he year 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of Ellen White’s death on July 16, 1915. This year is also the centennial of the founding of the Ellen G. White Estate. White Estate staff, with the support of the White Estate’s board of trustees, continues to follow the provisions Ellen White established for them in her will.
Ellen White’s will stipulated that her trustees should prepare compilations from her writings as needs arose. Ministry to the Cities, a compilation containing her counsels about evangelizing cities, was published in 2012. Also released this quinquennium were volumes 3 and 4 of the Ellen G. White Periodical Resource Collection, containing copies of her periodical articles. In 2014 the first volume of The Ellen G. White Letters and Manuscripts With Annotations, covering 1845-1859, was published. In 2015 the book Understanding Ellen White, containing chapters discussing various issues pertaining to Ellen White’s writings, was published, as was the Ellen White daily devotional book for 2016. The White Estate also helped to finalize the text for The Great Hope, a sampler from The Great Controversy distributed by the tens of millions.
In addition to traditional print books, the White Estate is also using electronic technology to make Ellen White’s materials more widely available. Ninety-three languages have at least one Ellen White book available for free download at egwwritings.org. The White Estate’s ultimate goal is that every non-English Ellen White book be made freely available on its Web site—with functionality similar to the Complete Published Writings CD-ROM, at no cost online. Users already can cross-reference paragraphs in 11 languages and share favorite quotations via social networks.
Other recent electronic releases include the EGW Writings mobile app for Apple’s iOS-powered iPhone and iPad, and the EGW Writings mobile app for Android-powered phones and tablets. The Ellen White app for Windows 8.1 phone, tablets, and desktops has also been released.
Recalling that Ellen White’s last recorded vision (March 3, 1915) dealt primarily with providing good reading materials for young people, the White Estate continues to focus on reaching youth. A new White Estate-developed Pathfinder honor, God’s Messenger, was introduced at the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Pathfinder Camporee in 2014, as was Pitcairn, an online game about Ellen White (see both at http://honor.ellenwhite.org), also freely available as an iOS, Android, or Windows app. As this report was written, the honor was available in three languages, with more coming.
First shown at the camporee were five short professionally produced video clips about Adventist pioneers who were “forever faithful,” in line with the motto of the Oshkosh camporee. The clips are now available on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ellenwhiteestate). In addition, we have a monthly article in KidsView in the Adventist Review and a monthly feature in Guide magazine.
Various other Adventist journals, such as Adventist Review, Adventist World, Elder’s Digest, and Ministry, continue to publish articles by White Estate staff. Throughout this quinquennium the White Estate has supplied Adventist World with six articles per year on a variety of Ellen White-related topicsdivided chronologically.
In addition to current Legacy Centennial activities, White Estate directors also helped to organize activities in 2010 that commemorated choosing the name “Seventh-day Adventist” in 1860. The Battle Creek, Michigan, weekend seminars and other activities for church leaders before the 2013 Spring Meeting commemorated the 150th anniversary of the founding of the General Conference. Directors were also involved with leading Adventist heritage tours for various groups, including one for General Conference and division officers.
Several videos, other than those already mentioned, have involved White Estate directors. As part of its Centennial Legacy activities, the South American Division produced a series of short videos featuring specific topics of interest, and stories regarding Ellen White. White Estate directors have recorded Adventist News Network newsflashes for the Hope Channel and have produced programming about Ellen White and Adventist history for Novo Tempo (Hope Channel Brazil) and for 3ABN. In anticipation of future possibilities as time and funding permit, a short pilot video was produced for a series about various Ellen White-related issues that are discussed in 101 Questions About Ellen G. White and Her Writings.
During this quinquennium the White Estate established two new branch offices: at the Adventist University of Africa in Kenya, and at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines. When Oakwood University changes from a General Conference to a North American Division academic institution, by General Conference policy its branch office will be reclassified as a research center. In 2011 new Ellen G. White research centers were established in northeastern Brazil, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico. The White Estate also continues to work with the South American Division to expand its program of establishing Ellen White mini centers in local schools, churches, and conference offices. It is suggesting something similar to other divisions.
Since 2010 White Estate directors have spoken in all 13 world divisions—to church groups, schools (elementary to university), groups of pastors and teachers, and at academic symposia and Bible conferences. In the planning stage are several Ellen White-related symposia cosponsored by the White Estate, including one at Andrews University later this year entitled “The Gift of Prophecy in Scripture and History.”
The White Estate is planning several major developments specifically for this centennial year (see the published list on the White Estate’s Web site: http://ellenwhite.org/estate/2015plans.asp). For those who still are doing something this year relating to the centennial of Ellen White’s death, a special section of the White Estate’s Web site containing resource materials will be useful (http://library.ellenwhite.org/centennial).
In April, an Ellen G. White visitor center opened at the White Estate’s main office. Designed by a team from a small, creative, and committed company of Brazilian Adventists, the new visitor center is the first of its kind in the denomination. Several White Estate directors were involved with its development.
The White Estate board also voted to dedicate an associate director’s position to work with Adventist Heritage Ministry, the organization that operates Historic Adventist Village in Battle Creek, Michigan; the Joseph Bates Boyhood Home in Fairhaven, Massachusetts; the Hiram Edson Farm in Port Gibson, New York; and the William Miller Home and Farm near Whitehall, New York. Thousands of visitors tour these sites each year. The closer working affiliation between the White Estate and Adventist Heritage Ministry will enrich the outreach ministries of both organizations.
The entire staff of the White Estate, located at its main office at the General Conference in Silver Spring, Maryland, as well as its four branch offices and 19 research centers around the world, continues to answer questions, serve as resource personnel for various church projects, teach classes, and provide other services while consistently attempting to remind everyone about the blessing that awaits those who read and follow the counsels God has given His church through the writings of Ellen G. White.
Despite the many challenges we face as a church, Ellen White’s warning as recorded in Life Sketches is also a promise: “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” (p. 196).