Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


Special Opportunities in the South

During her journey to the General Conference of 1901, Mrs. White took occasion to pass through the Southern States, and to speak words of courage and counsel to those who were laboring there. At Vicksburg, Miss., she came in direct contact with the work carried forward from that center in behalf of the colored people. At Nashville she met with a larger group of workers, diligently studying the necessities of the cause in the Southern States, and inaugurating many lines of work. LS 381.2

The Gospel Herald, formerly printed in Battle Creek, had been moved to Nashville, and the advantages in publishing tracts and books for the Southland, at Nashville, were being considered. Regarding these things, Mrs. White testified: LS 381.3

“Many lines of business will open up as the work is carried forward. There is much work to be done in the South, and in order to do this work the laborers must have suitable literature, books telling the truth in simple language, and abundantly illustrated. This kind of literature will be the most effective means of keeping the truth before the people. A sermon may be preached and soon forgotten, but a book remains.” The Review and Herald, May 28, 1901, p. 11. LS 381.4

In communications written a few months later on the necessity of planning wisely for the conduct of the publishing work in the South, it was plainly pointed out that the brethren in responsibility in that field would find rich blessing in preparing and publishing a line of literature specially adapted to the peculiar needs of the various classes living within their borders. LS 382.1

In May, 1901, the Southern Publishing Association was organized, and plans were laid for the strengthening of the colporteur work throughout the Southern Union Conference. But the issuance and circulation of specially prepared literature would not alone meet the demands of the field. “We need schools in the South,” declared Mrs. White. “They must be established away from the city, in the country. There must be industrial and educational schools, where the colored people can teach colored people, and schools where the white people can teach the white people. Missions must be established.” [The General Conference Bulletin, 1901. p. 483.] The medical missionary work also was to be undertaken, and many small centers for the carrying forward of this line of endeavor were to be established at strategic points. LS 382.2