Prescott, William Warren (1855-1944)

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PrescottWWWriter, scholar, and administrator. Prescott was born in New Hampshire to a Advent family that became Sabbath keepers when he was three years old. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1877, and after some years in public education and private business, he was called in 1885 to be president of Battle Creek College. His commitment to the principles of education reform as outlined in the testimonies of Ellen White challenged him in their practical application. She corresponded at length with him over the years of her ministry, counseling, reproving, and encouraging, being close to him and his family. Prescott caught the message given at Minneapolis and spent much time preaching the concepts and attempting to bring unity of understanding in the midst of conflict and division.

Prescott served as Education Secretary for the General Conference from 1887-1897, and in 1891 organized the Harbor Springs conference on education. He was founding president for Union College (1891) and Walla Walla College (1892). He compiled from Ellen White’s counsels the books Christian Education (1893) and Special Testimonies on Education (1897). He spent 1895-1896 in Australia, assisting with the establishment of Avondale College and with Ellen White’s work on Desire of Ages. He was sent from 1897-1901 to head up the work in Great Britain.

From 1901-1909 Prescott worked with the Review and Herald, becoming editor in 1902 (as well as the first GC Vice President), helping to move the publishing house to Maryland, and writing at length against Kellogg’s pantheistic concepts. Due to his involvement with controversy over the new view of “the daily” (of Daniel 8) 1907-1909, and his help in the 1911 revision to Great Controversy, he lost the confidence of those who questioned both, such as Washburn, Haskell, and Starr. Ellen White counseled him in 1909 to do evangelism. He became Field Secretary for the GC in 1915, a position he held the rest of his life. He spent the last years of his life, not without controversy, involved in education, writing, and research.


The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald Articles (1896)

The Bible Echo Articles (1895, 1896)

Christ and the Sabbath

“The Daily”

The Divine-Human Family

The Doctrine of Christ

Partial Report of Hearing on Johnston Sunday Bill, S. 404

The Present Truth [UK] Articles (1900)

Sabbath School Lessons (1896, 1897)

The Savior of the World

The Signs of the Times Articles (1929, 1930)

The Spade and the Bible

Victory in Christ

The Word Became Flesh


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