View All Photos

Elmer Ellsworth Franke

Shared by jforgaard on May 31, 2015, on

Franke, Elmer Ellsworth (1861-1946)

By Douglas Morgan


Douglas Morgan is a graduate of Union College (B.A., theology, 1978) in Lincoln, Nebraska and the University of Chicago (Ph.D., history of Christianity, 1992). He has served on the faculties of Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland and Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. His publications include Adventism and the American Republic (University of Tennessee Press, 2001) and Lewis C. Sheafe: Apostle to Black America (Review and Herald, 2010). He is the ESDA assistant editor for North America.

First Published: May 10, 2022

Elmer E. Franke was a gifted but controversial evangelist whose work contributed much to the early development of Adventism in New York City and elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Subsequently he broke with the Seventh-day Adventist church and founded the independent People’s Christian Church in 1916.

Early Life

Unlike the large majority of Adventists in the 19th century, Elmer Franke grew up in an urban environment. He was born October 29, 1861 in Belmont, Ohio, but his family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, when he was a small boy. His parents, John Joseph Franke (1825-1894) and Rebecca Larouche Franke (1824-1894), were both immigrants from Germany. Elmer was the youngest of their five children (three sons, two daughters) who survived infancy. John Franke was a skilled craftsman – a pattern maker likely employed by an iron foundry.

As a young man, Elmer worked as a clerk at a dry goods store. He married Marilla Leone Dillon (1865-1933), also of Pittsburgh, on March 25, 1883. The couple had four sons: Alfred (1884-1938), Elmer, Jr. (1885- ?), John (1888-1973), and Winfield (1890-1943).1

The origins of Elmer Franke’s connection with Seventh-day Adventism remain obscure. His name first appears in denominational sources in November 1887 as author of a polemical article addressing a Protestant-Catholic political alignment for Sunday law enforcement in Pennsylvania.2 In 1890, Franke began evangelistic ministry in small towns located in the central and northwestern parts of the state, demonstrating success at winning converts even before the Pennsylvania Conference issued him a ministerial license in July 1891.3

Mid-Atlantic Evangelism

In 1892, Franke transferred to the Atlantic Conference, organized in 1889 to administer Adventist congregations scattered along the eastern seaboard extending south from New York City through New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland to Washington, D.C.4 From early 1892 through mid-1893, he evangelized in the eastern shore of Maryland, raising up substantial congregations in Rock Hall (74 members), Ford’s Store (75 members), and Millington (30 members).5

Though he had some success in Baltimore as well, it was in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from New York City that Franke, in September 1893, launched his first major evangelistic campaign in an urban setting. A church was planted as a result, with membership that, a year later, reached 94.6

Opposition from ministers of other denominations and debates with them were standard features of Adventist public evangelism in the 19th-century, but a pattern of generating and exploiting public controversy seems particularly prominent in accounts of Franke’s efforts. In Jersey City, for example, Franke’s verbal duel with Rev. Thomas Houston, a Presbyterian minister, “excited a great deal of interest in religious circles,” according to a newspaper report.7 Another paper reported that Franke “took the attack which Mr. Houston made on him in Elsey Chapel on Sunday, and systematically picked it to pieces and held it up to ridicule.”8

Beginnings in New York City

Franke made his debut in New York City in November 1895, holding meetings along with O. O. Farnsworth at Hawthorne Hall on West 125th Street in the Harlem district of Manhattan. Prior to this effort, no organized Seventh-day Adventist church existed in Manhattan, though a group of 10 believers was meeting on Sabbaths in a home. A small church in Brooklyn, connected with a branch office of Pacific Press, was the only Adventist church within the five boroughs of New York City. Mainly as a result of Franke’s evangelism, a church was organized in Manhattan in January 1897 with 78 members. These included, according to the evangelist, two graduates of New York Theological College and four trained nurses.9

Brooklyn was the venue for Franke’s next major campaign, launched in the summer of 1897 on a lot previously occupied by Barnum and Bailey’s Circus. In July 1898, after a year of evangelistic ministry, Franke reported that more than 60 had been added to the church in Brooklyn.10

In late fall, he resumed evangelism in Manhattan with weekly Sunday night lectures, this time in Chickering Hall, continuing into the spring of 1899 and followed by a summer tent series that ran from June 18 through October 1. These efforts generated an unprecedented level of interest, drawing “all classes,--businessmen, doctors, lawyers, ministers of other denominations, as well as those in the more humble walks of life.” The effort led nearly 100 new members into the church, Franke reported in the Review.11

In 1900, Franke was called to a new field of labor, the Illinois Conference. The move brought to a close eight years in the Atlantic Conference during which approximately 535 new members, according to Franke’s reports, were added to the ranks of Adventism through his evangelistic work. That amounted to 36% of the combined membership of the Atlantic Conference (779) and the new Chesapeake Conference (700) to which the Maryland churches he planted were assigned when it was organized in 1898.12 Though many factors make the numerical calculations imprecise, the comparison conveys a useful approximation of the considerable impact of his evangelistic ministry.

1900: A Year of Crisis

The benefits resulting from Franke’s impressive abilities, however, came at a cost. He became recognized for his expertise in advertising—preparing “cuts” for newspaper ads, using handbills, and cultivating name recognition, for example.13 He was also recognized as an innovator in the use of charts, maps, and other visual aids to enhance his presentations.14 But all of this cost money, and Franke developed a reputation for unnecessary extravagance in running up expenses for advertising, rental of halls and lots, and paying musicians, among other items.

The strain that Franke’s expenses placed on the conference budget took a toll in another, arguably even more serious form. Franke seemed to be the source of recurring conflict at the annual Atlantic Conference sessions where plans and leadership for the coming year were discussed and voted upon. At one conference session it was nearly decided not to renew Franke’s ministerial credentials. G. A. Irwin, the General Conference president, observed that Franke possessed “an impulsive, impetuous, and nervous temperament” that militated against cooperation with conference leaders when they ran counter to his own plans.15

Franke initially resisted the General Conference Committee’s recommendation that he accept a call to Illinois, viewing it as an attempt to maneuver him out of New York. But it also entailed an ambitious plan that seemed well-suited to his ability, and he finally agreed to it. The Illinois Conference had recently received a large, one-time tithe remittance of $10,000 from which it proposed to fund an effort led by Franke to evangelize Chicago, the nation’s second largest city. One goal of the campaign was to counter the appeal of the charismatic evangelist and faith healer John Alexander Dowie, who was attracting a large following in the Chicago area.16

Franke, along with Marilla and their four sons thus moved to Illinois, where he held his first series of meetings in Kankakee, about 60 miles south of Chicago. There, Franke used a “gospel wagon” as an advertising medium. Two horses pulled the wagon on which a small tent was placed covering a large bell fixed to the center of the wagon platform. A boy rang the bell to attract attention as the wagon proceeded through the streets, festooned with banners emblazoning slogans related to meeting topics such as “Which day is the Sabbath?”17

G. A. Irwin, who attended the Illinois Conference camp meeting held in Kankakee, August 23 through September 2, 1900, advised Franke that the “gospel wagon” was unbecoming for Adventist work. Irwin also showed the evangelist a portion of a recent letter from Ellen White that clearly referred to Franke, though it did not mention his name.18 Ellen White warned that the minister who had been in New York City but now appointed to go to Chicago “must not on any account enter into any controversies with any man.” She explained: “He will seek to be original, and in doing this will get odd notions, and we want nothing of the kind to come in. Our work must move in a dignified, elevated, ennobling manner.”19

Franke agreed to discontinue use of the gospel wagon but then, without a word either to the Illinois Conference president or the Atlantic Conference president, abruptly moved his family back to New York. He explained to the Manhattan church that he had returned in response to “a private Testimony from Sister White.”20

Franke showed up at the Atlantic Conference session that met in Jersey City, September 25-30, determined to prevent the re-election of Alfred E. Place as president. He railed at Place with abusive language, at times acting “like a mad man,” according to A. G. Daniells, who observed the proceedings on behalf of the General Conference, but Place was returned to office nonetheless.21 Further contention resulted from the moving expense bill—about four times the standard amount—that Franke presented to the conference along with plans for renting a hall in New York City at $200 per night for Sunday evening meetings. The conference committee refused both.22

E. E. Franke’s future in Seventh-day Adventist ministry hung in the balance. The Atlantic Conference committee seriously considered not renewing his credentials but finally did so, thus conferring legitimacy on his uninvited return to ministry in New York City. The conflict, though, remained unresolved.23

The Franke-Haskell Saga

Franke received two letters from Ellen White in early 1901, the first rebuking his manifestation of “a masterful, overbearing, dictatorial spirit” and “exhibition of unholy temper, even in the assemblies of God’s people.”24 The second focused on his efforts to bind the loyalty of the church members to himself, and his alleged threats to lead the New York church in breaking away from conference authority. “God has not given you the work of forming a separate party with yourself as leader,” she wrote. Instead: “You must keep E. E. Franke under control.”25

In reply, Franke acknowledged making “many mistakes,” albeit unspecified, during the “trying times” he had experienced in the last year and a half. He could not see everything as she represented it but pledged that “if it comes to you as a vision from the Lord I will fully accept it” and with God’s help “walk in harmony with what you say.”26

For the next six years, Franke’s relationship with Adventist church leadership as represented both by the elected officers and the prophetic ministry of Ellen White would oscillate between unity and alienation. Another source of friction emerged when Stephen N. and Hetty Haskell established a new evangelistic program in New York City in 1901. The Haskells emphasized interpersonal and small group Bible studies, canvasing Adventist literature, and health ministry as means for generating interest in Adventism, setting up the Bible Training School on West 57th Street as a base for their work.27 Their methods contrasted sharply with Franke’s emphasis on large public meetings with powerful oratory, impressive visuals, grand music, and extensive advertising.

The Haskells were close confidants of Ellen White and sought to operate their city mission in accordance with the principles she advocated. They believed that Franke had insufficient regard for the inspiration and authority of Ellen White, while Franke feared that they would use their connection with her to undermine his influence in New York. The Haskells believed Franke wanted to preserve a spiritual monopoly over New York Adventism and thus would endeavor to hinder their work. Franke thought that if the Haskells’ program thrived, the evangelistic model that he had developed with proven success would be disrupted.

While the Haskells were getting their program up and running during the summer of 1901, Franke was in Trenton, New Jersey, conducting an evangelistic series. But he planned to return to New York for weekly Sunday night meetings at a major hall beginning in November as he had done in previous years. The Trenton campaign rejuvenated his ministry after the setbacks of 1900. He preached and his wife, Marilla, sang “illustrated solos” for meetings that drew crowds estimated at 3,000 and above on Sunday nights. A new church of 75 members resulted, the first Adventist congregation organized in New Jersey’s capital city. Carlyle B. Haynes, who would become a prominent Adventist evangelist and administrative leader, and his wife Alfreda Weber Haynes, were among the converts.28

The evangelistic series was still underway when the Atlantic Conference session was held in Trenton, September 11-15. Many, including General Conference president A. G. Daniells, came to the meetings anticipating another major confrontation over Franke’s ministry. Instead, Franke pleasantly surprised them with a full-fledged public confession. As described by Daniells, Franke acknowledged that “he had taken an unwise course in endeavoring to deal with what he considered evil, and that he had exerted a wrong influence with reference to the Spirit of Prophecy.” This brought “light and joy to the meeting,” Daniells observed, and a spirit of unity prevailed. At the evangelistic meetings, Daniells was impressed by the large audiences of “well-dressed, intelligent people” and did not see anything “sensational” in Franke’s methods.29

During the conference, Franke and J. E. Jayne, the new Atlantic Conference president agreed, with Daniells’ tacit approval, that Franke would return to New York to hold Sunday night meetings beginning in November at Carnegie Lyceum, an 800-seat auditorium on the lower level of Carnegie Hall at West 57th Street and Seventh Avenue.30 About the same time, Haskell procured a hall for public meetings only a few blocks away on 59th Street, urging that Franke be called elsewhere and that plans for his Carnegie Hall meetings be cancelled.31

Finally, in late October, Jayne telegrammed Ellen White with an urgent plea for guidance on the matter. She replied by telegram: “Elder Franke work elsewhere. Not within a few blocks of Elder Haskell’s hired hall.”32 In a follow-up letter to Jayne on October 25 she urged that Haskell was to “open work in New York upon correct plans, commencing missionary work after the Lord’s order” and should not be hindered from doing so.33

However, Ellen White’s perspective soon shifted. Previously she had written very little in a positive way about Franke but then additional “light came,” apparently on the evening of October 30: “Elder Franke was presented [to] me as a man of God’s appointment if he will learn Christ’s way, and the Lord’s hand was stretched out, saying, ‘Forbid him not. He is a man of My appointment.’”34 She wrote again, making it clear that she now believed Franke should remain in New York, though she thought he and Haskell should not hold meetings in such close proximity.35 On a trip to the East soon thereafter, Ellen White visited the Haskells’ mission, speaking there on November 16 and 17. The following Sabbath, November 23, the Frankes hosted Ellen White in Trenton, where she had a “profitable visit” with the family and gained a favorable impression of the evangelist’s work.36

A more hopeful outlook prevailed for a brief moment but then the pattern of accusation, alienation, and partial reconciliation repeated itself—more than once over the next two years. In the ebb and flow of events, Ellen White had messages of reproof and affirmation for both Franke and the Haskells. In March 1902, for example, she issued rather sharp warnings to Franke. She was again troubled by the proprietary control he exerted over church members, along with a gamut of issues involving family, tithe-paying, and health reform.37

In July, she made things plainer than ever for Haskell:

Brother Haskell, you cannot do the work necessary to be done to obtain a large attendance. God sent Elder Franke to do that which you cannot do. It was His design that you should blend with Elder Franke and do the part of the work that he cannot do. . . .

. . . There are those who would never be led to take an interest in the truth for this time except by such efforts as those that Elder Franke puts forth. At times the Lord has given Elder Franke His Spirit in great power, and before thousands he has borne witness to the truth in a way that has shown the folly of the theories taught by ministers who refuse to believe present truth.

Brother and Sister Haskell, come near to Brother Franke. Be a father to him. Always treat him kindly, whatever mistakes he may make. This is the only way to help him. Do nothing to hedge up his way. The words “Forbid him not” mean all that they say. [Mark 9:39.] Deal with Elder Franke in the love of God.38

A relatively positive climate prevailed through the Fall of 1902 and into early 1903. At the annual session of the Greater New York Conference (newly formed along with the New Jersey Conference by a division and dissolution of the former Atlantic Conference) in October 1902, Franke was appointed supervisor of the Manhattan District. His reports in the Atlantic Union Gleaner suggest that he was quite conscientious about fulfilling the role.

In this capacity he oversaw organization of the first Black Adventist church in New York City. A small group of Black converts won to Adventism through Haskell’s mission began meeting earlier in 1902 but, according to Franke, evangelistic work targeting the city’s Black population had come to a virtual standstill. In order to place the work on a solid footing and empower its growth, Franke, along with conference president H.W. Cottrell, organized a group of 11 believers into a church in mid-December 1902. He appointed, J. H. Carroll, who had come into Adventism from a Catholic background through Franke’s tent effort in 1898, as pastor.39

Loss of Credentials

The work overall in New York City was “progressing in a phenomenal way,” Franke declared in a brief report published in the Review in March 1903.40 But then suspicion, backbiting, and maneuvering again spiraled into open conflict with the Haskells. Aggravating the disputes, both men tended to weaponize Ellen White’s positive statements about their work against those who opposed their plans, while downplaying the reproofs they also received. Franke, it appears, wielded the weapon in an increasingly erratic manner.

Writing to him on September 1, 1903, Ellen White observed that in the aftermath of spiritual high points “the enemy often prepares and sets in operation something that stirs up your natural feelings and leads you to imagine evil things and to make a drive against your ministering brethren.”41 Poor health habits, she contended a month later, as well as in previous correspondence, exacerbated his tendency to overreact impulsively against perceived threats or slights and thus create “discord and contention.”42

These letters came at the tail end of an eagerly anticipated evangelistic series Franke preached in Portland, Maine, that failed to yield his usually impressive baptismal numbers.43 Then, in November, “discord and contention” centering on the evangelist reached the most serious level of intensity since 1900. At the Atlantic Union Conference session in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, Franke made sharp accusations about the Haskells’ handling of money, thus generating hours of debate. But that was only a prelude to the acrimony that dominated two successive days of the Greater New York Conference session a week later. As a counterattack on what he called a “self-constituted smelling and spying committee” that was looking into his own handling of donations, Franke made serious allegations of fraud and corruption in the financial dealings of lay leaders prominent in the workings of the conference. He was unable to make any of the charges stick, instead drawing a public reprimand from A. G. Daniells for using language that “would scarcely be tolerated in a political caucus or labor organization meeting, to say nothing of a dignified Christian convention.”44

With Franke, nearly a year later, still unreconciled with the Greater New York Conference committee, church administrators were coming to a consensus that it was time to withdraw his ministerial credentials. At a meeting of the Atlantic Union Conference committee in October 1904, Franke, in proceedings that lasted for two full days, was given opportunity to make his case, but won no support. His performance was such that not even New Jersey Conference president J. E. Jayne, who had been his strongest ally among conference administrators, could defend him. Citing “an unfriendly, and what we believe to be unchristian attitude” toward fellow ministers, conference officers, and church members over “a number of years,” the committee withdrew Elder E. E. Franke’s ministerial credentials on October 9, 1904.45

It was a serious expression of disapproval, but not a permanent ban from Adventist ministry. Franke appealed for a restoration of his credentials six months later, with the stipulation that he did not see how he could leave New York City at that time. The Atlantic Union Committee in response agreed to support his return anywhere but New York City.46 At that point, none of the other conferences in the Atlantic Union were willing to take him on but eventually J. E. Jayne gave the evangelist another chance at Adventist ministry in the New Jersey Conference. Franke was conducting a tent effort in Burlington, New Jersey, when the annual conference session convened there, September 12-17, and officially renewed his credentials.47

New Opportunity in New Jersey

In his regained standing as a formally recognized Seventh-day Adventist minister, Franke grabbed headlines with a series of meetings in Philadelphia begun in March 1906. When the meetings opened, Rueben A. Torrey, one of the era’s most prominent evangelical revivalists, already had a successful series of city-wide revival meetings underway. Because Dr. Torrey was an outspoken opponent of the seventh-day Sabbath and other Seventh-day Adventist teachings, Franke launched a counteroffensive against him.48 A front page story in the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 19 reported Franke’s denunciation of Torrey as a “blasphemer” for teaching eternal torment in hell – an unbiblical doctrine that “makes God a monster rather than a God of love.” The article also provides a snapshot of the electrifying impact Franke’s preaching could have on an audience:

So impassioned did the evangelist grow that his listeners became intensely wrought and when he said, “I am ready to meet Torrey on any platform in Philadelphia, and I would go 10,000 miles to defend God from insult,” the entire audience rose to their feet and cheered wildly for several minutes. Over six hundred persons were in the church at the time, and it was some time before they became quieted enough for him to proceed.49

A report that Torrey called Franke an “unknown, brainless dog,” was a gift that Franke easily turned into another headline.50

People’s Christian Church

In July, Franke began tent meetings in Newark, New Jersey, that, after six weeks, resulted in 18 persons baptized, with more anticipated.51 But it was in Newark that, only about a year and a half into his new start, Franke again fell out with denominational leadership. This time his dissent became loosely connected with a fleeting alliance that brought the famed Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek and editor-theologian A.T. Jones together in opposition to General Conference authority. In this divisive atmosphere, the Newark congregation divided in March 1907, with one faction joining Franke in separating from the denomination to form the Independent Church of Seventh-day Adventists.52

Franke’s independent Adventist congregation in Newark soon lost momentum and did not lead to a lasting ecclesiastical structure to rival the Seventh-day Adventist church.53 Nevertheless, nearly 40 years, most of it in active ministry, still lay ahead for him. In 1916, he organized the People’s Christian Church in New York City. He continued to preach the seventh-day Sabbath and other main doctrines he espoused as a Seventh-day Adventist. An affiliated congregation was organized in Schenectady in 1923 and another in New Bedford, Massachusetts the following year.54

Marilla Dillon Franke passed away in 1933.55 Evangelist Elmer E. Franke went to his rest on March 6, 1946, in Englewood, New Jersey, age 84.56 The People’s Christian Church continued with four churches and approximately 1,000 members as of 1968, according to J. Gordon Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions.57


Though public meetings in tents and rented halls had been the staple of Adventist evangelism since the 1850s, Elmer E. Franke appears to have been the first Seventh-day Adventist evangelist to succeed in a major urban center.58 None other than Stephen N. Haskell wrote in November 1902 that Franke was the “one man in the past who has taken hold in New York with a real burden of the work to make this his continued field of labor.” Adventism had nothing more than a negligible presence in Brooklyn in 1895 when Franke conducted his first effort in New York. Seven years later the city had seven Seventh-day Adventist churches—three each in Manhattan and Brooklyn, one in the Bronx—with a collective membership between 600 and 700.59 Others contributed but Franke’s evangelism predominated in driving this development. His work as a pioneering urban evangelist deserves further study. Though the sources may be limited, enough remains untapped to make such an effort rewarding.

Franke’s tumultuous career also deserves further study as a window on the gift of prophecy at work in the Adventist community. Ellen White devoted much effort to encouraging a diversity of gifts to flourish in developing the church’s fledgling work in New York City. We might wish that not only E. E. Franke but others involved had responded differently to her counsel. Nevertheless, in-depth, thoroughly contextualized study could illuminate much about how Ellen White communicated prophetic guidance in a high-stakes conflict and about how her counsel was used and misused.


“Congregation Wildly Cheered Torrey’s Critic.” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 1906.

Ellen G. White Estate (EGWE). White Estate Incoming Correspondence,

“Elmer Ellsworth Franke,” FamilySearch, accessed January 6, 2022,

“Evangelist Makes Reply to Torrey.” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 1906.

Franke, E. E. “Cardinal Gibbons Heard from Again.” American Sentinel, October 30, 1889.

Franke, E. E. “New Jersey—Trenton.” ARH, August 20, 1901.

Franke, E. E. “New Jersey.” ARH, August 30, 1906.

Franke, E. E. “New York City.” Atlantic Union Gleaner, June 25, 1902.

Franke, E. E. “New York City.” ARH, February 24, 1903.

Franke, E. E. “New York—New York City.” ARH, February 23, 1897.

Franke, E. E. “Persecutions in Maryland.” ARH, May 16, 1893.

Franke, Elmer E. “Sunday Enforcement in Pennsylvania.” ARH, November 22, 1887.

Franke, E. E. “The Tent Effort in New York City.” ARH, October 31, 1899.

Franke, E. E. “The Work in New York City.” ARH, March 17, 1903.

General Conference Committee Minutes. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Online Archives (GCA),

Haskell, S. N. “Greater New York a Needy Field.” ARH, November 11, 1902.

Jones, Alonzo T. to unidentified recipient. July 3, 1907. RG 11, Box 27, Presidential Incoming Letters, General Conference Archives.

Jorgensen, Kenneth. “Franke, E. E.” In The Ellen G. White Encyclopedia, edited by Denis Fortin and Jerry Moon, 381-382. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2013.

Keslake, C. H. “The New Jersey Conference,” ARH, October 19, 1905.

“Many Converts Immersed.” New York Times, August 2, 1897.

“Picked Houston to Pieces, Seventh Day Adventists Franke Performed Some Logical Stunts.” Jersey City News, January 25, 1894.

“Proceedings of District Conference, Held at South Lancaster, Mass., Dec. 8-14, 1897.” Indicator, February 23, 1898.

Weeks, Howard B. Adventist Evangelism in the Twentieth Century. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1969.

Wheeler, Gerald. S.N. Haskell: Adventist Pioneer, Evangelist, Missionary, and Editor. Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2016.

White, Ellen G. Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 15 (1900). Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 15 (1900). Ellen G. White Writings (EGWW),

White, Ellen G. Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 16 (1901). EGWW,

White, Ellen G. Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 17 (1902). EGWW,

White, Ellen G. Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 18 (1903). EGWW,


  1. “Elmer Ellsworth Franke,” FamilySearch, accessed January 6, 2022,

  2. Elmer E. Franke, “Sunday Enforcement in Pennsylvania,” ARH, November 22, 1887, 726-727.

  3. K.C. Russell and E.E. Franke, “Pennsylvania—Lock Haven,” ARH, June 3, 1890, 347; E.E. Franke, “Pennsylvania—South Oil City,” ARH, October 7, 1890, 620; E.E. Frank, “Pennsylvania—Oil City and Spartanburgh,” ARH, June 2, 1891, 346; “Pennsylvania Conference Proceedings,” ARH, July 14, 1891, 442.

  4. Douglas Morgan, “Atlantic Conference (1889–1901),” Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists, accessed January 7, 2022,

  5. E.E. Franke and C.L. Taylor, “Maryland—Ford’s Store,” ARH, August 23, 1892, 539-540; E.E. Franke, “Persecutions in Maryland,” ARH, May 16, 1893, 316-317; E.E. Franke to E.G. White, March 18, 1902, EGWE; H.E. Robinson, “Maryland Justice,” American Sentinel, June 1, 1893, 172.

  6. E.E. Franke to E.G. White, March 18, 1902; “Field Notes,” Signs of the Times, October 22, 1894, 796.

  7. “Got Red in the Face,” Trenton Evening Journal, January 22, 1894, 4.

  8. “Picked Houston to Pieces, Seventh Day Adventists Franke Performed Some Logical Stunts,” Jersey City News, January 25, 1894.

  9. E.E. Franke, “New York—New York City,” ARH, February 23, 1897, 124-125: O.O. Farnsworth, “New York City,” ARH, August 25, 1896, 491; E.E. Franke, “New York City,” Franke, “New York—New York City,” ARH, February 23, 1897, September 22, 1896, 608.

  10. E.E. Franke, “New York—Brooklyn,” reports under the identical title in ARH, November 9, 1897, 717 and July 19, 1898, 465.

  11. E.E. Franke, “The Tent Effort in New York City,” ARH, October 31, 1899, 707.

  12. Annual Statistical Report, 1899, GCA,,

  13. A brief summary of a presentation that Franke gave on his evangelistic methods is included in “Proceedings of District Conference, Held at South Lancaster, Mass., Dec. 8-14, 1897,” Indicator, February 23, 1898, 2.

  14. E.G. White to A.G. Daniells and W.W. Prescott, October 9, 1903 (Letter 227, 1903), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 18 (1903), EGWW,

  15. G.A. Irwin to E.G. White, November 8, 1900, EGWE.

  16. Ibid; E.G. White to S.N. and Hetty Haskell, July 3, 1900 (Letter 96, 1900), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 15 (1900), EGWW,; “John Alexander Dowie,” Encyclopedia Britannica, May 21, 2021, accessed January 7, 2022,

  17. Irwin to E.G. White, November 8, 1900.

  18. Ibid.

  19. White to Haskells, July 3, 1900.

  20. Irwin to E.G. White, November 8, 1900.

  21. A.G. Daniells to E.G. White, October 4, 1900, EGWE.

  22. Irwin to E.G. White, November 8, 1900; General Conference Committee, October 29, 1900, 39, GCA.

  23. Ibid.

  24. E.G. White to E.E. Franke, October 5, 1900 (Letter 21, 1900), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 15 (1900), EGWW,

  25. E.G. White to E.E. Franke, January 1901 (Letter 19, 1901), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 16 (1901), EGWW,

  26. E.E. Franke to E.G. White, February 22, [1901], EGWR. The date typed in the heading of the letter “Feb. 22nd 1900” may be an instance of giving the previous year by force of habit, although it would be an unusually late occurrence. Regardless, there is no record of letters from Ellen White addressed to Franke prior to October 5, 1900, and the content of the letter confirms the virtual certainty of 1901 as the correct year in its date.

  27. Gerald Wheeler, S.N. Haskell: Adventist Pioneer, Evangelist, Missionary, and Editor (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald, 2016), 234-241.

  28. E.E. Franke, “New Jersey—Trenton,” ARH, August 20, 1901, 546; “Will Preach Under Canvas, Gospel Tent Has Been Set for Series of Services,” Trenton Evening Times, July 6, 1901, 2; H.W. Cottrell, “Help Needed in Trenton, N.J.,” ARH, February 4, 1902, 76; “Former Trentonian, Head of Adventists’ Churches in South America, Visiting Here,” Trenton Sunday Times-Advertiser, September 22, 1929, 3.

  29. A.G. Daniells to W.C. White, September 20, 1901, EGWE; A.G. Daniells, “Atlantic Annual Conference,” ARH, October 15, 1901, 675.

  30. A.G. Daniells to W.C. White, September 23, 1901, EGWE; S.N. Haskell, “New England Camp-Meeting,” ARH, July 9, 1901, 446; “Venue: Carnegie Lyceum,” Carnegie Hall Data Lab, accessed January 4, 2022,

  31. S.N. Haskell to E.G. White, October 27, 1901, EGWE.

  32. E.G. White to unidentified recipient, December 8, 1901 [circa] (Letter 227, 1901), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 16 (1901), EGWW,

  33. E.G. White to J.E. Jayne, October 25, 1901 (Letter 149, 1901), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 16 (1901), EGWW,

  34. E.G. White to unidentified recipient, December 8, 1901 [circa]. In this letter, written more than a month later, Ellen White recalled that the light came during the night after she telegrammed Jayne on October 24 or 25. However, her letter to the Haskells of October 31, 1901, cited in the following note, states that the message “forbid him not” was given to her the night before.

  35. E.G. White to Brother and Sister Haskell, October 31, 1901 (Letter 158, 1901) and November 3, 1901 (Letter 159, 1901), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 16 (1901), EGWW,

  36. E.G. White to unidentified recipient, November 26, 1901 (Letter 183, 1901), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 16 (1901), EGWW,

  37. E.G. White to E.E. Franke, March 3, 1902 (Letter 38, 1902) and March 12, 1902 (Letter 39, 1902), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 17 (1902), EGWW,

  38. E.G. White to S.N. Haskell, July 1902 (Letter 171, 1902), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 17 (1902), EGWW,

  39. E.E. Franke, “New York City,” ARH, February 24, 1903, 17.

  40. E.E. Franke, “The Work in New York City,” ARH, March 17, 1903, 19.

  41. E.G. White to E.E. Franke, September 1, 1903 (Letter 193, 1903), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 18 (1903), EGWW,

  42. E.G. White to E.E. Franke, October 1, 1903 (Letter 203, 1904) and October 9, 1903 (Letter 205, 1904), Letters and Manuscripts, Vol. 18 (1903), EGWW,

  43. E.H. Morton, “Maine,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, September 23, 1903, 454; A.G. Daniells to W.C. White, December 13, 1903, EGWE.

  44. Daniells to W.C. White, December 13, 1903.

  45. A.G. Daniells to W.C. White, October 14, 1904, EGWE.

  46. A.G. Daniells to W.C. White, April 11, 1905, EGWE.

  47. C.H. Keslake, “The New Jersey Conference,” ARH, October 19, 1905; “New Jersey Conference Proceedings,” Atlantic Union Gleaner, October 4, 1905, 475.

  48. “Field Notes,” ARH, April 5, 1906, 19.

  49. “Congregation Wildly Cheered Torrey’s Critic,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 1906, 1.

  50. “Evangelist Makes Reply to Torrey,” Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 1906, 2.

  51. E.E. Franke, “New Jersey,” ARH, August 30, 1906, 15.

  52. H.E. Rogers, “Year-book Revisions,” ARH, April 25, 1907, 22; G.W. Amadon to E.G and W.C. White, July 3, 1907, EGWE; Alonzo T. Jones to unidentified recipient, July 3, 1907, RG 11, Box 27, Presidential Incoming Letters, General Conference Archives; Vesta J. Farnsworth to E.G. White, July 31, 1907, EGWE.

  53. T.E. Bowen to W.C. White, May 7, 1907, EGWE; B.F. Kneeland to W.C. White, November 9, 1908, EGWE.

  54. Pages reproduced from J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions, no publication information, in Document File 3949.10, Loma Linda University Heritage Center, Loma Linda, California.

  55. “Marilla Leone Dillon Franke,” Find A Grave, Memorial ID 158995642, March 6, 2016, accessed January 6, 2022,

  56. “Deaths in Jersey,” Bridgewater Courier-News, March 7, 1946, 7.

  57. Pages reproduced from J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of American Religions, no publication information, in Document File 3949.10, Loma Linda University Heritage Center, Loma Linda, California.

  58. Howard B. Weeks, Adventist Evangelism in the Twentieth Century (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1969), 14-19.

  59. S.N. Haskell, “Greater New York a Needy Field,” ARH, November 11, 1902, 16.


Morgan, Douglas. "Franke, Elmer Ellsworth (1861-1946)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. May 10, 2022. Accessed June 18, 2024.

Morgan, Douglas. "Franke, Elmer Ellsworth (1861-1946)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. May 10, 2022. Date of access June 18, 2024,

Morgan, Douglas (2022, May 10). Franke, Elmer Ellsworth (1861-1946). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 18, 2024,