The Kindred Prophetess: Ellen White and Maria Woodworth-Etter

Compiled by Brother Anderson

The religious landscape of the 19th century was quite different from today. Unlike today, where prophets are looked upon with some degree of skepticism, during the 19th century "prophets" were more prevalent and more readily accepted by the believers. There were a number of "prophets" operating during the time of Ellen White. One of those was the prophetess Maria Woodworth-Etter. Although she differed from the prophetess Ellen White in many regards, she also shared a number of interesting parallels.

Characteristics in Common  
Maria B. Woodworth-Etter
Born July 22, 1844
Ellen Gould White
Born November 26, 1827
Little Formal Education "Although Maria longed for an education, her desire would be denied by the shocking and untimely death of her father. ... Maria had little formal education and no theological training."1 "It was the hardest struggle of my young life to yield to my feebleness, and decide that I must give up my studies and relinquish the cherished hope of acquiring an education."2
Converted at Age 13 "At age 13 Maria made the long walk down a church aisle to give her heart to the Lord."3 "At the age of thirteen I heard William Miller deliver his second course of lectures in Portland, Maine. ...when the invitation was given for church members and sinners to come forward for prayers, I embraced the first opportunity."4
Lost Children "Five of her six children had died."5 "The mother of four boys, Mrs. White suffered the pain of losing two of her sons."6
Weak, often Sick "She herself was often ill."7 "A very sick teenager, the “weakest of the weak”."8
Timid, Afraid "I was very timid, and bound as with chains in a man-fearing spirit. When I arose to testify I trembled like a leaf, and began to make excuses - O God, send someone else!"9 "But it seemed impossible for me to perform this work that was presented before me; to attempt it seemed certain failure. The trials attending it appeared more than I could endure. How could I, a child in years, go forth from place to place, unfolding to the people the holy truths of God? My heart shrank in terror from the thought."10
Power of God caused people to run out of meetings "The Holy Spirit descended in such power and conviction that some ran from the meeting house but many of those who were in attendance became born again."11 "The power of God was in that room... The men could not endure the power of God, and it was a relief to them to rush out of the house."12
Believers were struck down unconscious by God's power "Yesterday during the afternoon meeting the Lord Jesus bowed the heaven and came down. Many went under the power. Two women and a girl were struck down unconscious, and lay on the floor...The second woman lay unconscious for about two and one-half hours, with both arms raised to heaven. When she was recovering she sang praises unto God in the spirit."13 "The power of God descended, something as it did on the day of Pentecost, and five or six who had been deceived and led into error and fanaticism, fell prostrate to the floor, parents confessed to their children, and children to their parents, and to one another."14

"The brother who opposed me was brought to see that he was fighting against God. While in a prayer-meeting, the blessing of the Lord rested upon him, and his countenance seemed to shine with the glory of God, and he fell prostrate to the floor."15

Predicted destruction of San Francisco " 1890 she predicted an earthquake in San Francisco..."16 "San Francisco and Oakland are becoming as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Lord will visit them. Not far hence they will suffer under His judgments."17
Had visions of the New Jerusalem "...I seemed to float away, and was set down in the Beautiful City. Oh, the glorious sight that met my view can never be expressed by mortal tongue!"18 "Then we looked up and saw the great city, with twelve foundations, twelve gates, three on each side, and an angel at each gate, and all cried out, 'the city, the great city, it's coming, it's coming down from God, out of heaven.'"19
Restored to health by prayer "In all my sickness and trouble the ministers and people came from the different churches in the town and had a prayer-meeting in my room. They prayed in the churches for my recovery. ...I began to get better immediately."20 "I was suddenly taken ill and fainted. The brethren prayed for me, and I was restored to consciousness. The Spirit of God rested upon us in Bro. C.'s humble dwelling, and I was wrapt in a vision of God's glory.”21
Had vision of a narrow pathway to heaven "...a great multitude of people who seemed unconscious of their danger, and without a moments warning they would tumble into this awful place. I was above the people on a narrow plank-walk, which wound up toward heaven; and I was exhorting and pleading with the people to come upon the plank and escape that awful place. Several started. There was a beautiful bright light above me, and I was encouraging them to follow that light and they would go straight to heaven."22 "I raised my eyes and saw a straight and narrow path, cast up high above the world. On this path the Advent people were travelling to the City, which was at the farther end of the path. They had a bright light set up behind them at the first end of the path. This light shone all along the path, and gave light for their feet so they might not stumble. ... [some] fell off the path down in the dark and wicked world below."23
Held conversations with Jesus, Angels "The dear Saviour stood by me one night in a vision and talked face to face with me, and asked what I was doing on earth. I felt condemned, and said, 'Lord, I am going to work in thy vineyard.' The Lord said, 'When?' and I answered, 'When I get prepared for the work.' Then the Lord said to me, 'Don't you know that while you are getting ready, souls are perishing? Go now, and I will be with you.' I told Him that I could not talk to the people; I did not know what to say, and they would not listen to me. Jesus said, 'You can tell the people what the Lord has done for your soul; tell of the glory of God and the love of Jesus. Tell sinners to repent and prepare for death and the judgment, and I will be with you.'"24 "While prayer was offered for me, that the Lord would give me strength and courage to bear the message, the thick darkness that had encompassed me rolled back, and a sudden light came upon me. Something that seemed to me like a ball of fire struck me right over the heart. My strength was taken away, and I fell to the floor. I seemed to be in the presence of the angels. One of these holy beings again repeated the words, 'Make known to others what I have revealed to you.'"25

See also


1. "Famous Christians in History - Maria B. Woodworth-Etter", Copyright © 2006 Marilyn Hickey Ministries (appearing on the web site on August 20, 2006).

2. Ellen White, Life Sketches of James White and Ellen G. White (1880 edition), p. 134.

3. "Famous Christians in History".

4. Ellen White, Early Writings, p. 11.

5. "Famous Christians in History".

6. "Pathways of the Pioneers", article appearing on the Ellen G. White Estate web site ( as of August 20, 2006.

7. "Famous Christains in History".

8. Herbert E. Douglass, Messenger of the Lord - The Prophetic Ministry of Ellen G. White, chapter 41.

9. Maria Woodworth-Etter, A Diary of Signs and Times, pp. 25-29.

10. Ellen White, Life Sketches, pp. 69-70.

11. "Famous Christians in History."

12. Ellen White, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 2, pp. 40.

13. Robert Liichow, "Does The Bible Support A Doctrine of Being Slain in the Spirit"?, appearing on the web site as of August 20, 2006.

14. Ellen White, Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 2, p. 116.

15. Ibid., p. 27. See also Life Sketches, (1880 edition) p. 176: "Upon this occasion, while those assembled were engaged in prayer, the Spirit of the Lord came upon the meeting, and one of the members of this family was prostrated as one dead". Also p. 177: " But he had scarcely stopped speaking when a strong man, a devoted and humble Christian, was struck down before his eyes, by the power of God, and the room was filled with the Holy Spirit."

16. Zondervan Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, p. 896.

17. Ellen White, Manuscript 30, 1903. Manuscript was not released prior to the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco.

18. A Diary, p. 25.

19. Ellen White, A Word to the Little Flock, (1847).

20. A Diary, pp. 26-29.

21. Life Sketches, p. 83.

22. A Diary, Ibid.

23. A Word to the Little Flock.

24. A Diary, Ibid.

25. Life Sketches, p. 71.

Category: Visions Examined
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