Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 291

Chapter 19—Onto New Zealand

In January 1893 longstanding plans for Ellen White to visit New Zealand were coming to fruition. These plans called for visiting the churches and for a camp meeting to be held in Napier in March. A conference session would be held in connection with it. Ellen White, W. C. White, and G. B. Starr and his wife would attend. The tour was expected to take about four months.

Leaving Melbourne on Thursday, January 26, the party arrived in Sydney the next day. Mrs. White met with the church at Parramatta on Sabbath morning, and this introduced a full week of meetings.

Here in Parramatta, a suburb of Sydney, was the first church building owned and operated by Seventh-day Adventists in continental Australia. A year previously Robert Hare and David Steed had held evangelistic meetings there and raised up a church of 50 members. The congregation was determined to have a house of worship. Beginning with donations amounting to £420 ($2,000), a good lot and building materials were purchased. Within three weeks’ time of the laying of the foundations, the building was erected with donated labor, and Sabbath meetings were being held in it. It was dedicated on Sabbath, December 10. The next day 480 people crowded into the new church at what was called its opening meeting (The Bible Echo, January 15, 1893).

As funds were being raised in September, Ellen White, who had received a gift from friends in California of $45 with which to buy a comfortable chair for use during her illness, appropriated the money to aid in building the Parramatta church. She explained to her friends who had given the money that she wished them to have something invested in the Australian missionary field (Letter 34, 1892).

Sunday night she spoke in the Parramatta town hall. It was well filled also, and she reported:

The people listened with great attention, and the people here, believing the truth, are much pleased. But I do not feel satisfied. I needed physical strength that I could do justice to the great and important themes that we are dealing with. What a work is before us! (Letter 127, 1893).

In addition to speaking in the church on Tuesday and Thursday nights, she visited in the community as well, where she was well received. She was told that the wife of a local minister had declared: “Mrs. White's words are very straight;

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