Since James was at that time in a critical condition of health and could not undertake such an enterprise, the matter seemed to fall upon the Michigan Conference, of which Loughborough was president.
Loughborough drew up a subscription paper, and went first to J. P. Kellogg, one of the most prosperous businessmen among the Adventists in Battle Creek, and father of J. H. and W. K. Kellogg. Loughborough said to him:
Brother Kellogg, you heard the testimony that Sister White read to us in the tent. A few of us have decided to make an investment for the purpose presented to us in that testimony, "sink or swim." We thought we would like to have your name at the head of the list, as you have more money than any of us (PUR, Jan. 2, 1913).
Kellogg replied, "Let me take that paper." In a bold hand he wrote, "J. P. Kellogg, $500." "There it is," he said, " ësink or swim.' " Others were quick to follow with pledges: Ellen G. White, $500; J. M. Aldrich, $250; James White, $100; J. N. Loughborough, $50; et cetera. The committee followed the counsel of competent lawyers, and the emerging institution developed as a business enterprise on a dividend-paying share basis. Each share sold for $25, with the promise of returns to the investor from the earnings. Before long, however, on Ellen White's counsel, this was turned around. While the capital was built up on the basis of the purchase of shares, which provided voting rights, profits from the investment were plowed back into the enterprise.