Disappointing Reception in Battle Creek

16 March 1867 - 17 March 1867

Ellen and James were still ministering in Wright, Michigan. With the spring thaws, the roads were getting bad, making weekly visits to the churches difficult. James was eager to see the church members in Battle Creek and to "rejoice with them in the work which God was doing for him" (1T, p. 577), so they planned the trip south in such a way that they could spend a few days visiting believers en route. One night Ellen White was given a disquieting dream. It warned of a cold reception in Battle Creek (ibid., p. 578). They had reason to expect that after an absence of three months, during which James White had definitely improved in health, they would be heartily welcomed.

But no. False reports and criticism had done their work. Although James took services Sabbath morning and afternoon, March 16, speaking with clearness, and again Sunday morning, and Ellen White bore her testimony with freedom, they seemed to be held at a distance.

Ellen was crushed. James too was terribly disappointed at the cold reception. Little by little they discovered the reason. Part of the problem rested in Ellen White's refusal to take the counsel of friends and church leaders in Battle Creek that would have dissuaded her from taking her husband to Wright in December. Also, evil reports had been bandied about for some time to the effect that James White had a craze for money and that the Battle Creek church had not the slightest confidence in the testimonies of Sister White.

While painful, such reports were no great surprise to Ellen, for this had been revealed to her in a dream.

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