Dedication of Battle Creek College

December 1874 - January 1875

James and Ellen White watched with interest as the walls for a denominational college building rose to a height of three stories in the summer and fall of 1874. Dedication was to be Monday, January 4, 1875.

Between the closing of classes for the fall term and the dedication of the new buildings, there would be a three-week period. This would provide a unique opportunity for the ministers of the denomination to gather for a training period, reasoned James White. So the "Biblical Institute" opened December 15 and closed on Sunday night, January 3, the night before the college dedication.

Shortly before the dedication, Ellen White became very ill with influenza, but did not recover after a few days. Friends were called in to pray. When Ellen prayed, she was taken off in vision. The world was presented to her as enshrouded in the mists and fog of error, of superstition, of false tradition, and of worldliness. Then as she looked intently and with distress upon this scene, she saw little lights glimmering through the darkness. These lights increased in power. They burned brighter, and they were lifted higher and higher. Each one lighted other lights, which also burned brightly, until the whole world was lighted.

Coming out of vision, she was strong enough to attend the dedication of the College and to address the convention.

In the next few evenings she rehearsed the many subjects revealed to her in the vision. She made an appeal to her hearers to take a broader view of the work. She said that in the vision she had seen printing presses running in many foreign lands, printing periodicals, tracts, and books containing truths regarding the sacredness of the Sabbath and the soon coming of Jesus.

It is significant that this vision, with its far-reaching view of the worldwide work of the Advent movement, was given in connection with the dedication of Battle Creek College on Monday, January 4, 1875. Battle Creek College was to be different from the secular colleges. It was intended to be a model on which the whole system of Adventist education was to be patterned.