MEA Comes Alive Through Visitors’ Eyes

Recently my wife and I decided to visit some of the historic and scenic sites in the states of Montana and Wyoming. As we traveled Interstate 90 and neared Bozeman, Mont., we saw to the right the Montana Conference office in which our daughter, Renae Young, gave us a tour. Just a short distance down the road from the conference office we passed the Mount Ellis Elementary School and then saw for the first time Mount Ellis Academy — Montana’s Adventist boarding high school.

Even though we had been lifelong Adventist educators, our experience was in the Upper Columbia Conference. We had not explored what took place in other conferences.

Mount Ellis is like a hidden gem. The well-kept campus surrounded by mountains in the distance created a picturesque setting. The crisp air was invigorating as we took in the scenery. We poked our heads in several of the buildings and then visited their modern cafeteria, Allaway Dining Hall. Here we found one of our grandsons, Josiah Young, a freshman, enjoying food with some of his friends. We learned the cooks in the cafeteria aim to provide nutritious meals made from scratch as much as possible. While at the cafeteria, we also chanced on meeting Montana Conference’s personable president, Elden Ramirez.

This unique school, with its reportedly outstanding faculty and staff, not only provides the expected educational basics but combines those with an array of outdoor activities. What a fine opportunity the students have as they take several days to canoe down the Missouri River while having outdoor classes along the way, get bused to vespers programs at the school’s lodge, ski down their own ski hill and climb Mount Ellis each year on Labor Day, just to name a few of their many activities. We think it would be a pleasure to teach at or attend Mount Ellis Academy.

After traveling to Yellowstone Park, Virginia City, Bozeman, Three Forks, the headwaters of the Missouri River and other towns, we wanted to read again C.C. Rouse’s book Montana Bullwhacker, in which the places, characters and experiences came alive for us! The book mentions that in 1906 Lisha Rouse sold 20 acres of his land to the church for half its value, on which to build Mount Ellis Academy when Bozeman was but a dream of brave pioneers.

Later Rouse was baptized, and he and his family attended services in the academy chapel across the road from his house. Little did he know what a legacy he was leaving for future students in the state of Montana. It was a legacy that enabled students to have access to Adventist education.

Join us in keeping Mount Ellis in your prayers as the teachers minister to the students this school year.