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Ellen G. White: The Early Years: 1827-1862 (vol. 1)

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    The Formation of the Michigan Conference

    James White then suggested another proposition:1BIO 455.1

    Resolved, That we recommend to the churches in the State of Michigan to unite in one conference with the name of the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

    The resolution was quickly adopted. Then the ministers and delegates from the churches were declared members of the Michigan Conference. Appropriate officers and a conference committee were elected. The chairman, Joseph Bates, and the clerk, Uriah Smith, were voted in as the officers for the current year, and the time for the first session was set for October 5 to 8, 1862. There was one more important question, and that was “ministers’ papers.” Here is the action:1BIO 455.2

    Resolved, That our ministers’ papers consist of a certificate of ordination, also credentials to be signed by the chairman and clerk of the conference, which credentials shall be renewed annually.— Ibid.1BIO 455.3

    The fourth step in the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church had now been taken. The foundations were laid with Michigan as an example of what might be accomplished. The responsibility for the organization of local churches and State conferences now passed to the believers in other States.1BIO 455.4

    The conference over, James White reported through the Review and Herald:1BIO 455.5

    A calm, sweet, melting spirit pervaded this meeting, making it the best of the kind we ever witnessed. We heard many brethren remark in regard to the conference that it was the best ever held at Battle Creek....1BIO 455.6

    The unity existing among the brethren at this conference, the eagerness to take a decided position upon organization, and the general readiness to sustain the publishing association, have greatly encouraged us.... We certainly made rapid progress during the three days of our conference.—Ibid.1BIO 455.7

    With a sigh of relief, James and Ellen White now looked ahead. In the same issue of the Review that reported the meeting of the Michigan Conference and the annual meeting of the publishing association, they announced, under “Appointments,” plans to visit Ohio.1BIO 455.8

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