Ellen G. White was a 19th century religious writer, missionary and co-founder of the ‘Seventh-day Adventist Church’, an internationally recognized religious organization. A prolific author, she has written over 5000 articles and 40 books during her lifetime. Some of her well-known publications include, ‘The Desire of Ages’, ‘The Great Controversy’ and ‘Steps to Christ’. Her publications are revered today as many believe her works are direct revelations from god. Her works have been translated in over 140 languages across the world and her publications mostly threw light upon topics pertaining to theology, evangelism, education, creationism and agriculture. As an advocate of vegetarianism, she stressed on the importance of treating animals with respect and believed that vegetarianism would help human beings grow spiritually. Some of her works on health and nutrition include ‘ Healthful Living’, ‘Important Facts Of Faith: Laws Of Health, And Testimonies’, ‘The Health Food Ministry’ and ‘Counsels on Diet and Foods’. She is believed to have been a woman of remarkable spiritual gifts whose religious efforts made an impact on millions of people around the world. To learn more interesting facts about her personal life, childhood, books and visionary experiences, scroll down and continue to read this biography.
Childhood & Early Life
Ellen G. White was born to Robert Harmon, a farmer and Eunice Harmon, in the village of Gorham located in Cumberland Country, Maine.
She lived with her family and seven siblings on a small farm near a village in Gorham and helped with the family, hatmaking business.
At the age of 12, she attended ‘The Methodist camp meeting’, a Protestant Christian organization and converted to a Protestant Christian on June 26, 1842, baptized by John Hobart.
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In 1844, she reported to have had her first ‘spiritual vision’, in which she supposedly saw ‘Advent people’ travelling towards the city of Jerusalem.
In 1845, she experienced her second and third ‘spiritual vision’, after which she gave testimonies of her experiences in public and private meetings at her home.
In 1846, an account of her first spiritual visions and experiences titled, ‘Letter From Sister Harmon’ was published in ‘Day Star’, a local Cincinnati newspaper.
In 1851, she authored ‘Christian Experience and Views’ and in 1858, her controversial book on Jesus and Satan titled, ‘The Great Controversy’ was published.
In 1863, she co-founded ‘Seventh-day Adventist Church’ along with her husband, James Springer White. This is a Protestant Christian organisation that still has innumerable followers from all over the world.
To promote vegetarianism, she authored ‘Important Facts Of Faith: Laws Of Health, And Testimonies’, a book on the do’s and don’ts of eating, in 1864.
In 1866, she set up the Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan to provide health care services for the sick and the needy.
In 1892, she authored ‘Steps To Christ’, an evangelistic book, published by the Fleming H. Revell Company.
In 1896, her book ‘Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing’ was published. It was a book about Jesus Christ’s ‘sermon on the mount’.
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She was a firm believer in a Christian education system and authored books on the same. Some of her publications in this category include ‘Christian Education’ and ‘Education’.
A health reform activist, she stressed on the importance of health reforms and inaugurated a ‘health educational program’ in church. For this cause she contributed an article for a 64 page pamphlet titled, ‘Health or How to Live’, which was circulated in church.
Published in 1905, her book, ‘The Ministry of Healing’, is a detailed account on the principles of healthy living.
In 1863, she co-founded the ‘Seventh-day Adventist Church’, which as of 2007, was declared the 6th largest international protestant Christian organization that has successfully baptized 17.2 million people. It runs several schools, hospitals and publishing houses in over 200 countries across the world.
‘Steps To Christ’, published in 1892, is her most popular and widely read book which has been translated into 150 languages across the world. In 2008, over 18 million copies of this book were distributed across The United States.
Personal Life & Legacy
At the age of nine, she was struck with a rock by a fellow student which severely disfigured her nose and left her in coma for several weeks, owing to serious head injuries.
On August 30, 1846, she married James Springer White, the co-founder of the ‘Seventh-day Adventist Church’. The couple had four sons.
She died at the age of 87 at her home in Elmshaven, California, now an Adventist Historical Site. She is interred at Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Michigan.
According to several neurologists, this 19th century American religious writer allegedly suffered from hallucinations due to her head injury, which lead her to believe that she had spiritual visions.