Spalding and Magan Collection


The Huntsville School

Monday morning, July 20, 1904, I went from Graysville to Huntsville. We found the school situated in a beautiful country place. In the school farm there are more than three hundred acres of land, a large part of which is under cultivation. SpM 359.1

Several years ago Brother S. M. Jacobs was in charge of the farm, and under his care it made great improvement. He set out a peach and plum orchard, and other fruit trees. Brother and Sister Jacobs left Huntsville about three years ago, and since then the farm has not been as well cared for. We see in the land promise of a much larger return than it now gives, were its managers given the help they need. SpM 359.2

Brother Jacobs put forth most earnest, disinterested efforts, but he was not given the help that his strength demanded. Sister Jacobs also worked too hard, and when her health began to give way, they decided to leave Huntsville, and go to some place where the strain would not be so heavy. Had they then been furnished with efficient helpers, and with means to make the need improvements, the advancement made would have given courage to Brother Jacobs, to the students, and to our people everywhere. But the means that ought to have gone to Huntsville did not go, and we see the result in the present showing. SpM 359.3

Recently the question was asked me, “Would it not be well to sell the school land at Huntsville, and buy a smaller place.” Instruction was given me that this farm must not be sold, that the situation possesses many advantages for the carrying forward of a colored school. It would take years to build up in a new place the work that has been done at Huntsville. The Lord's money was invested in the Huntsville school farm, to provide a place for the education of colored students. The General Conference gave this land to the Southern work, and the Lord has shown me what this school may become, and what those may become who go there for instruction, if His plans are followed. SpM 359.4

In order that the school may advance as it should, money is needed, and sound, intelligent generalship. Things are to be well kept up, and the school is to give evidence that Seventh-day Adventists mean to make a success of whatever they undertake. SpM 359.5

The facilities necessary for the success of the school must be provided. At present the facilities are very meager. A small building should be put up, in which the students can be taught how to care for one another in times of sickness. There has been a nurse at the school to look after the students when they were sick, but no facilities have been provided. This has made the work very discouraging. SpM 359.6

The students are to be given a training in these lines of work that will help them to be successful laborers for Christ. They are to be taught to be separate from the customs and practices of the world. They are to be taught how to present the truth for this time, and how to work with the hands and with the head to win their daily bread, that they may go forth to teach their own people. They are to be taught to appreciate the school as a place in which they are given the opportunity to obtain a training for service. SpM 360.1

Wise plans are to be laid for the cultivation of the land. The students are to be given a practical educational in agriculture. This education will be of inestimable value to them in their future work. Thorough work is to be done in cultivating the land, and from this the students are to learn how necessary it is to do thorough work in cultivating the garden of the heart. SpM 360.2

The man who takes charge of the Huntsville school should know how to govern himself and how to govern others. The Bible teacher should be a man who can teach the students how to present the truths of the Word of God in public, and how to do house to house work. The business affairs of the farm are to be wisely and carefully managed. SpM 360.3

The teachers should constantly seek wisdom from on high, that they may be kept from making mistakes. They should give careful attention to their work, that each student may be prepared for the line of service to which he is best adapted. All are to be prepared to serve faithfully in some capacity. Teachers and students are to cooperate in doing their best. The constant effort of the teachers should be to make the students see the importance of constantly rising higher and still higher. SpM 360.4

The leading, controlling influence in the school is to be faithfulness in that which is least. Thus the students will be prepared to be faithful in greater things. Each student is to take himself in hand, and with God's help overcome the faults that mar his character. And he is to show an earnest, unselfish interest in the welfare of the school. If he sees a loose board in a walk or a loose paling on the fence, let him at once get a hammer and nails, and make the needed repairs. Nothing in the house or about the premises is to be allowed to present a slack, dilapidated appearance. The wagons and harnesses should be properly cared for and frequently examined and repaired. When harnesses and wagons are sent out in dilapidated condition, human life is endangered. SpM 360.5

These little things are of much more importance than many suppose in the education of students. Business men will notice the appearances of the wagons and harnesses, and will form their opinions accordingly. And more than this, if students are allowed to go through school with slack, shiftless habits, their education will not be worth half as much as it would be if they were taught to be faithful in all they do. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.” Little things needing attention, yet left for days and weeks, until they become an unsightly neglect, teach the students lessons that will cling to them for a lifetime, greatly hindering them in their work. Such an example is demoralizing, and students whose education is after this order are not needed in the world. SpM 360.6

Should not our God be served most faithfully? We are called upon as teachers to rise up with firm purpose of heart, and discipline ourselves with sternness and vigor to habits of order and thoroughness. All that our hands find to do is to be well done. We have been bought with a price, even the blood of the Son of God, and all that we do is to honor and glorify our Redeemer. We are to work in partnership with Christ, as verily as Christ works in partnership with the Father, We are to lay aside every weight, “and the sin that doth so easily beset”, that we may follow our Lord with full purpose of heart. SpM 361.1

The soul suffers a great loss when duties are not faithfully performed, when habits of negligence and carelessness are allowed to rule the life. Faithfulness and unselfishness are to control all that we do. When the soul is left uncleansed, when selfish aims are allowed to control, the enemy comes in, leading the mind to carry out unholy devices and to work for selfish advantages, regardless of results. SpM 361.2

But he who makes Christ first and last and best in everything will not work for selfish purposes. Unselfishness will be revealed in every act. The peace of Christ can not abide in the heart of a man in whose life self is the mainspring of action. Such a one may hold the theories of truth, but unless he brings himself into harmony with the requirements of God's Word, giving up all his ambitions and desires for the will and way of Christ, he strives without purpose; for God can not bless him. He halts between two opinions, constantly vacillating between Christ and the world. It is like some one striving for the Master, yet cumbering himself by clinging to heavy weights. SpM 361.3

Ellen G. White.