Stephen N. Haskell
Stephen Haskell began preaching for First-day Adventists in 1853, but the same year, after reading a tract on the Sabbath, he became a Sabbath keeper at the age of 20. Following some years in self-supporting work in New England, he was ordained in 1870 and became president of the New England Conference, serving from 1870 to 1887. While in that position, he served also as president of the California Conference from 1879-1887, and of the Maine Conference from 1884-1886.
In 1869, while young Stephen Haskell was directing the New England mission, a group of women met in his home and organized the Vigilant Missionary Society. He organized the first conference Tract and Missionary Society soon afterward, which became the forerunner of the Adventist Book Centers today. His interest in literature ministry should not be surprising, for a tract on the Sabbath had brought Haskell into the church. In 1880 he originated what would be known as the Bible reading plan, following Ellen White's instruction to do more teaching and less preaching. It was a success from the beginning.
Haskell accompanied James and Ellen White on several speaking tours. He also worked closely with them as a member of the General Conference Committee in the mid-1870s. He led out in the establishment of South Lancaster Academy, later known as Atlantic Union College (1882), and wrote several important books on the sanctuary and Bible prophecy.
On January 3, 1875, at the dedication of Battle Creek College, Ellen White received a vision in which the angel mentioned Australia in connection with future publishing efforts. Haskell found her report of the experience inspiring, and ten years later he led a group of workers to Australia and New Zealand, pioneering the mission work there.
Haskell made a world tour on behalf of missionary work in 1889-1890, visiting Europe, South Africa, India, China, Japan, and Australia. He taught Bible at Avondale College in Australia (1896-1899) while Ellen White was there. "I rejoiced that I had the help of Brother and Sister Haskell," wrote Ellen White. "These God appointed to be my companions in establishing the school in this place."--Letter 77, 1897.
Ellen White wrote more letters to Haskell than
to any other church leader. Their ministries spanned much the same time period,
beginning for him at age 20 and for her at age 17. They often shared the same
concerns. She lived to age 87, and he to 90. At the time of her death, the only
picture in Ellen White's bedroom of a non-family member was one of Stephen