Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)


Service in Vicksburg

Ellen White scrutinized the Morning Star because of the criticism she had heard of it. She knew her son was not always careful with money, and she was glad to report to the General Conference session a few weeks later: 5BIO 63.2

When I came to Vicksburg, I went on board my son's boat, the Morning Star. From the reports I had heard, I thought to find that boat fitted up very extravagantly. I found nothing of the kind. I want all to understand this. 5BIO 63.3

My son and his workers have lived on this boat because they could not get a house suitable to dwell in. The rooms on this boat are fitted up in the very simplest way.... No one can work in the Southern field without some facilities with which to work.—The General Conference Bulletin, 1901, 482. 5BIO 63.4

A little later, she wrote Edson concerning the Morning Star: 5BIO 63.5

I have been shown how when you first went to the Southern field you used this boat as your home, and as a place on which to receive the people. The novelty of the idea excited curiosity, and many came to see and to hear. I know that through the agency of this boat, places have been reached where the light of truth had never shone—places represented to me as “the hedges.” It has been the means of sowing the seeds of truth in many hearts, and many souls have first seen the light of truth while on this boat. On it angel feet have trodden.—Letter 139, 1902.

Sunday morning, March 17, the new church, the second to be built in Vicksburg, was to be dedicated. It was a memorable weekend for Ellen White, her son William, and others in the traveling party. Just to be in the setting of the heart of Edson's activities and to witness the fruits of his dedicated labors and the labors of those who helped him was uplifting. 5BIO 64.1

The crowning event of the visit was the Sunday dedication service. Ellen White was asked to preach the sermon. The report is that the church was packed. Word had gone up and down the river that the mother of James Edson White would be the speaker that Sunday morning. She was pleased with the high caliber of people who made up the congregation, and she wrote, “I know that Jesus and the angels were in the assembly, and that, as the church was dedicated to the Lord, He accepted it.”—Manuscript 29, 1902. 5BIO 64.2

She also wrote: 5BIO 64.3

I was much pleased with the meeting house. It is neat and tasteful.

Wherever I go, I try to give the light the Lord has given me regarding the building of meeting houses. No haphazard work is to be done in their erection. However small they may be, they are to be object lessons of neatness and thoroughness. All that is done in the cause of God is to be done with exactness. 5BIO 64.4

Our buildings are to represent the character building that should be carried forward by everyone. We are working before God and the inhabitants of the universe. Let us do no halfhearted, slipshod work.— Ibid. 5BIO 64.5

Sunday afternoon, too, held a unique experience for Ellen White. She had read in letters from her children of the meetings and of the school sessions held in the chapel on the boat, and now she spoke there. 5BIO 64.6