SDAnet  At Issue Women in Ministry

A Place at the Table: Women and the Early Years 

by Bert Haloviak1

She has accomplished more the last two years than any minister in this state . . . l am . . . in favor of giving license to Sr. Lulu Wightman to preach, and if Bro. W is a man of ability and works with his wife and promises to make a successful laborer, lam in favor of giving him license also.—Pastor S. M. Cobb, writing to New York Conference president, 1897.

In 1906 the Review and Herald (now known as The Adventist Review) published the obituary of Truman Russell who died at the age of 82. It says much for the home life of Mr. and Mrs. Russell that three of their children decided to become Seventh-day Adventist ministers. Imagine the joy the family must have experienced as they saw their children entering the ministry. Kit Carson Russell served as a pastor, conference president, and General Conference religious liberty secretary for 32 years of denominational service. His obituary appears in the Review of January 29, 1920. His brother, Edgar Torrey Russell, served the Seventh-day Adventist church for 45 years as pastor, and conference and union president. His obituary appeared in the October 22, 1925, Review.

The third pastor to come from that family had an unusual name for a minister in the Seventh-day Adventist church and her obituary never appeared in the Review. Behind that fact is a sad story.

Lulu Russell Wightman

Lulu Russell Wightman was the most successful minister in New York state for more than a decade. Her ministry began when she was licensed as a minister in 1897 and continued even after she left New York state to engage in religious liberty work in Kansas and Missouri in 1908. The results from Mrs. Wightman’s ministry rank her not only as the most outstanding evangelist in New York during her time, but among the most successful within the Adventist Church for any time period. As a licensed minister, Mrs. Wightman pioneered work that established companies or churches in a number of places in New York where Adventism had never gained a foothold before.

In 1901 the New York Conference president sent this note to John Wightman, Lulu’s husband: "Enclosed find a small token of appreciation from the Conference Committee for your work in assisting your wife. "2 Mrs. Wightman was the licensed minister, and the conference sent money to her husband in appreciation for his assistance to her. How is it that such a thing could occur? Mrs. Wightman was one of more than 20 Seventh-day Adventist women who were licensed as ministers in the 19th century. Was there something wrong with the 19th century Adventist Church? After all, there is no scriptural authority for licensing women as ministers, but that is precisely what happened in the church during Ellen White’s day.

Scriptural Issue

Actually the church had wrestled with the question of scriptural authority and church policy early in its history. The first question involved the name "Seventh-day Adventist." Then there was the issue of the legal organization of the church. After all, many pointed out and argued in general meetings: "Where is there in the Scriptures a body of believers called Seventh-day Adventists."

Indeed, "It is wrong to take any name to ourselves except ‘Church of God’ for all the other scriptural names are already taken," they argued. Our church was called by many the "Church of God" until 1860 when the term Seventh-day Adventist was generally accepted)3

Others opposed regular conference meetings, constitutions, or worst of all, registering church property with the state, because there was no explicit scriptural authority for doing so. The issue was not resolved without splits within the church, but James White’s position, endorsed by Ellen White, prevailed. Here is that short statement by James White:

If it be asked, Where are your plain texts of scripture for holding church property legally? we reply, The Bible does not furnish any; neither does it say that we should have a weekly paper, a steam printing-press, that we should publish books, build places of worship, and send out tents. Jesus says, "Let your light so shine before men," etc.; but he does not give all the particulars how this shall be done. The church is left to move forward in the great work, praying for divine guidance, acting upon the most efficient plans for its accomplishment. We believe it safe to be governed by the following


All means which, according to sound judgment, will advance the cause of truth, and are not forbidden by plain scripture declarations, should be employed.4

The church moved forward with that principle regarding church policy as distinguished from church doctrine. All our doctrines were based upon full scriptural authority, but we did elect General Conference presidents without explicit scriptural authority for doing so.

Open Doors for Women

It was in the 1870s that the Seventh-day Adventist Church fully opened its doors to women in its ministry. A number of ministers had left the church in the 1860s, vast areas within the United States were still unentered, and the church needed evangelists; so it encouraged both men and women to receive training and enter the ministerial ranks. The key to ministry in the 19th century was evangelism, and that was the focus of the 1870s when women were licensed as ministers. And they were ministers as the church defined ministry.

Mrs. White made significant addresses about ministry at both the 1870 and 1871 General Conference sessions and sought to move the church from its preoccupation with a debating ministry toward more pastoral concerns.

In the aftermath of her urging for a more qualified ministry, the 1870 session established a committee to outline a course of study for ministers.5 In addition, a ministerial lecture course for both men and women who were planning ministerial labor was held after the 1871 session. (It is interesting to note that the price of membership in the Minister’s Lecture Association was $5 for men and $3 for women.)6

James White outlined the purpose of the ministerial lecture course: "There are a hundred young men and young women who should attend a thorough course of lecture" that would "qualify them to teach the word to others."7

Thus, over a century ago, the Seventh-day Adventist Church encouraged its women to enter the ministry. Indeed, there was no definition of ministry within 19th century Adventism that excluded women. The sole exclusion involved those actions reserved to ordained ministers. But women were clearly defined within the 19th century Adventist definition of ministry. They belonged to ministerial associations, they held the Seventh-day Adventist ministerial license or the "license to preach," they conducted evangelistic campaigns, they visited churches doing pastoral labor, and were paid from tithe funds that Ellen White considered reserved for the official church ministry. Thus Lulu Wightman was a Seventh-day Adventist minister in the fullest sense defined by the church.

For six years, John Wightman had received only nominal salary for assisting his wife, but a dilemma occurred when he was licensed as a minister in 1903. Since 1901 Mrs. Wightman had been paid the salary of an ordained minister. The question of her ordination came up at the New York state conference meeting in 1901. The union president, R. A. Underwood, favored her ordination, but the General Conference president, A. G. Daniells, who just happened to be at that conference meeting (not by design or invitation), did not believe that a woman could "properly be ordained, just now at least." So the conference voted to give her the ordained minister’s salary without the ordination.8

That wasn’t a problem until her husband was licensed two years later. The conference then urged Mrs. Wightman to lower her salary to the rate of the licensed minister, perhaps fearing that some would consider that she held more authority than her husband. Although the husband protested, her salary was lowered. Statistics of the time reveal that 60 percent of the new members who joined the church in New York state entered as the result of the efforts of the Wightmans. At the time, the New York Conference had 11 ministers.

The irony, and perhaps the injustice, continued. John Wightman was ordained in 1905, two years after he had been licensed. His wife had been New York’s most effective minister for nine years, but was not ordained.

The ministry of the Wightmans continued and embraced a variety of functions. Mrs. Wightman attained state and national acclaim in religious liberty lectures before a number of state legislatures. In 1909 her husband proudly wrote this about her:

Yesterday a resolution was adopted by the [Missouri] House of Representatives inviting Mrs. Wightman to address the representatives on "The Rise of Religious Liberty in the United States." I believe this action upon the part of the Missouri legislature is unprecedented in the history of our people.9

The saddest aspect of this story occurred the next year and explains why no obituary of the Wightmans appears in the Review. In 1910 the president of the Central Union Conference, B. T. Russell, circulated a 16-page pamphlet against his sister and brother-in-law, the Wightmans, telling that they opposed the church structure. The Wightmans were dropped from their church employment and the family was permanently divided. But the churches in Hornellsville, Gas Springs, Wallace, Silver Creek, Geneva, Angola, Gorham, Fredonia, Avoca, Rushville, Canandaigua, and Penn Yan in New York state owed their establishment to a woman minister. And the churches in Avon, Lakeville, Hemlock, South Livonia, and Bath were established when Mr. Wightman joined his wife as a licensed minister.

The Wightman story is sad and tragic, but no more sad and tragic than a story I heard not too long ago told by a General Conference vice president. He talked of his daughter and of his observations of her as she was growing up. It was evident that she had a "gift of speaking the gospel" publicly. He told his audience that despite that gift he had to encourage her to pursue other lines than the ministry because of the situation in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Then he reminisced: ‘Ah, but that girl could speak!"

I took that story very personally because it was my church he was talking about. It’s our church he was talking about. But the story is even more tragic because A. G. Daniells was absolutely wrong in 1901 when he said that a woman could not properly be ordained in the Adventist Church.

1881 General Conference Resolution

The question of ordination of Adventist women ministers came up as early as the 1881 General Conference session. Here is the text of a resolution discussed at the General Conference of that year: "Females possessing the necessary qualifications to fill that position, may, with perfect propriety, be set apart by ordination to the work of the Christian ministry."10 It was an amazing resolution for its time, even though it obviously did not pass.

Since the 1870s various tests had been applied to candidates for the ministry. They were examined concerning their doctrinal and educational qualifications, scriptural knowledge, spiritual well-being, and success in ministry. All during this period, women continued to be licensed by the state conferences. The 1881 resolution thus strongly implies that its framers considered that there were women who did indeed possess the necessary qualifications for ordination. They had been issued the "license to preach," had given evidence of their "call," and thus were reissued licenses year after year. The qualification of women was not the issue in 1881; the question that was debated was the "perfect propriety," the wisdom, of ordaining women. If women had not been considered ministers, the question of their ordination could not have arisen.

Mrs. White did not attend the 1881 session. Besides the recent death of her husband, there were perhaps other factors that kept her away. However, her son, Willie White, then 27, was an astute observer of the session. He had attended General Conference sessions since 1870 and had been active as a delegate since 1877. White reported that delegates at the 1881 session had lined up in competing "progressive" and "conservative" camps, and that there was "likely to [be] lively times" before the session was over.11 Both the state of the cause and the low esteem placed upon the ministry of Ellen White at the time militated against a dispassionate decision concerning ordaining women in 1881. After some discussion, the question was deferred and referred to the three-man General Conference Committee, where it apparently died.

It cannot be over-emphasized that the issue in 1881 was not the question of the "call" or the qualifications based upon performance of women, but rather the propriety or the wisdom of their being ordained. That question was to be decided by Stephen Haskell, George Butler, and Uriah Smith; and their decision seems to have been that 1881 was not the right time. No Seventh-day Adventist woman was ordained to any position until after 1895 when Ellen White made her landmark statement concerning ordination. Even that statement appears to have been lost to most of our history. And Ellen White made it despite the fact that it was contrary to the past history of the church.

Ellen White’s 1895 Statement Concerning Ordination

Here’s what Ellen White said in 1895—and it is truly a landmark statement:

Women who are willing to consecrate some of their time to the service of the Lord should be appointed to visit the sick, look after the young, and minister to the necessities of the poor. They should be set apart to this work by prayer and laying on of hands. In some cases they will need to counsel with the [local] church officers or the [conference] minister; but if they are devoted women, maintaining a vital connection with God, they will be a power for good in the church. This is another means of strengthening and building up the church. We need to branch out more in our methods of labor. Not a hand should be bound, not a soul discouraged, not a voice should be hushed; let every individual labor; privately or publicly, to help forward this grand work.12

No matter how one interprets that statement, it is clear that Ellen White is proclaiming that it was possible for Seventh-day Adventist women to be ordained "with perfect propriety." The act of ordaining women had not occurred prior to that time. If we look closely at the statement, I believe we will see that it resolves the dilemma we seem to be in today. It seems to me there are two major aspects to consider: (1) can a woman truly be a minister, as we understand ministry, and (2) would we be acting against Scripture to ordain a woman?

The nineteenth century Adventist Church answered the first question when it licensed women as ministers. It is apparent that many decision-makers of today have not realized that women were licensed and fully considered ministers in the nineteenth century. Ellen White praised such women and commented favorably on their holding those credentials.

The question of whether it is unscriptural to ordain a woman poses a dilemma, however. Here’s our problem, and once again it’s really an historical problem. It’s illustrated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 1986 edition, page 64:

Deaconesses were included in the official staff of the early Christian churches (Rom. 16:1, 2). Phoebe was a servant—servant in this instance meaning "deaconess" . . . Other references indicate that women served in the early church as deaconesses. There is no record, however, that these women were ordained; hence the practice of ordaining deaconesses is not followed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.13

That statement is saying that women cannot be ordained as deaconesses because there is no scriptural authority for doing so. This is virtually the same statement that appeared in the first Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual in 1932. Attempts were made at both the 1975 and 1985 General Conference sessions to at least allow for the ordination of deaconesses, but they were unsuccessful. There was an action at the 1975 Spring Meeting that provided for ordaining deaconesses, but a Spring Meeting cannot modify a policy outlined in the Church Manual. That can only be done by vote at a General Conference session.

Those who oppose ordaining deaconesses argue that it would be just as logical from the scriptural standpoint to ordain a woman pastor as it would be to ordain a deaconess. Thus they oppose ordaining deaconesses. They likewise see it as unscriptural to ordain a woman as an elder.

But Ellen White took us over another path and she gave scriptural reasons for doing so. The 1986 Church Manual is more than 90 years behind the Ellen White statement that women "should be set apart by prayer and laying on of hands."14  In the aftermath of the Ellen White statement at least three women were ordained as deaconesses in Australia in the 1890s.15

Once it was recognized that a woman could be ordained to something, the ordination question was resolved, because women were already licensed as ministers and defined by Mrs. White to be appropriately involved in the most relevant ministries then embraced by the church. They were doing the vitally necessary pastoral labor; they were working along Christ’s lines of ministry; they were preaching the Word; they were ministering in the fullest sense as defined by Mrs. White.

Indeed, she observed: "We need to branch out more in our methods of labor" and we should neither "bind" nor "discourage"  those who embraced this kind of ministry either as ordained lay workers (those who labored "privately") or as ordained conference employees (those who labored "publicly"). Notice again her statement: "Not a hand should be bound, not a soul discouraged, not a voice should be hushed; let every individual labor, privately or publicly, to help forward this grand work."16 The nature of the Christian Help Work ministry, to which her statement clearly refers, had both lay and official aspects; and women clearly were eligible for ordination to it.

Ellen White and the Ministry of Compassion

What about the background to that landmark statement of 1895? Mrs. White’s heart melted as she related the following experience:

One of our family came to me saying that a boy about fifteen years old was at the door with a small basket of apples and oranges, for which he asked one shilling, twenty-four cents. He was told that we had a supply of this fruit; for we buy at auction. He pleaded with the girl to buy, for, said he, "We are starving." The question was asked, "Where is your father? Cannot he get work?" He said sorrowfully, "My father is dead. My mother is in poor health. .  . .  I am the eldest of the family, and the responsibility is upon me. Won’t you buy?"17

"Pastor" Ellen White saw much more than a question of poverty in this experience. She saw true ministry and she outlined it:

You cannot know how we carry the heavy burden as we see these souls tested, thrown out of employment, unable to obtain labor unless they will give up the Sabbath. We must comfort and encourage them; we must help them as they shall be brought into strait places. There are many souls as precious as gold, and every sinner saved causes rejoicing in the heavenly courts.18

The issue to Ellen White was true pastoral labor: working as Christ worked to present truth to the needy. A few weeks after that experience, the tender, "pastoral" Ellen White wrote this to her son:

Yesterday it all opened before me that in this very line of hospitality, I have been repeatedly shown that we can unite the people with us, and can have a twofold influence over them. This was unfolded before me in the first experience in this work, many years back, and we have ever linked our interest with humanity.19

Shortly after penning her ordination statement, Mrs. White again outlined her definition of ministry. Here is how she derived a scriptural basis for her 1895 statement that women could be ordained:

In the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah, the work that the people of God are to do in Christ’s lines, is clearly set forth. They are to break every yoke, they are to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to bring the poor that are cast out into their houses, to draw out their souls to the hungry, and to satisfy the afflicted soul. If they carry out the principles of the law of God in acts of mercy and love, they will represent the character of God to the world.20

The Christian Help ministry was the major Seventh-day Adventist approach to proclaiming its mission to Australia during the 1890s. W. C. White observed that Australia at that time was a country "where there is much sickness and much need of medical help" and was convinced that "the most effectual way" of working was "in the way of Christian Help Work" since that class of work "will appeal to their sympathy and will thus serve as an introduction to the people." He observed that more than 4,000 had died of typhoid fever during 1897 and that the local church members as well as denominational employees "are doing all they can in the Christian Help Work."21

It was found that in these places of tremendous needs, women were the most effective and active ministers, and this period is the one when Ellen White made most of her now-famous statements concerning women in ministry.22

The Tithe Factor

The most relevant of Ellen White’s statements on tithe usage also occurred during her ministry in Australia. Indeed, in 1897 she wrote:

This is the Lord’s special revenue fund, for a special purpose. I have never so fully understood this matter as I now understand it. Having had questions directed here to me to answer, 1 have had special instruction from the Lord that the tithe is for a special purpose, consecrated to God to sustain those who minister in the sacred work, as the Lord’s chosen to do His work not only in sermonizing, but in ministering. They should understand all that this comprehends.23

It seems highly significant that while Ellen White was stressing a singleness of purpose in the use of tithe funds, she would broaden the potential recipients of those funds to include women who, until the Ellen White statements, were ineligible for receiving those funds. It is even more significant when one considers that financial exigencies had vastly narrowed the availability of those funds. As the concept of women’s ministry was expanding, however, it became apparent that Ellen White considered women’s service as true gospel ministry.

To Ellen White, the binding element regarding those who qualified as tithe recipients seemed to be those who were directly presenting the gospel message to those who had not heard it before or to those who were involved in pastoral-instructional functions within the church. Thus minister’s wives who were instructing other women in missionary work, women who were doing house-to-house labor in presenting the gospel to other women, women Bible teachers who were instructing student workers regarding doctrines and methods of evangelism, women who were teaching other women in Bible reading and home visitation techniques, women who were laboring in "word and doctrine," women medical missionaries who were instructing others in Christian Help Work—all were eligible in Ellen White’s thinking to receive tithe funds.

The rationale for her call at the time she was focusing upon a "carefully guard[ed] tithe fund" that would be held "sacred for one purpose" was her understanding that women were indeed ministers.

In addressing the question of the nature of the nineteenth century church and the question of tithe usage, Mrs. White observed that she had received "light upon this subject" even prior to going to Australia in 1891. She then made a statement that again reduces the ordination of women to a moot point:

Injustice has been done to women who labor just as devotedly as their husbands, and who are recognized by God as being as necessary to the work of ministry as their husbands. [If ordination is defined as an official church recognition of a calling that was instituted by God, it would seem long past the time when the church should harmonize with that divine perspective). The method of paying men-laborers and not their wives, is a plan not after the Lord’s order . . . This arrangement... is liable to discourage our sisters from qualifying themselves for the work they should engage in [i.e., ministry].... This question is not for men to settle. The Lord has settled it. You are to do your duty to the women who labor in the gospel.24

Mrs. White would use tithe funds to pay women because she considered that indeed, there were "women who labor in the gospel" and "whose work testifie[d] that they [were] essential to carry the truth into families." She proclaimed, "Their work is just the work that must be done" and "the cause would suffer great loss without this kind of labor." In identifying this pastoral labor Mrs. White affirmed that "again and again the Lord has shown me that women teachers are just as greatly needed to do the work to which He has appointed them as are men." She counseled that "there are women who should labor in the gospel ministry"25 and then defined the pastoral nature of that gospel ministry:

Those women who labor to teach souls to seek for the new birth in Christ Jesus, are doing a precious work. They consecrate themselves to God, and they are just as verily laborers for God as are their husbands. They can enter families to which ministers could find no access. They can listen to the sorrows of the depressed and oppressed. They can shed rays of light into discouraged souls. They can pray with them. They can open the Scriptures, and enlighten them from a "Thus saith the Lord. 26

This kind of ministry was what Mrs. White defined as "true ministry" and observed that it was the "accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors of the flock of God."27

Why Women Are Inherently Vital to the Gospel Ministry

Without mentioning the word women or addressing the issues of ordination or gospel ministry, Mrs. White in the next two statements informs us why women are vital to the current ministry of the Adventist Church as "pastors of the flock of God." A mere reflection on the statements provides proof of the premise:

[1] It is the glory of the gospel that it is founded upon the principle of restoring in the fallen race the divine image by a constant manifestation of benevolence.28

[2] The completeness of Christian character is attained when the impulse to help and bless others springs constantly from within.29


We can see that Ellen White considered women as ministers during her time and that she favored the act of ordaining women. Women were "pastors of the flock of God" during the time when "pastoring" was a newly emerging vital ministerial concept. And ‘‘men and women’’ who acted as the ‘‘Lord’s helping hand,’’ and who were working as Christ did in combining a pastoral-evangelistic ministry to the "oppressed, rescuing those ready to perish," would be considered "priests of the Lord" and "ministers of our God," according to Ellen White’s analysis of Isaiah 61:6.30 Obviously Ellen White did not believe that because there were no women who served in the Old Testament priesthood, women were forever prohibited from the organized ministry.

The nineteenth century Seventh-day Adventist Church, largely because of the influence of Ellen White, was remarkably innovative as it grasped opportunities to exhibit a dynamic and versatile definition of ministry. Ellen White consistently defined ministry by those relevant functions its ministers performed. And it is obvious that women were allowed to perform all those relevant functions, excepting those which the church defined as belonging solely to the ordained minister.

When the church seemed to founder on the question of whether women could be ordained, Ellen White, in 1895, resolved that issue. She went further as she described why the early Christian church ordained Paul and Barnabas. The principle she expressed has obvious relevance to the question of women and ordination to ministry: "In order that their work should be above challenge, He instructed the church by revelation to set them apart publicly to the work of the ministry. Their ordination was a public recognition of their divine appointment to bear to the Gentiles the glad tidings of the gospel."31

Truly, Ellen White has fulfilled her mission to the church by pointing out the scriptural principles concerning ordination. Here, she applies scriptural principles to ministry as defined during the time she saw the Australian experience as a model for the church. She defines true ministry from Isaiah 58 and Isaiah 61:

If men and women would act as the Lord’s helping hand, doing deeds of love and kindness, uplifting the oppressed, rescuing those ready to perish, the glory of the Lord would be their rearguard.... Of those who act as his helping hand the Lord says, "Ye shall be named priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God."32

As Mrs. White reflected upon the post-1888 focus upon justification by faith, she clearly perceived its implications concerning the nature of ministry:

We must look more to the presentation of God’s love and mercy to move the hearts of the people. We must have a sense of both the justice and mercy of God. Those who can blend together the law of God and the mercy of God can reach any heart. For years I have seen that there is a broken link which has kept us from reaching hearts; this link is supplied by presenting the love and mercy of God.33

Nine days after that statement Mrs. White addressed the ministers at the 1891 General Conference session and conveyed the sentiments of that address to her diary. The statement transcends all arguments concerning the ordination question. Ellen White is not here espousing a cause, for she penned the following to her diary as her understanding of the nature of ministry:

The Lord has given Christ to the world for ministry. Merely to preach the Word is not ministry. The Lord desires His ministering servants to occupy a place worthy of the highest consideration. In the mind of God, the ministry of men AND WOMEN existed before the world was created.  [The premise that God had a preconceived concept of ministry for both men and women before He created the world destroys ideas of subordination and offers very telling evidence about Ellen White’s concept of the role of women in ministry.] He determined that His ministers should have a perfect exemplification of Himself and His purposes. No human career could do this work; so God gave Christ in humanity to work out His ideal of what humanity may become through entire obedience to His will and way. God’s character was revealed in the life of His Son. Christ not only held a theory of genuine ministry, but in His humanity He wrought out an illustration of the ministry that God approves. Perfection has marked out every feature of true ministry. Christ, the Son of the living God, did not live unto Himself, but unto God.34

The history of the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the nineteenth century illustrates that women were indeed serving as "priests" and "ministers" of the Lord. We must recognize that heritage.

Historian Bert Haloviak is Assistant Director of Archives and Statistics at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Silver Spring. Maryland. He also serves as adjunct professor at Columbia Union College where he teaches religion and church history classes.


1. Information in this chapter was first presented by the author in a sermon at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland, on October16, 1988.

2. Letter from G. B. Thompson to John Wightman, August 13, 1901.

3. See Review and Herald issues dated June 19, 1860; October 16, 1860; and others of that year.

4. James White, Review and Herald, April 26, 1860, emphasis supplied.

5. See Ellen White, Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 498. See also James White, J. N. Andrews, J. H. Waggoner, G. H. Bell, U. Smith, "Course of Study for Ministers," Review and Herald, January 10, 1870, and James White’s note in that same issue.

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid., emphasis supplied.

8. Letter from John Wightman to S. H. Lane, September 2, 1904.

9. Missouri Workers’ Record, April 28, 1909.

10. Rather interestingly, the report of the 1881 General Conference session that appeared in the Signs of the Times reported that the resolution passed. But the Review and Herald reported that it was "discussed by J. 0. Corliss, A. C. Bourdeau, E. R. Jones, D. H. Lamson, W. H. Littlejohn, A. S. Hutchins, D. M. Canright and J. N. Loughborough and referred to the General Conference Committee." While it would appear that the Review statement is the more accurate, lack of documentation leaves the issue unresolved and open to interpretation.

11. W. C. White to L. E. Froom, May 12, 1930, RG 58 [LEF], Interpretation, Development of folder, GC Archives; W. C. White to Mary White, Dec. 2, 1881, White Estate.

12. Review and Herald, July 9, 1895, emphasis supplied.

13. Emphasis supplied.

14. The 1990 edition of the Church Manual states: "The church may arrange for a able service of induction for the deaconess by an ordained minister iing current credentials" (emphasis supplied). Thus ordination of conesses is still prohibited even though proof exists that women were ained as deaconesses in Australia in E. G. White’s own time.

15. W. C. White to members of Australasian Union Committee, July 15, 1896. also Arthur Patrick, "Founding Mothers: Women in the Adventist Work se South Pacific Division," Adventist Heritage, Fail 1986.

16. Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, July 9, 1895.

17. Ellen White to Brother Harper, July 9, 1894, H3OA, 1894.

18. Ibid

19. Ellen White to W. C. White, August 6, 1894.

20. Review and Herald, August 20, 1895.

21. W.C. White to Medical Mission Board, December 1897, WCW Book ha. Appendix for a collection of some of these statements.

22. See Appendix for a collection of some of these statements.

23. Letter 40, 1897, emphasis supplied.

24. "The Laborer  Is Worthy of His Hire," Manuscript 43a, 1897, emphasis supplied.

25. Ibid., emphasis supplied.

26. Ibid.

27. Review and Herald, January 15, 1901.

28. Ellen White, "The Needs of the Cause in Australasia: An Appeal," June 11, 1903.

29. Ellen White, "He That Loveth Not His Brother Abideth In Death," August 2, 1899.

30. January 17, 1901, B7-1901.

31. The Acts of the Apostles, p. 161, emphasis supplied.

32. Ellen White, January 17, 1901, B7-1901.

33. Ellen White, Statement to General Conference Committee and Conference Presidents, March 3, 1891, General Conference Minutes.

34. Ellen White, Diary entry of March 12, 1891, Manuscript 23-1891, emphasis supplied. Ellen White’s original diary entry did not contain the wording that included women within God’s original concept of ministry, but the 1903 one did. Most likely her experience in Australia brought her to include that significant phrase in her later editing.

SDAnet  At Issue Women in Ministry