. There were many stones, but one breastplate. So there are many minds, but one Mind. In the church there are many members, each having his peculiar characteristics, but they form one family.—Letter 53, 1900. Ev 379.5

Ventilation Given Consideration—Sabbath afternoon the beautiful and commodious meetinghouse in _____ was crowded to its utmost capacity. The day was warm, and abundant ventilation was needed. But the beautiful colored windows were not built to open. As a result, the congregation suffered intensely, and the speaker was so poisoned that she experienced great suffering for a week, and was barely able to fill one of her three appointments in New York City. Why will a people having abundance of information on health, sanitation, and ventilation, allow wrongly built meetinghouses to stand year after year as closed reservoirs for poison air?—W. C. White in The Review and Herald, November 25, 1909. Ev 380.1

Provide for the Church School—Workers in new territory should not feel free to leave their field of labor till the needed facilities have been provided for the churches under their care. Not only should a humble house of worship be erected, but all necessary arrangements should be made for the permanent establishment of the church school. Ev 380.2

This matter has been plainly presented before me. I saw in different places new companies of believers being raised up, and meetinghouses being erected. Those newly come to the faith were helping with willing hands, and those who had means were assisting with their means. In the basement of the church, above ground, I was shown a room provided for a school where the children could be educated in the truths of God's Word. Consecrated teachers were selected to go to these places. The numbers in the school were not large, but it was a happy beginning.—Testimonies For The Church 6:108 (1900). Ev 380.3

Go Forward—When we open up the work in one field, and gather out a company, we consecrate them to God and then draw them to unite with us in building a humble house of worship. Then when the church is finished, and dedicated to the Master, we pass on to other fields. Distinct and plain the word has come to us, “Go forward,” and just as soon as the warning message has been given in one place, and men and women raised up to continue the work there, we pass to the unworked parts of the Lord's vineyard.—Letter 154, 1899. Ev 381.1