Ellen G. White: The Progressive Years: 1862-1876 (vol. 2)


Churches without Pastors

At this time the Seventh-day Adventist Church was without pastors. The work was young, with 4,500 members; the needs of the 160 churches were cared for by local elders and deacons. The thirty-two ordained and nineteen licensed ministers were spread out over the seven conferences, carrying on the evangelistic thrust. The Review and Herald, with its weekly visits to the homes of those who subscribed, served an important pastoral role. This knowledge aids us in understanding the weakness and ease in backsliding of new and often inexperienced believers and officers that made up the churches, and the need of revival efforts put forth by James and Ellen White, J. N. Andrews, and a very few others. The successful camp meeting at Wright and the prospect of annual camp meetings in the several State conferences gave promise of building a stronger, cohesive, unified church. Wherever Ellen White ministered, it was seen that the Spirit of Prophecy messages calling for the turning from sin and development in experience and character brought stability and strength. The publishing of personal testimonies dealing with basic principles aided in this. Little wonder the great adversary pressed every means at his command to discourage and destroy, both from without and from within. At the beginning of this year, 1869, which was to mark somewhat of a turning point in the battle, it may be of interest to note the ages of some of the leading participants. 2BIO 266.4

As the year dawned, James White was 47 and Ellen 41. Uriah Smith was 36, as were also George Amadon and J. N. Loughborough. J. H. Waggoner was older, 48, and Joseph Bates, now semiretired at Monterey, was 76. 2BIO 267.1