The year following the Whites' return from Dansville was a "year of captivity." Eventually Ellen became fully satisfied that James would not recover from his protracted sickness while remaining inactive. So she decided to venture a tour in northern Michigan with James in his extremely feeble condition, in the severest cold of winter. Even though this move was contrary to the judgment of the brethren and sisters in Battle Creek, Ellen and James left Battle Creek in a snowstorm, on December 19, 1866, planning to make Wright, Ottawa County their first stop.
James stood the long and severe journey pretty good. In Wright, he found his way back to active service. The church there was in a very low condition, so Ellen and James conducted a series of meetings, lasting several weeks. Ellen spoke 25 times, and James 12. Ultimately nine baptisms resulted from this evangelistic thrust, and the church was spiritually revived.
Ellen insisted on keeping up James's exercise program. They took a long walk twice a day.
On January 29, 1867, the Whites left Wright and rode to Greenville, Montcalm County, a distance of 40 miles. The activities in the Greenville area were much the same as those at Wright. Meetings were frequent, and both James and Ellen participated. Subjects dealt with in depth were primarily Systematic Benevolence and health reform in its broad aspects.
They were delighted with Greenville's surroundings and as James ventured, trusting in God, regardless of his feebleness, he gained strength and improved with every effort.