The Birth of Adventism in Australia & Sanitarium | Episode 37 | Lineage


Ellen White’s work in Australia and New Zealand
was largely a pioneering work. S. N. Haskell and his team had arrived several years earlier,
but much of the work was yet to be done. Here in this new country they would go into unentered fields,
opening schools, churches, sanitariums, and publishing houses. The membership was small, but the vision was big. Ellen White had mentioned Australia
as early as 1874 when she wrote, ‘The message will go in power to Oregon, to Europe, to Australia…’ At the age of 64, 17 years later,
she would arrive here in Australia. The original team had originally docked in Sydney,
but they would end up settling here in Melbourne and this city is really the birthplace of Adventism in Australia. [music] This was also Ellen White first settled when she came. In mid-1892 she sent a message
to the conference president A. G. Daniells that a school needed to be started for the education of the youth. This message was both welcome and also troubling. How could a membership so small
and poor in worldly goods accomplish this? They started the Australasian Bible School in two rented houses
on St George’s Terrace on St Kilda Road. In their first term they had between 25 and 50 students. Later on the school would grow and a third house would be added. Later on the school would move north to Cooranbong,
but its roots lie here. [music] Early on the publishing work was started,
and a building on the corner of Rae and Scotchmer served as both accommodation and publishing house. The first copy of The Bible Echo and Signs
of the Times was published in January of 1886. Later on they would purchase a property here on Best Street
for $1,400, and a three-story building was erected. The publishing house would stay here until it would move
in 1905 to Warburton, where it remains to this day. Our early pioneers sought to use the best
means of communication to share the message, and this was integral to the strategy
of the church as it planted in new areas. [music] Here in the Edinburgh Gardens
they also held the first tent meetings that would later on lead to the first
Adventist Church in the southern hemisphere, the North Fitzroy Seventh-day Adventist Church. [music] Another work that started early on was a health food company. This was known as Sanitarium Health Foods
and started in 1898 on Clarke Street in Northcote, Melbourne. Ellen White strongly encouraged this, as well as
the later move of the company from Melbourne to Avondale so that the college students could work there. Today Sanitarium Foods is one of the largest
health food companies in the world, and is widely recognized throughout
Australia for its wide range of products, in particular its flagship product, Weet-Bix. [music] The financial support given by Sanitarium
to the work of the church is in line with the instruction Ellen White
gave about the health food work, that it is ‘God’s gift to his people, and the profits are to be used
for the good of suffering humanity everywhere.’ This is perhaps the best illustration
of this close working relationship anywhere in the world. [music] And so the work of the church
started in a comprehensive fashion: evangelism, church planting, education,
a health food company, a publishing house and the sanitarium. There were many dimensions to the church
in its early days, despite only having a few members. They worked hard and sought to follow
the counsel that God had given them, even though they only had a little bit of funds. Sometimes today, I think we are too constrained by our circumstances, and if the pioneers manifested
the same hesitancy that we often have, I wonder if the work would ever have gotten going. God is looking for people today who will step out in faith,
who will follow the counsel that He has given, and seek to accomplish great things
in these times in which we are living.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *