James White was born to Deacon John and Betsey White in Palmyra, Maine on the 4th of August 1821. He was the fifth of nine children and suffered as a boy from weakness of eyesight which prevented him from attending school until he was 19 years old. He studied for 18 hours a day, thus in twelve weeks he attained a certificate indicating his qualifications to teach common branches. The next winter he taught.
At 15 he was baptized in a denomination called Christian Connection to which his parents belonged. He later learnt about the Advent Message from his mother and joined the Mille rites as they confidently await the return of the Lord. He suffered deep disappointment with the other believers in October, 1844 but he continued to cling in confidence to the word of God.
Early in 1845, James became acquainted with Ellen Harmon. A courtship developed and they matured only after they assured themselves that for them to marry was God’s providence. They were married on August 30, 1846. Shortly after the young couple read a pamphlet written by Joseph Bates and accepted the Seventh- day Sabbath. The couple had four children, two of whom died at an early age.
Elder White helped to lead “Sabbath Conferences” and worked out several key doctrines of the emerging church. He was also a firm believer in his wife’s visions, and when she was shown that he should begin publishing a paper, he began to work on the first of several papers that he founded- The Present Truth, in July 1849.Among other publications to his credit: The Second Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (now Adventist Review) in 1850, The Youth Instructor (now Insight) in 1852, and Signs of the Times in 1874. Both the Pacific Press and the Review and Herald Publishing Association trace their beginning back to James White.
During the first years of his marriage, James and Ellen travelled and preached over a wide area, having no permanent home of their own.
Elder White called for church organization. He helped to establish the General Conference in May, 1863. In spite of illness, including a series of stokes that affected his health and relation to others, he served a total of ten years as General Conference President (1865- 1867, 1869-1871, 1874- 1880).
He died in Battle Creek on August 6, 1881, of pernicious malarial fever; he was buried in Oak Hill cemetery in the White family plot.
Downloadable Books by James White:
Present Truth - First Publications of the Advent Movement
The Life of Joseph Bates
The Personality of God
Tongue Of Slander
Downloadable Tracts by James White:
A Brief Exposition of the Angels of Revelation 14
An Ernest Appeal
An Exposition of The Seven Trumpets of Revelation 8-9
Appeal on Immortality
Christ In The Old Testament And The Sabbath In The New
Death and Burial, or Scriptual Coversion
My Lord Delayeth His Coming
Perpetuity of Spiritual Gifts
Personality of God
Preach the Word
The Four Universal Monarchies Of The Prophecy Of Daniel, And God’s Everlasting Kingdom
The Judgment: Or, The Waymarks Of Daniel To The Holy City
The Law And The Gospel
The Old Moral Code Of Ten Commandments Not Revised
The Parable. Matthew 25:1-12
The Redeemer And Redeemed; Or, The Plan Of Redemption Through Christ
The Sanctuary The 2300 Days And The Shut Door
The Second Advent: Manner, Object, And Nearness Of The Event
The Second Coming Of Christ: Or A Brief Exposition Of Matthew 24
The Signs Of The Times
The Third Angel's Message
The Two Thrones, Representing The Kingdoms Of Grace And Of Glory
Order Books by James White:
The Biblical Institute