A History of the Early Watchtower Bible Student Movement and the Schisms after Brother Russell Died

Today the Bible Student Movement is united worldwide and even growing in some countries.  However, before this re-unification, many schisms occurred after Brother Russell died in 1916.

Go to any bookstore or library and look up “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and you will find nine times out of ten the statement; “Jehovah’s Witnesses, a sect founded by Charles Taze Russell”.  But nothing could be further from the truth.

Indeed, the late Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916) was the founder and organizer of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and served as the editor of Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence from its inception in July 1879. But to claim him as their founder is a gross misinterpretation. And yet to deny that their is a link between the two is also a gross misinterpretation. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a product of one man, and Charles Taze Russell it was not. Joseph Franklin Rutherford, a lawyer and pilgrim in the
service of the Watch Tower Society, gained control of the Society shortly after the death of Russell in October 1916. It was Rutherford who reorganized the Society to its current organizational structure, to the dismay of many. The reorganization went contrary to Russell’s last will and testament and caused a schism in the group. Thousands upon thousands left the Society feeling they had been betrayed. The goal was set to continue the work of Pastor Russell, independent of the Society he founded.

By 1930 three quarters of the original Bible Students associated with the Society defected to function independently. Those who gave up their Christian freedom stayed and in 1931, Rutherford, in deciding to differentiate between the two groups renamed his; and thus the Jehovah’s Witnesses were born. By then, the mold had been set and the dye cast.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses would flourish under the leadership of Rutherford, and succeeding leaders. Jehovah’s Theocratic Organization was now in existence.

Read more by clicking here:  BS History

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