Project Documents

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Walton Williams

Second Advisor

S. Joseph Kidder

Third Advisor

Hyveth Williams

Abstract

Problem

Some members of the Augusta First Seventh-day Adventist Church felt the writings of Ellen G. White were irrelevant and thus had no influence in their spiritual life. The church members had dismissed her writings in their spiritual journeys and instead read the works of more contemporary authors. This group seemed to be apathetic to the matter of Ellen White as a prophet, and some avoided her written work all together. A contributing factor to this indifference might have been a lack of devotional reading of her books on the Bible story. By addressing this lack of devotional reading, I thought some might find Ellen G. White’s writings more relevant.

Method

A strategy was implemented to preach a series of sermons, implement small group discussions and create a supplemental reading plan to effect changes in the reading habits and patterns of the members of the Augusta First Seventh-day Adventist Church regarding their reading of Ellen G. White’s writings on the Bible. Patriarchs and Prophets was the book of choice, and a reading plan was shared with members of the congregation to guide them in their regular reading. A survey conducted before and after the sermon series was used to gauge changes in reading behavior.

Results

The overall reading of Ellen G. White’s works on the Bible story increased during the course of the project. Although attitudes toward Ellen G. White as a prophet remained unchanged, there was in fact a significant increase in the congregation’s reading of Patriarchs and Prophets. There were only slight changes and impacts on the congregation’s overall devotional patterns or in their Bible reading habits because of the sermon series. A positive result of the project was getting those who had never read Ellen G. White to give her a try. A shift in reading patterns of the congregation was demonstrated from non-Seventh-day Adventist Christian writers to the works of Ellen G. White.

Conclusions

The project was a success because the key goal was achieved. At the end of the project, more people within the congregation were reading the works Ellen G. White wrote about the Bible story and there was a significant increase in those reading Patriarchs and Prophets. More research is merited and needed in the area of understanding reading patterns within the works of Ellen G. White and who is reading them. There is a glaring absence of research in the area of seeking to understand potential benefits and effects of reading the writings of Ellen G. White.

Subject Area

White, Ellen Gould Harmon, 1827-1915--Devotional use; Seventh-day Adventists--Prayers and devotions; Augusta First Seventh-day Adventist Church (Augusta, Ga.)

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