Ellen G. White Writings

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Ellen White: Woman of Vision, Page 68

Chapter 5—Financial Support For The Cause Of God

The movement was growing. As it spread to the West, families of means accepted the message. For some it was difficult to grasp their responsibility to give financial support to the cause they loved. During the years 1857 and 1858 the situation became desperate. There was no church organization; there was no church treasury. Those who felt called to enter the ministry faced great sacrifices, for they were dependent upon gifts placed in their hands as they moved from place to place. Dedication and sacrifice were called for.

John Loughborough reported concerning financial support for four months of service while holding tent meetings in Illinois, that he had received his board, lodging, and traveling expenses and about $15 in money. This did not leave him much to take home to his wife, Mary.

“For the whole winter of 1857-1858,” he said, “I received three ten-pound [4-kilogram] cakes of maple sugar, ten bushels [40 pecks] of wheat, five bushels [20 pecks] of apples, five bushels [20 pecks] of potatoes, one ham, one half of a small hog, one peck [nine liters] of beans, and four dollars in cash. This with the small profit from our boarders brought me through the winter in better condition than other of our ministers” (Pacific Union Recorder, October 6, 1910).

James and Ellen White, too, were struggling. While some of the ministers had to drop out from time to time and work with their hands to support their families, James White found as he traveled among the believers that there were those in need of Bibles and other books. He bought supplies and carried some with him, or sent them from Battle Creek. These he sold at a profit.

Things had reached a state where a permanent plan had to be found to provide financial resources for the growing church. In these circumstances Ellen White said to her husband, “The Lord has shown me that if you will call the ministers together, and have J. N. Andrews come down from Waukon, and hold a Bible class, you will find that in the Scriptures there is a complete plan to sustaining ... the work of the ministry” (Ibid.).

James White did call for Andrews to come to Battle Creek for such a study, which was reported by J. N. Loughborough. Several workers, including J. N. Andrews, met for two days in Battle Creek to study a Bible-based system of

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