ELLEN G. WHITE Biography - Religious Figures & Icons


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Name: Ellen White                                                                 
Born: November 26, 1827 Gorham, Maine                                             
Died: July 16, 1915 Elmshaven (Saint Helena), California                         
Ellen Gould White (née Harmon) (November 26, 1827 - July 16, 1915), born to     
Robert and Eunice Harmon, was an American Christian leader whose prophetic       
ministry was instrumental in founding the Sabbatarian Adventist movement that     
led to the rise of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.                             
Supporters of Ellen G. White regard her as a modern-day prophet, even though she 
never claimed this title for herself. Support for her prophetic role is usually   
expressed in the language that she exhibited the spiritual gift of prophecy as   
outlined in the New Testament. Adventists do not consider this to conflict with   
the Reformation principle Sola Scriptura ("by scripture alone"), because the     
Bible is believed to be superior to her writings and the Bible teaches that one   
of the gifts to the church is the gift of prophecy. Her restorationist writings   
showcase the hand of God in Seventh-day Adventist history. This cosmic conflict, 
referred to as the "great controversy theme", is foundational to the development 
of Seventh-day Adventist theology. Her involvement with other Sabbatarian         
Adventist leaders, such as Joseph Bates and her husband James White, would       
create a nucleus of believers around which a core group of shared beliefs would   
emerge. Ellen White believed that at the close of earth's history Jesus Christ   
would return to this earth to gather His people and take them to heaven.         
White was a controversial figure even within her own lifetime. She claimed to     
have received a vision soon after the Millerite Great Disappointment. In the     
context of many other visionaries, she was known for her conviction and fervent   
faith. White is the most translated female non-fiction author in the history of   
literature, as well as the most translated American non-fiction author of either 
gender. Her writings covered theology, evangelism, Christian lifestyle,           
education and health (she also advocated vegetarianism). She was a leader who     
emphasized education and health, and promoted the establishment of schools and   
medical centers. During her lifetime she wrote more than 5,000 periodical         
articles and 40 books; but today, including compilations from her 50,000 pages   
of manuscript, more than 100 titles are available in English. Some of her more   
popular books include Steps to Christ, The Desire of Ages, and The Great         
Controversy. Adventists believe she experienced over 2,000 visions.               
Adherents to the Seventh-day Adventist Church originating from the "Millerite"   
movement, including Ellen White's teachings, currently number nearly 15 million   
in membership with an estimated twenty five million in attendance worldwide.