Jerry R. Chase

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This article explores the response within the Seventh-day Adventist Church after Ellen G. White’s death to the dual emphases in her writings on the city and rural living. On one hand she strongly encouraged large Adventist institutions and families raising children to locate out of the cities. This was because of the advantages natural surroundings have on physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, and to shield children and young adults from the evils and temptations of the city. While she recognized the evils in the city and God’s impending judgments, she aggressively pushed church leaders to take a more active role in evangelizing the cities, precisely because of their great need.

The church was slow to respond to her plea for greater mission to the cities during her lifetime. Once she passed away, the gains made in city mission during her lifetime were gradually lost. Leadership focused on foreign missions but work in the cities seem to have fallen by the wayside, being replaced with a drive for all Adventists to move to the country. This paper’s focus is on the period from the 1910 through the 1990s.





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