Ellen White Topics
In Oakland we need a church building. Soon a simple and inexpensive place of worship should be erected. In this the brethren and sisters in Oakland are to show that they fear the Lord, by refusing to build a stylish and costly church. We are living in perilous times; judgement is to follow judgement. Let us now reveal in our works that we believe that the time of God's judgements is come, that we are approaching the day when there will be no certainty regarding anything in this world. By our works as well as our testimony we are to tell that the end of all things is at hand.

We are to take heed to the warnings given in the calamity that has overtaken San Francisco. The people of Oakland must not give the people of San Francisco cause to think that they feel secure. But that is what they would understand your action to mean if at this time you should erect a large and costly meeting-house. . . .

At this time the building of costly meeting houses in any place is not in accordance with our faith. There are many places where meeting houses will soon have to be built; therefore we should not put large sums of money in any one place.--Letter 10, 1907, pp. 1-3. (To the Members of the Oakland Church, January 18, 1907.) 6MR 320

The churches are fast being converted to the world. They have beautiful music and splendid decorations. But they are fruitless trees, bearing nothing but leaves. As the Lord unmasked the fig tree, so He will unmask these pretentious hypocrites.--Letter 45, 1891, p. 4. (To "My Brother," December 28, 1891.) 6MR 321

The instruction that has been given me in regard to the buildings to be erected in Washington is that it is not the Lord's will for an imposing display to be made. The buildings are to show, to believers and to those not of our faith, that not one dollar has been invested in needless display. Every part of the buildings is to bear witness that we realise that there is before us a great, unworked missionary field, and that the truth is to be established in many places. 6MR 321

If the buildings erected correspond to the truth that we are proclaiming, a telling influence will be exerted on minds. Actions speak louder than words. Say frankly, "God has charged us not to invest a large amount of means in one place, and He has charged us also not to invest means in gratifying the desire for display." The principles that we are to follow in our work are exemplified in the life of Christ. He was the Majesty of heaven, and yet He worked at a carpenter's bench. And however lowly His task, it was done with the utmost exactitude.--Letter 83, 1904, pp. 1, 2. (To A. G. Daniells, W. W. Prescott, and Dr. Hare, February 15, 1904.) Released December 2, 1974. 6MR 322

There is New Orleans. What men have you working there? What have you done with your workers and with your means to annex new territory, to plant the standard of truth in new places, to establish monuments for God. Where, I ask you, are the labourers? What labourers are there in Memphis? There are two sisters working there. Across the street from the two rooms which they have hired in which to live is the little meeting-house which the believers in Memphis have bought. Until a few months ago they had no place in which to meet for worship. They bought a little meeting-house for a thousand dollars, and then they had two hundred left with which to furnish it. I thank God for this meeting-house. GCB APR.05,1901

I spoke to the people on Sabbath morning, and as I saw the congregation, mostly composed of black people, bright and sharp of intellect, I felt that if I had dared, I should have wept aloud. As the people sat before me, I never felt more pleased to break the bread of life, and to speak comforting words to a people. My soul longed after them. When the old meeting-house in which they had met was sold, and was being torn down, the hopes of the people seemed to fall to the ground. They did not know what to do. Their enemies said, They have sold the meeting-house, and now they are going to leave you. But they were assured that a better house was to be built. Then their courage rose at once. When I heard them singing in the meeting, I thought, It is not only they who are singing. Of those who are saved it is said, God himself will rejoice over them with singing. If there was not on that Sabbath singing in the heavenly courts, then I am mistaken. GCB APR.05,1901

When we talked of building a meeting-house in Cooranbong, the brethren said that all we would be able to do would be to erect a very small, rough building, and that they did not think we could even do that much for a while. But in the night season the word of the Lord came to me, "Arise and build. Make of the building of this meeting-house an object-lesson." When I told this to the brethren, unbelief came in, and they said, "We can not do it, we can not do it." I said, "We can do it," and we did. Soon after that we received in a letter from Africa a gift of one thousand dollars to help in the building of our meeting-house. This gave our brethren hope and courage. The workmen laboured at half price, and in a very short time our meeting-house was erected. GCB APR.25,1901

The halls are used for all kinds of gatherings, and many say that it is impossible for them to teach their children or themselves to regard the place of meeting as a place where God is to be worshipped. Many will not come to a religious meeting in such a place. They feel that it is irreverent and almost sacrilegious to attempt to worship God amid such surroundings. But with present prospects it will be simply impossible for this people to purchase land or put up the plainest kind of a house of worship. Ought we to be thus situated? And how long shall this state of things continue? We have changed about from hall to hall, with little benefit; we must have a meeting house. We need a school building also, but the meeting house must come first. GCDB JAN.28,1893

When a company of believers is raised up, careful provision should be made for the permanence and stability of the work. A house of worship will be needed, and a school where Bible instruction may be given to the children. The workers should not leave their field of labour until a meeting-house has been built, and a school room and teacher provided. Here is a channel in which the means invested in gospel wagons might be used to secure far greater and more permanent results for good. All this has been presented before me as a panoramic view. I saw workmen building humble houses of worship. Those newly come to the faith were helping with willing hands, and those who had means were assisting with their means. In the basement of the church, above ground, a school room was prepared for the children. Teachers were selected to go to this place. The numbers in the school were not large, but it was a happy beginning. I heard the songs of children and of parents: "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Praise ye the Lord; praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live will I praise the Lord. I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. GCDB MAR.02,1899

As I stood before the large congregation in the San Francisco meeting-house, I thought of our experiences twenty-four years ago, when a small company of believers were struggling to secure a house of worship large enough to meet future demands. It had been presented to me that San Francisco would always be an important missionary field. In a dream I saw two beehives, one in Oakland, and the other in San Francisco. In the Oakland hive all was activity, in the San Francisco very little was being done. Again I looked at the hive in San Francisco, and all was activity among the bees. They were hard at work. We understood this to mean that a large work would be done by the church in San Francisco, although it started slowly. For many years it was thought by some that the San Francisco meeting-house was too large. Now it is well filled on the Sabbath day, and we wish it were larger. RH FEB.19,1901

When we built our meeting-house in Cooranbong, Sister McEnterfer and I went through the district where the carpenters lived, asking them how much they would charge to work for us by the day. Many of them promised to work for much less than the ordinary wage. A few promised to give some time; others with families to support, being too poor to work for nothing, offered to work for six shillings - a dollar and a half - a day. The meeting-house was built, and stands today as a monument for God, a miracle wrought by his power. Many of the believers had just begun to keep the Sabbath. Some of them were very poor, and at first we had to help them. Now they are all self-supporting. They keep up the church expenses, and pay a faithful tithe. This is the way we worked to build our meeting-houses in many places in Australia. SPM 246