Bringing the Vision to Life: The Ellen G. White Estate Visitor Center
More than 150 years separates today's visitors from time when Ellen G. White first received visions from God and presented these to the Millerite followers who endured the "Great Disappointment" of 1844.
Yet there's a way for anyone, right now, to gain a clear understanding of the world that produced Ellen White's ministry, as well as shaped the early Seventh-day Adventist Church. A trip to the Ellen White Estate Visitor Center – in person or through online displays that are "up close and personal" – can accomplish what might otherwise be considered "time travel" to a different era.
While Mrs. White's writings, in particular the Testimonies for the Church, give us a detailed picture of her life and of the early days of the Adventist movement, the exhibits at the Visitor's Center deliver a vivid context for what it meant to be the Messenger of the Lord, and to develop and deliver a message much needed in its day – and even more necessary now.
The White Estate’s visitor center has devoted a section to the life of Ellen White—who Seventh-day Adventists believe had the biblical gift of prophecy, and at the age of 17 was called by God to be His Messenger—the other to her ministry. The artfully designed rooms and passages are filled with original first publication books and 19th-century furniture, light and sound presentations and state-of-the-art interactive displays for visitors of all
Many of the historical documents and memorabilia on display at the visitor center come from the collection of James R. Nix, director of the White Estate, who assembled the items over a number of years, and donated them to this project.
The White Estate officially opened the Ellen G. White Estate Visitor Center on April 12, 2015. James Nix, the director of the Ellen G. White Estate, designed the center for the purpose of allowing visitors to both discover the history of establishing the Seventh-day Adventist Church and draw closer to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
At the opening of the Ellen G. White Estate Visitors Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, James Nix said to the gathered dignitaries “It’s a dream that has been cooking for many, many years,” He went onto say that his most treasured dream is for visitors to experience the love of Jesus and His Word through the narrative of pioneers of the church while touring the center.
“I like the combination of the historic with modern technology,” said Alberto R. Timm, associate director of the White Estate.
“You could spend literally a week reading everything down here,” said Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church at the center's opening.
At the opening, Pastor Wilson said in his dedicatory prayer, “May it always point people to the Word and most of all to the Living Word,” After touring the center, church leaders declared that the beautifully designed center with its incredible collection of original items was on par with the world-renowned Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C.
Wilson added, “People might ask why the church decided to invest in the paintings and [a] new White Estate visitor center.” The answer, he said, is simple: “Both will allow the Adventist Church to share its hope in Jesus’ soon coming to non-church members, young people, and the many other visitors who come to the church’s headquarters every year.”
The White Estate warmly welcomes you to come and see the exhibits that tell this amazing story. It is our prayer and desire visitors will not only learn about Ellen G. White and the sacrifice the early pioneers made in establishing the church, but also discover Jesus, their Savior and friend.
Tours of the Ellen G. White Estate Visitors center are available on the half hour, Monday through Thursday from 8:30am-5:30pm. The center is located at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, Maryland.
The previous article about Ellen G. White Estate is Who are the Officers of the Ellen G. White Estate Board.
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