Pastor Russell founded the Bible Students. The movement had its beginning in 1872 at Allegheny, Pennsylvania, where a newly formed Bible Class selected Charles Taze Russell as its Pastor. At that time other earnest Christians were forming independent Bible classes for in-depth Bible study to meet the then rising wave of infidelity. While many clung blindly to the creeds that originated in the “Dark Ages,” the Bible Students emerged to challenge intelligent unbelief and unintelligent belief.
Pastor Russell became a leader of thought and activity among these congregations. In 1879 Zion’s Watch Tower was formed, later known as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (not to be mistaken with Jehovah’s Witnesses). This society did not become the central authority of the Bible Student movement. It could not because all cooperating congregations of Bible Students held strictly to congregational self-government. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was basically a publishing house and lecture bureau that constantly employed Bible lecturers who traveled throughout the Western Hemisphere—some to the far reaches of the world.
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