Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3)


The Michigan Camp Meeting

Ellen White attended three more camp meetings, Ohio, Michigan, and Nebraska, but it was the Michigan meeting held at Jackson, some forty miles due east of Battle Creek, that was most notable in 1884. The attendance was much larger than anticipated. Wrote Smith in his editorial report: 3BIO 262.4

The sight of the large tent 80 by 120 feet almost completely filled with Sabbathkeepers, even at the early-morning meetings, was one to inspire the dullest heart. The ground might appropriately be called a city of tents, for there were nearly two hundred cotton dwellings and pavilions, regularly laid out with appropriate streets and passageways, and some eighteen hundred of our people permanently located in the tents or in dwellings near the ground. This was a larger number of Sabbathkeepers, perhaps by 50 percent, than was ever before assembled at a camp meeting during the history of our cause.—The Review and Herald, October 7, 1884. 3BIO 263.1

Encouraged by the good attendance and the response of the citizens of Jackson, who showed a deep interest, the conference voted to purchase a larger tent, 100 by 150 feet, for the next camp meeting. On Friday, September 26, an excursion train brought 240 college students and Sanitarium employees from Battle Creek, some fifty miles to the West. 3BIO 263.2

It was impressive to observe the fruitage of Ellen White's labors as on several occasions anywhere from two hundred to 350 people responded to her appeals and went forward for prayers. “There was deep feeling,” wrote Smith, “and though no excitement or fanaticism, the manifest movings of the Spirit of God upon the heart.” He looked forward to the permanent fruitage of the spiritual messages. 3BIO 263.3

What seemed to be a climax to the Jackson camp meeting came at the early-morning service on Sabbath, September 27, when the whole camp was electrified by the remarks made by the backslidden D. M. Canright. 3BIO 263.4