James Springer White

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James Springer White

Birthdate: (60)
Birthplace: Palmyra, Somerset, Maine, United States
Death: August 06, 1881 (60)
Battle Creek Sanitarium, Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan, United States (Effects of a fever)
Place of Burial: Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, MI
Immediate Family:

Son of Deacon John White and Elizabeth "Betsey" Jewett
Husband of Ellen G White
Father of William Clarence White; James Edson White; Henry Nichols White and John Herbert White
Brother of John White; Mary White; Nathaniel White and Anna White

Managed by: Private User
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About James Springer White

James Springer White, also known as Elder White, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and husband of Ellen G. White.

In 1849, he started the first Sabbatarian Adventist periodical entitled The Present Truth (now the Adventist Review). In 1855, he relocated the fledgling center of the movement to Battle Creek, Michigan, and in 1863 played a pivotal role in the formal organization of the denomination. He later played a major role in the development of the Adventist educational structure beginning in 1874 with the formation of Battle Creek College (now Andrews University).

Early Life

James white was born on August 4, 1821 in the township of Palmyra in Maine. The fifth of nine children, James was a sickly child who suffered fits and seizures. Poor eyesight prevented him from obtaining much education and he was required to work on the family farm. At age 19, his eyesight improved and he enrolled at a local academy. He earned a teaching certificate and briefly taught at an elementary school.

Religious Career

He was baptized into the Christian Connexion at age 16. He learned of the Millerite message from his parents and after hearing powerful preaching at an advent camp meeting in Exeter, Maine, White decided to leave teaching and become a preacher. Consequently, he was ordained a minister of the Christian Connexion in 1843.

White was a powerful preacher and it is recorded that during the winter of 1843, 1000 people accepted the Millerite message owing to his preaching. At times however, White was met with angry mobs who hurled snowballs at him.


During his early travels, he met Ellen G. Harmon, whom he married on August 30, 1846. James and Ellen had four sons:

  • Henry Nichols - b. 26 Aug 1847, d. 8 Dec 1863
  • James Edson - b. 28 Jul 1849, d. 3 Jun 1928
  • William Clarence - b. 29 Aug 1854, d. 31 Aug 1937
  • John Herbert - b. 20 Sep 1860, d. 14 Dec 1860


The paper which James White initially started, The Present Truth, was combined with another periodical called the Advent Review in 1850 to become the Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. This periodical became the main source of communication for the Sabbatarian Adventist movement regarding points of doctrine and organization. It also became a venue for James and Ellen White to quickly and efficiently share their views to like-minded believers.

James White served as editor of the periodical until 1851, when he invited Uriah Smith to become editor. He played a senior role in the management of church publications as president of the Review and Herald Publishing Association. He also served on several occasions as president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (1865–67; 1869–71; 1874–80).

Later Life & Legacy

In 1865, White suffered a paralytic stroke. He eventually determined that he should retire from the ministry and live out his days gracefully. In 1880, G. I. Butler replaced him as General Conference president.

During the summer of 1881, White came down with a fever and was taken to the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Despite the efforts of Dr. Kellogg, White died on August 6, 1881.

A prolific author, White remains in print today. He is remembered as a pioneering Adventist, especially among the Seventh-day Adventists.

Text adapted from Wikipedia.

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James Springer White's Timeline

August 4, 1821
Palmyra, Somerset, Maine, United States
August 26, 1847
Age 26
Cumberland, Maine
July 1849
Age 27
Rocky Hill, CT
August 29, 1854
Age 33
Monroe, New York
September 20, 1860
Age 39
Calhoun, Michagan
August 6, 1881
Age 60
Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan, United States
Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, MI