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Evangelist, administrator, missionary. In 1853, as a self-supporting preacher, he and his wife Mary accepted the Sabbath. He was ordained as an SDA minister in 1868, and in 1870 was the first president of the New England Conference. He and his wife established the Tract and Missionary Society, which he helped organize throughout the church from 1870 to 1889. He was president also of the California, Maine, and New England conferences. He founded South Lancaster Academy (later Atlantic Union College). From 1889-1891 he was sent on a trip around the globe to evaluate mission opportunities.
At Ellen White’s direction he moved from preaching to teaching, promoting the question-and-answer method of sharing Bible truth through the Bible Training School and Bible Handbook. Mary died in 1894, and Stephen served as a missionary in Africa and Australia from that time until 1899, marrying Hetty Hurd in 1897. The couple did city evangelism from 1901-1912 in New York; Nashville; San Bernardino and Oakland, California; and Portland, Maine. In New York they had a team of twenty nurses, Bible instructors, cooking school instructors, and young canvassers. Sale of his books Daniel the Prophet (1901) and Seer of Patmos (1905) and periodicals (Bible Training School) were used to help support the evangelism. He also published The Cross and Its Shadow and Bible Handbook. Toward the end of his life he and his wife worked to raise $60,000 to fund the building of the Ellen G. White Memorial Hospital in Los Angeles, California.