Ellen G. White Writings

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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, Page 197

Chapter 21—The Battle Creek Church

There are serious objections to having the school located at Battle Creek. The church is large, and there are quite a number of youth connected with it. If the influence which one member has over another in so large a church were of an elevating character, leading to purity and consecration to God, then the youth coming to Battle Creek would have greater advantages than if the school were located elsewhere. But if the influences at Battle Creek shall be in the future what they have been for several years past, I would warn parents to keep their children from Battle Creek. There are but few in that large church who have an influence that will steadily draw souls to Christ; while there are many who will, by their example, lead the youth away from God to the love of the world.

With many of the church at Battle Creek there is a great lack of feeling their responsibility. Those who have practical religion will retain their identity of character under any circumstances. They will not be like the reed trembling in the wind. Those situated at a distance feel that they would be highly favored could they have the privilege of living in Battle Creek, among a strong church, where their children could be benefited by the Sabbath school and meetings. Some of our brethren and sisters in times past have made sacrifices to have their children live there. But they have been disappointed in almost every case. There were but few in the church to manifest an unselfish interest for these youth. The church generally stood as pharisaical strangers, aloof from those who needed their help the most. Some of the youth connected with the church, who were professedly serving God, but loving pleasure and the world more, were ready to make the acquaintance of youthful strangers who came among them, and to exert a strong influence over them to lead them to the world instead of nearer to God. When these return home, they are further from the truth than when they came to Battle Creek.

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