Ellen G. White Writings

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The Southern Work, Page 5


The Story of The Southern Work

The 1890's was the decade of repeated appeals from the pen of Ellen G. White to the church, urging its evangelistic forces to enter the great harvest field of the South. First appeared the far-reaching Testimony to Church Leaders in 1891, headed “Our Duty to the Colored People.” This document was circulated in manuscript form and then printed in a leaflet. It was this that stirred the missionary zeal of Ellen White's son James Edson White, and led him to launch evangelistic and educational work among the neglected people of the South. In doing this he built a missionary boat christened The Morning Star, which provided residence, chapel, schoolroom, and printing office. Evangelistic work was begun at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in January, 1895.

Ten articles written by Ellen G. White for publication in the Review and Herald soon supplemented the basic appeal of 1891. These were published in 1895 and 1896 while Mrs. White was living in Australia.

An important counsel meeting in Australia in November 1895 in which Ellen White participated yielded further counsels and cautions from the messenger of the Lord, and this was followed from time to time by messages of encouragement and instruction.

Elder J. E. White's responsibilities were double. He had a thriving work on his hands as he plied his missionary boat along the rivers of the South, and he labored constantly to replenish and augment his forces by encouraging more families to come in from the North. These recruits also had to be instructed as to how to work in this special field of labor.

As one means to accomplish this, Edson White decided to publish in an inexpensive booklet the basic materials that his mother

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