The Abiding Gift of Prophecy


Chapter 28—Establishing the Australasian Missionary College

In the closing part of 1891, Mrs. E.G. White, accompanied by her son, William C. White, and a number of others from the United States, joined the staff of conference workers in Australasia. AGP 308.1

As the fruitage of some seven years of labor in that field, there were at that time about a thousand Adventists. Among them were a goodly number of fine young people who had an earnest desire to take some part in the proclamation of our message. But they lacked the essential education and training, and there was no place in their homeland where such training could be secured. AGP 308.2

So determined were they to obtain the needed training for service that they had been crossing the Pacific to attend our schools in the United States. When Mrs. White reached Australia, twenty or thirty of them had already gone abroad for this purpose. The sending of these young people so far away, together with supporting them in their schooling, was a heavy burden upon their parents and friends. This cost, and the expense of their return, was conservatively estimated at $25,000; but apparently there was no other way of training the necessary workers, for there seemed no possibility of establishing an advanced school in Australasia in the then near future. AGP 308.3

It was not long after Mrs. White’s arrival in Australia, however, that a message came from her to the Conference Committee, stating that she was instructed by the Lord to tell us that we should establish a school. This message was timely and welcome, yet it caused us serious perplexity. How could we, with only a small constituency, and most of these poor in this world’s goods, succeed in such an undertaking? AGP 308.4

After prayerful study and counsel, it was soon decided to call upon Seventh-day Adventists in all parts of Australasia to unite in establishing and maintaining a school. To purchase was, at that time, out of the question, but commodious buildings were AGP 308.5

secured at reasonable terms on St. Kilda Road, one of the most attractive boulevards in the city of Melbourne. This rented building was furnished simply, and on August 24, 1892, a term of sixteen weeks was begun with about thirty students in attendance. Their ages ranged from fifteen to fifty years. AGP 309.1