The Publishing Ministry


Chapter 16—Relocating and Rebuilding

God's Guidance in Relocation of the Review and Herald—During the past night many things have been presented to me regarding our present dangers, and some things about our publishing work have been brought most distinctly to my mind. PM 179.1

As our brethren search for a location for the Review and Herald Publishing House, [Following the fire of December 30, 1902, which leveled the main building of the Review and Herald publishing plant, church leaders started a search for a new location outside of Battle Creek. They were led by God to Washington, D.C., where they located the Review and Herald publishing house in 1903. Funds necessary for this move were provided liberally by SDAs, although there was opposition to the move from Battle Creek by some local residents, including a few who were prominent in the work of the church. In Letter 2, 1903, Ellen White wrote: “I hope that our brethren will heed the lesson that God is trying to teach them, and that they will not rebuild the publishing house in Battle Creek.”] they are earnestly to seek the Lord. They are to move with great caution, watchfulness, and prayer, and with a constant sense of their own weakness. We must not depend upon human judgment. We must seek for the wisdom that God gives.—Letter 106, 1903. PM 179.2

Investments to Reestablish Review and Herald—When the publishing house is established away from Battle Creek, I shall do all in my power to build it up and to encourage those connected with it to carry forward the work of the Lord, exalting the principles of right higher and still higher.... PM 179.3

Let us do what we can to set the publishing house on its feet again. Let our people everywhere show a liberal spirit. In past years our brethren throughout the field have done a noble work by lending their means to our publishing institutions. Let this good work continue. The time to help in the work is when earnest efforts are being made to put the work on a right basis.... PM 180.1

Let no one endeavor to withdraw his stock from the Review and Herald. It would not be right to do this. The money that we invested in stock was the Lord's gift to us, and our gift to the institution. Shall we not now do a work that bears the approval of God? Let us bring the principles of the gospel into practice. Let your religion speak, saying, The money in the office of publication is a gift that I made to the institution, and I do not feel at liberty, now that disaster has come to the institution, to withdraw my gift. Wrongs have been done in the institution, but it is not my place to mete out punishment. The Lord has taken this matter into His own hands. I must do all that I can to place the institution on vantage ground.—Manuscript 66, 1903. PM 180.2

A Printing Plant in the United States Capital—If there is any place in the world that should have the full rays of present truth, it is Washington, the city that is the very heart of this nation. Those who act a prominent part in framing laws for the nation should understand what is written in the law of God, which lies at the foundation of all right laws.... PM 180.3

Our brethren in Washington have been favored in finding properties suitable to use in carrying on various lines of our work. This is a fulfillment of the light given me, that in different sections of the country we should be able to secure, at low prices, properties that could be utilized for our institutional work.... PM 180.4

Our printing plant in Battle Creek is to be moved. In searching for a favorable place for this institution, let our brethren investigate the advantages that might be gained by a removal to Washington. Our publishing house should be situated where its influence will accomplish the most in the promulgation of truth. The Lord will guide us in the selection of a place for this institution. We will let Him work out His purposes. PM 180.5

Above all other places, the capital of our nation should now have an opportunity to hear the message for this time. Satan is working there against Jehovah with all his might. I present this to you as a matter that is stirring me mightily. One thing is certain: we shall not be clear unless we at once do something in Washington to represent our work. I shall not be able to rest until I see the truth going forth from this place as a lamp that burneth.—Letter 133, 1903. PM 181.1

From the light given me, I know that, for the present, the headquarters of the Review and Herald should be near Washington. If there is on our books and papers the imprint of Washington, D.C., it will be seen that we are not afraid to let our light shine. Let the publishing house be established near Washington. Thus we shall show that we are trying to do what God has bidden us do to proclaim the last message of mercy to a perishing world.—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 394. PM 181.2

In the city of Washington there is much to be done. I am thankful to God for the privilege of seeing the land that has been purchased for our institutional work in this place. The securing of this land was in the Lord's providence, and I praise God that our brethren had the faith to take this forward step. As I look over this city, I realize the magnitude of the work to be accomplished. PM 181.3

A good location for the printing office has been chosen within easy distance of the post office; and a site for a meetinghouse, also, has been found. It seems as if Takoma Park has been specially prepared for us, and that it has been waiting to be occupied by our institutions and their workers. PM 181.4

My hopes for this place are high. The country for miles and miles around Washington is to be worked from here. I am so thankful that our work is to be established in this place. Were Christ here upon the ground, He would say, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields: for they are white already to harvest.” John 4:35.—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 397. PM 181.5

Memorials for the Lord in Washington—Washington, D.C., the capital of our nation, has repeatedly been presented to me as a place in which there should be memorials [“The removal to Washington of work hitherto carried on in Battle Creek,” wrote Mrs. White to those who had ventured to make the transfer, “is a step in the right direction. We are to continue to press into the regions beyond, where the people are in spiritual darkness.” Those who had advanced by faith were richly rewarded; and as they labored on, they could see more and still more clearly the wisdom of the step they had taken. “As the months go by,” wrote the editor of the Review, in a last-page note, bearing date of February 25, 1904, “we are able to see more clearly the meaning of the removal of the headquarters of our work to Washington, and to appreciate the opportunity offered here to establish such memorials for the truth as will exert a wide influence in behalf of this message. From the instruction given through the spirit of prophecy, it is plain that each line of institutional work—publishing, educational, and medical—is to be established here in a representative way, and that a continuous evangelical effort is to be carried forward, so that at the capital of the nation and at the headquarters of our denominational work there may be a proper representation of this message as a missionary movement.”—Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 396.] for the Lord. Many years ago I was shown that in this city the third angel's message was to be proclaimed. With clearness and power the word was to sound forth, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Prepare to meet thy God.”—Letter 126, 1903. PM 181.6

Obey When the Lord Says, “Move”—The Lord has opened this matter to me decidedly. The publishing work that has been carried on in Battle Creek should for the present be carried on near Washington. If after a time the Lord says, Move away from Washington, we are to move. We are pilgrims and strangers in this earth, seeking a better country, even a heavenly. When the Lord tells us to move, we are to obey, however inconvenient and inconsistent such a command may seem to us to be.—Letter 140, 1903. PM 182.1

Counsels After Pacific Press Fire [Because it often interfered with the production of denominational publications, the large amount of commercial work being done at the Pacific Press created a growing problem. Eventually, in response to Ellen G. White's counsel, the board voted in 1902 to reduce the volume of commercial work. Since by this time the city of Oakland had grown up around the plant, the board also took action to seek a rural site for a new plant. This decision resulted in the removal to Mountain View, 38 miles south of San Francisco, in 1904. Here, on a five-acre lot donated by the city, a two-story brick building was erected, only to be severely damaged by the San Francisco earthquake on April 18, 1906. A new building of wood construction was hastily built with the help of a $20,000 loan from the General Conference, but this building was reduced to ashes on July 20 of the same year by a fire of unknown origin. Part of this loss was covered by insurance. The board decided to rebuild once more, and to do only denominational printing. Said C. H. Jones, “We have been admonished by the earthquake and the fire. Let us not need the wind, but listen to the still small voice pleading, ‘do My work only.’” This policy has been followed ever since.—SDAEn 1059.]—There is a work to be done now in Oakland and in San Francisco. Now is our golden opportunity to labor for these cities. Humble yourselves, pray much, and the Holy Spirit's power will attend your labors. Our richest blessings will come to us as we see our need and walk humbly with God.... PM 182.2

The loss in Mountain View has come as a test to the believers in present truth. Those who carry on the work of printing the truth, to be sent out broadcast, now need tangible evidence as to how the work for this time is regarded by God's people. In the rebuilding of Pacific Press, money will be required. Let us remember that all we have is the Lord's. Let us manifest faith and put into the Lord's treasury that which is necessary, that this institution may be prepared to proclaim the truth in its purity.—Letter 260, 1906. PM 183.1

Rebuilding and Witnessing in Mountain View—If it seems best that the office shall be rebuilt in Mountain View, then let everyone connected with the work here be a missionary, a blessing to those who know not the truth. “Ye are laborers together with God.” Think how tender Christ was with all who came to Him for help. If all will look, not at the faults of others, but at their own shortcomings, and see that they individually carry out the true principles of the law of God, our brethren and sisters will be a blessing to the community. PM 183.2

A solemn responsibility rests upon everyone to maintain a living connection with the God of truth. “Ye are,” Christ says, “the light of the world.... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).—Manuscript 73, 1906. PM 183.3