Ellen G. White Writings

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A Place Called Oakwood, Page 164

D. Our Duty to the Colored People


“Our Duty to the Colored People” is perhaps Ellen White's most clarion statement on the matter of race and the gospel. This landmark address was delivered to the General Conference constituency on March 21, 1891, in Battle Creek, Michigan. Pointed and direct, this speech may be seen as the catalyst to the Seventh-day Adventist Southern work. PCO 164.1

Although largely ignored at the time and for a period afterward, this speech would eventually ignite Ellen White's son Edson to launch an evangelistic campaign in the South that was unprecedented. Seven key principles can be gleaned from “Our Duty to the Colored People” that provided a context for the work on behalf of black people in the south and the creation of Oakwood College. PCO 164.2

1. Equal Love: Christ died just as much for the black people as for the white people, and the God of the white man is also the God of the black man. PCO 164.3

2. Equal Reward: The black man's name is written next to the white man's name in the book of life. PCO 164.4

3. Equal Salvation: Unless God's Spirit is in your heart, whether you're white or black, you are a slave to sin and Satan. PCO 164.5

4. Equal Destination: We are all journeying to the same heaven. PCO 164.6

5. Equal Relations: God makes no distinction between the North and the South; therefore, we must learn to live together here on earth before we can get to heaven. PCO 164.7

6. Equal Responsibility: Let none of Christ's children be cowards in regard to the work for the black race. PCO 164.8

7. Equal Priority: Christ's church must give the gospel to blacks, and it should be high on the priority list. PCO 164.9

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