Merritt E. Cornell (1827-1893)
Born in New York state, and raised from age 10 in Michigan, Merritt Cornell early believed the advent message, and dedicated his life to preaching it. In 1852 he was shown and believed the Sabbath truth, and immediately began sharing it with others, J. P. Kellogg and Cornell’s father-in-law, Henry Lyon, being among the first persons he met. Both accepted the Bible evidence for the seventh day sacredness.
With J. N. Loughborough during 1854 in Battle Creek he held the first Sabbatarian Adventist tent meetings. He continued to be active in evangelism, working at various times with Hiram Case, James White, J. H. Waggoner, R. J. Lawrence, D. M. Canright, and J. O. Corliss. His wife, Angeline, assisted him in evangelism. He traveled from Maine to California and to several states in the South, defending Seventh-day Adventist views of scripture in public debate, holding evangelistic meetings, and writing articles and news items about his experiences for the Review and Herald. Like Peter of old, he was headstrong and had other serious character faults, with which the Lord labored with him, sending messages through Ellen White. For some 13 years, from 1876 to 1889 he was not connected with the organized work, but continued some free-lance preaching for part of that time. In 1886 Ellen White wrote that he was “a deeply repenting man, humbled in the dust.” For the last three years of his life, he was again in the ministry.
(Vol. 6, No. 1 of “Lest We Forget” features M. E. Cornell.)