Ever since the beginning of the annual camp meetings it was generally recognized by the leaders in the church, and by James and Ellen in particular, that there was a direct relationship between the growth of the church and the presence of James and Ellen White at these gatherings. Before the camp meeting season of 1876, the Whites decided that Ellen should remain in California to write on the life of Christ.
However, when the time came for the first camp meeting of the season to open in Kansas on May 25 Ellen and Mary Clough were on the train bound for the East. Whatever work was yet to be done on the life of Christ would have to be done as they traveled. James White was overjoyed to receive Ellen's telegram that she would meet him at the Melvern, Kansas, camp meeting. Even though her train was delayed so that she arrived on early Sabbath morning, Ellen took the speaker's stand at half past ten in the morning and spoke again in the evening.
But during the first 6 camp meetings, Ellen and James got more and more debilitated so that they appreciated the breathing spell before the next camp meeting would begin on August 10.