Battle Creek College Reopens

August 1883 - September 1883

With a more accurate comprehension of the whole situation on the part of the Battle Creek church, and upon its members making a thorough confession and a pledge of loyalty to the Spirit of Prophecy and to church leadership, the board of trustees of Battle Creek College looked forward to the reopening of the college. Butler, chairman of the board as well as president of the General Conference, presented an extended statement on the situation in the Review of July 31, 1883, under the title "Our College at Battle Creek." The statement said, in part:

Let us consider some of the questions involved in the reopening of the college. It has remained closed for one year. Why? Because as conducted for some time previous to its closing it did not answer the purpose for which it was established. And further, because the state of feeling existing in the community surrounding it was such that those to whom its management was entrusted felt that there was no reasonable hope that a better state of things could then be obtained. . . .

A very different spirit is manifest in the church at Battle Creek the present year from that which was seen last year. . . .

Yet there are great difficulties to be met if we have such a school as will meet the mind of the Spirit of God. It will require men of sound judgment, deep piety, and those whose whole hearts are enlisted in the work of God, to mold and manage it, if it ever fully succeeds. . . .

To bring about the true spirit in our college will require a great effort. To secure proper officers and teachers who will exert the right influences, and bring into the school the Spirit of Christ, and lead the minds of the pupils to the truth, is a difficult problem, and one which the board of trustees is now trying to solve. We hope for such success as will enable us soon to announce the time when our college will open.

It was recognized that the main purpose of the college was to train ministers, missionaries, colporteurs, Bible "readers" (instructors), and teachers for auxiliary schools. A new day had dawned for Battle Creek College.

The Review and Herald of August 14, 1883, carried the announcement that Battle Creek College would open Wednesday, September 5, for the coming college year.

Eighty students were present for the opening. W. H. Littlejohn, who had shown his loyalty to the church and to the Spirit of Prophecy counsels, had been chosen president. He served for two years.

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