Ellen G. White Writings

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A Place Called Oakwood, Page ii

Oakwood Keys

Keys to Unlock Ellen G. White's Oakwood Statements

Key Terms

Colored people: This was the popular designation for African-Americans in the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century. In context, the term Colored people was not necessarily derogatory or demeaning.

Farm: This frequently used term refers to the Oakwood training school and to the Oakwood property.

Huntsville School: Before the name Oakwood was adopted, the school was popularly referred to as the Huntsville School.

Southern cause: This term refers to the Seventh-day Adventist denominational effort to evangelize and educate the recently freed slaves in the southern part of the United States. This cause was championed by Ellen White, her son James Edson, selected workers in the Southern field and broader church, black workers and leaders like Charles Kinney.

Key Individuals

George I. Butler (1834-1918): One of the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, Butler served in many positions in the church, most notably as General Conference president from 1871-1874 and 1880-1888. Butler received more letters from Ellen White than anyone else mentioning the Oakwood School. When she wrote these letters, he was the president of the Southern Union Conference and the Southern Publishing Association.

Arthur G. Daniells (1858-1935): Longtime church worker and administrator, Daniells held several key denominational positions and was one of Seventh-day Adventism's most dynamic leaders. He served as General Conference president from 1901-1921, holding that position longer than anyone else.

Solon M. Jacobs (1846-1927): The first principal of the Oakwood School, Jacobs was a white man from Fontanelle, Iowa. Jacobs and his family arrived at Oakwood in 1896. The Jacobs’ were tireless workers, doing anything and everything possible to keep the school running. Jacobs stayed on as principal one year, then served as the farm foreman until 1902.

Benjamin E. Nicola (1856-1943): Oakwood's principal from 1899-1904, Nicola was the first principal to serve for longer than two years. (The two subsequent presidents would not stay longer than two years either.) The school made significant strides during his years in office, but he would receive reproving counsel from Mrs. White concerning his tenure.

Fred R. Rogers (1869-1920) Rogers served as Oakwood's principal from 1904-1905. Before taking up his post at Oakwood, Rogers was a diligent worker in the Southern cause, serving as the superintendent of SDA mission schools in Mississippi, and working with James Edson White and his Morning Star boat crew.

James Edson White (1849-1928): The second son of James and Ellen White, Edson was the premier champion of the Southern cause. He began his evangelistic efforts in 1894 by constructing an innovative steamboat called the Morning Star. He sailed the steamer from city to city along the Mississippi River, leaving SDA schools and churches for black people in his wake. He chose this witnessing medium for safety, mobility, and drawing appeal. Edson compiled his mother's writings on the Southern cause into one handy volume called The Southern Work. Edson's successes and influence helped to facilitate the establishment of Oakwood.

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