Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 274

Chapter 18—The Call To Australia

Haskell Pioneers Work In Australia

Stephen N. Haskell was present at the dedication of Battle Creek College on January 4, 1875, and heard Ellen White mention that one of the countries shown her in vision where she had seen printing presses publishing the message was Australia, and he made up his mind he would proclaim the message in Australia. But it was 10 years before the church reached the point in growth that it felt it could support him in carrying the message to that faraway land in the South Pacific.

At its 1884 session the General Conference took an action to send Haskell to Australia. Being a practical man, he chose four families to help him start the work: J. O. Corliss, evangelist and editor; M. C. Israel, pastor and evangelist; William Arnold, a colporteur; and Henry Scott, a printer. The five families traveled to Australia in 1885, arriving in June, the winter season in Australia. They threw themselves wholeheartedly into the work. Through two evangelistic efforts, supplemented by book distribution, there soon was a church of 90 members in Melbourne and a fledgling monthly magazine, The Bible Echo and Signs of the Times.

Six years later, in 1891, the combined membership in Australia and New Zealand had reached 700. Among these were a number of young people eager to spread the church's message in the South Pacific. As Haskell, who had returned to the States, revisited the field, he saw clearly the need for a training school, and voiced his convictions in a letter to O. A. Olsen, president of the General Conference.

The General Conference Takes Action

The twenty-ninth session of the General Conference, held in Battle Creek, Michigan, commenced Thursday morning, March 5, 1891. It was a meeting marked with a broadening vision, particularly in lines of education. On Friday morning Haskell, having recently completed a tour among missions in Africa, India, and other countries, spoke on the importance of training workers in their native countries rather than sending them overseas, where they often lost touch with their home situations. Sunday morning W. W. Prescott, General Conference educational secretary, gave his report, in which he mentioned a number of calls for schools. He stated that “a request also comes in for the opening

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