Some of the current Bible Students are just former Jehovah's Witnesses who have the need to complain about the Watch Tower Society on a regular bases. It is some of these former Witnesses (now "self-appointed" members of the Bride of Christ) who seem to give the Bible Students a bad name. Some Bible Students not only attack the current Watch Tower Society but they even attack fellow Bible Students in public talks, in print and from online discussion boards. Many of the old timers refer to them as "fringe" (radical members) Bible Students, and they want nothing to do with them. Charles Taze Russell died (in 1916) 95 years ago, if a person were 18 when they knew Pastor Russell that would make him/her 113 years old today. So, the Bible Students who knew and worked with Br. Russell must now all be dead. These current Bible Students are not the same as the Bible Students from (1870 - 1916) Russell's day. Pastor Russell did not know any of these factions. However we must be fare and state that the current Watchtower Society is not the same as the Society from Russell's day. In his day Charles Taze Russell was the Watchtower Society, he was the one in charge, and he ran the entire operation. He did have help from others but he was the one calling all of the shots.
The Bible Students are repulsed by the concept of an organization, a group of christian men having oversight over the work is something they would never stand for. This stands to reason because they feel that one man, and only one man, (Pastor Russell) was "The Faithful and Wise Servant" (In 1895, Russell's wife Maria claimed that Russell himself was the figure referred to in the parable at Matthew 24:45-47), as if all scriptural truth was placed in his hands and his alone. This is unusual considering that Charles Taze Russell received many of his views and teachings from others. To include, Henry Grew, Jonas Wendell, George W. Stetson, George Storrs, Nelson H. Barbour, John H. Paton, Piazzi Smyth, and Joseph A. Seiss, just to name a few. Russell freely acknowledged the help that he received from others. Maria F. Russell later claimed that Charles T. Russell was the "Evil Servant". The current Bible Student sects also give the false impression that the faith group known as Jehovah's Witnesses fell out of the sky in 1931. They fail to comprehend that it was Bible Students who worked with and knew Pastor Russell who adopted the name Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931. It was these Bible Students (now Jehovah's Witnesses) who moved forward, the other fragmented Bible Student sects wanted to stay in the past with Russell's teachings from 1876 - 1916. Additional Reading: http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/07/xx.html
- After the death of Pastor C.T. Russell on 1916 October 31, multiple divisions rent the International Bible Students Association. Bible Students Fragments 1917-1967 @ http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/history/jp%20history.htm (This is a Bible Students publication, not a Watch Tower publication. It reviews the divisions and sects within the Bible Students ranks).
W. Norman Woodworth, "The Dawn"
It appears that in 1966 the Dawn Bible Students Association under the leadership of W. Norman Woodworth (1891 - 1975) published a small booklet that caused divisions within the Bible Student ranks, however divisions and infighting are nothing new with the "self appointed" Bride of Christ. The Dawn Bible Students tried to show that not all of Pastor Russell’s views were correct, however other Bible Students would not hear of it, because they view Pastor Russell as The Faithful and Wise Servant, The Laodicean Messenger, and The Man with the Secretary’s Ink Horn. Even today, many Bible Students wish that this little booklet would just go away. http://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/blessedness.htm
What was Pastor Russell's views regarding his writings: As we have been to some extent, by the grace of God, used in the ministry of the gospel, it may not be out of place to say here what we have frequently said in private, and previously in these columns,--namely, that while we appreciate the love, sympathy, confidence and fellowship of fellow-servants and of the entire household of faith, we want no homage, no reverence, for ourselves or our writings; nor do we wish to be called Reverend or Rabbi. Nor do we wish that any should be called by our name. The name of him who died for all--the name Christian--is quite sufficient to designate the spiritual sons of God, the true brethren of Christ; and whatsoever is more than this cometh of evil, of carnality, and tends toward more of the same. Nor would we have our writings reverenced or regarded as infallible, or on a par with the holy Scriptures. The most we claim or have ever claimed for our teachings is, that they are what we believe to be harmonious interpretations of the divine Word, in harmony with the spirit of the truth. And we still urge, as in the past, that each reader study the subjects we present in the light of the Scriptures, proving all things by the Scriptures, accepting what they see to be thus approved, and rejecting all else. It is to this end, to enable the student to trace the subject in the divinely inspired Record, that we so freely intersperse both quotations and citations of the Scriptures upon which to build. - Charles Taze Russell, December 15, 1896And what does the Bible say: "But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments." - 1 Corinthians 1:10, Amplified Bible
Oh, the Blessedness!
TWO dates stand out prominently in the minds of Bible Students enlightened by present truth. These are 1874 and 1914. Nearly a century has passed since 1874, and more than half a century since 1914. Because of this passing of so many years beyond the time when it was supposed our hopes would be fully realized, the brethren are naturally concerned as to the meaning of this long delay. Various views are being expressed as to what developments there actually have been in the divine plan during this unexpectedly long end-of-the-age period, and what aspects of the divine plan still remain to be fulfilled.
It is, we are confident, the desire of everyone who loves the truth to hold firmly to its great fundamentals, and also to acquire as clear an understanding as possible of the various details related to those fundamentals. It was the great Apostle Paul who wrote that “we know in part.” (I Cor. 13:9) It is with a keen sense of this limitation that we are publishing this brochure in which, as best we can, we set forth what we understand the Bible to teach, together with a liberal number of quotations from Brother Russell’s writings, in an endeavor to reconcile the facts of today with the delayed hopes of the past.
We do not expect that all the brethren will find themselves in full agreement with this presentation. Our hope is, however, that it will serve to promote understanding among the brethren, and an increased zeal for making known the glad tidings of the kingdom.
For nearly forty years your brethren of the Dawn Bible Students Association have been upholding and publishing the precious fundamental doctrines of the truth as served to the household of faith by that “faithful and wise servant,” and we are dedicated to continue doing this. We are endeavoring also to follow the loving and humble spirit of Brother Russell, who at all times was so willing to acknowledge his lack of full knowledge on certain details of the divine plan, and so ready to change his view when he realized that he had not been wholly correct.
It is with the desire that each reader will diligently prove all things by the Word of God, and hold fast to that which is good, that we submit the following article for consideration. Although there are those who hold dissimilar views, at The Dawn and elsewhere, we rejoice that the brethren in general are working together harmoniously in the service of the Lord, the truth, and one another; and we trust that this treatise will increase that wonderful spirit of unity regardless of our agreement or disagreement with it. So we earnestly pray for the peace and spiritual prosperity of Zion. - The Publishers, Read the full booklet at: http://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/blessedness.htm
Paul S. L. Johnson, The "Epiphany Messenger"
It must be noted that divisions are nothing new within the Bible Student ranks. After the death of Charles Taze Russell in 1916, they soon started. Read about one of the ring leaders by the name of Paul S. L. Johnson. Faith on the March: http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2010/07/paul-johnson-disrupts-work.html
"A week before the end of March Paul Johnson left 34 Craven Terrace, early in the morning, quietly, before anyone else was up. The rather undignified-and unnecessary-mode of his departure, often recounted in other years and invariably invoking some hilarity, need not be recounted here. He went, and there was relief at his going. No one knew where he was until news was received from Liverpool that he had sailed for the United States on March 31. He had been in this country for nineteen weeks and in that short time created an unprecedented scene of confusion and misunderstanding amongst the brethren which was by no means allayed by his departure. A number of churches, mostly from the larger cities, such as Glasgow and Manchester, wrote to Brooklyn requesting that he be not allowed to come to Britain again." - Bible Students in Britain, The Story of a Hundred Years Read the full story: http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2008/08/savage-wolves-will-come-in-among-you.html
P. S. L. Johnson had been a prominent pilgrim under Pastor Russell. When his interpretations of the separation of Elijah and Elisha, and of “that evil servant,” caused him to be rejected from the editorial committee of the planned new journal at the Asbury Park, New Jersey, convention in 1918, he, Raymond Grant Jolly, R. H. Hirsh, and most of the Philadelphia congregation left. They formed the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement, and their intense witnessing efforts gathered a sizeable group of mostly former members of the Society as adherents. They held Pastor Russell in high esteem. A prodigious writer, Johnson produced a series of seventeen books under the general title of Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures. Abounding in typology, the LHMM categorized both prominent ones involved in their work, as well as those who differed with them, under various symbolic names. Teaching that the door to the High Calling was closed, they claimed Paul Johnson was the last member of the Church and his successor, Raymond Jolly, was the last member of the Great Company. Their two periodicals The Bible Standard and Present Truth continue to be published today.
New Covenant Bible Students
In 1907, after teaching for approximately 25 years that the Church was being developed under the New Covenant, Russell changed his views and declared that the New Covenant was future and that God would make this covenant with the house of Judah and the house of Israel. This change in teaching did not set well with some and there were those who left the Society at this time. In addition to the New Covenant change, he was also challenged by some brethren on his teaching that the Church shared with Jesus in the Sin Offering. He based this teaching on the types in Leviticus 8, 9 and 16. Many of his followers had come to accept and recognize him as that "wise and faithful servant" in the Parable which Jesus spoke, who was "serving meat" when the Lord returned invisibly (as they believed) in 1874. These and other teachings were challenged by those who separated in 1909. http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/04/ernest-c-henninges_25.html
Those who left at that time were called "New Covenant Bible Students" by some; others called themselves "Free Bible Students," inferring that they were no longer under the control of a man or organization. Conferences of the "Free Bible Students" began to be held in the New England area in 1909. These are known as the Christian Believers Conferences and are still held yearly in August. There is a week-long conference held every July that began about 50 years ago by a "Free Bible Student" mid-west group that is held in western PA. These are called the Berean Christian Conferences. A Western Christian Believers Conference is being held in January 1998 for the first time in southern CA. In England there is a "Free Bible Student Conference" also held every August. In addition there are some other conferences or conventions held around the country and in England by individual Free Bible Student groups throughout the year.
What did Pastor Russell have to say about this faction?Back in 1909, the then president of the Watch Tower Society, C. T. Russell, wrote about those who turned away from Jehovah’s table and then began to mistreat their former fellow slaves. The Watch Tower of October 1, 1909, said: "All who cut loose from the Society and its work, instead of prospering themselves or upbuilding others in the faith and in the graces of the spirit, seemingly do the reverse—attempt injury to the Cause they once served, and, with more or less noise, gradually sink into oblivion, harming only themselves and others possessed of a similarly contentious spirit. . . . If some think that they can get as good or better provender at other tables, or that they can produce as good or better themselves—let these take their course. . . . But while we are willing that others should go anywhere and everywhere to find food and light to their satisfaction, strange to say, those who become our opponents take a very different course. Instead of saying in the manly fashion of the world, ‘I have found something which I prefer; goodbye!’ these manifest anger, malice, hatred, strife, ‘works of the flesh and of the devil’ such as we have never known worldly people to exhibit. They seem inoculated with madness, Satanic hydrophobia [rabies]. Some of them smite us and then claim that we did the smiting. They are ready to say and write contemptible falsities and to stoop to do meanness.”
World War I, which had been occupying Europe since 1914 Summer, saw U.S. participation beginning 1917 April 6. The Watch Tower stand on conscientious objection then occasioned the 1918 May 8 arrest and subsequent conviction of J.F. Rutherford, W.E. VanAmburgh, A.H. MacMillan, R.J. Martin, C.J. Woodworth, G.H. Fisher, F.H. Robison, and Giovanni Dececca. (Warrant for the arrest of R.H. Hirsh was also issued, but he had already resigned under pressure; so the warrant likely was not pursued.) These were imprisoned in Atlanta from 1918 June 21 until their release on bail 1919 March 21. Their convictions were reversed 1919 May 15. During the imprisonment of these eight Watch Tower leaders, C.H. Anderson was acting President and J.F. Stephenson was acting Secretary-Treasurer. The Watch Tower offices were temporarily removed to Pittsburgh in 1918 ca. Sept. 25 for barely more than a year. The Society’s annual meeting in 1919 Jan. 4 in Pittsburgh reelected J.F. Rutherford President and W.E. VanAmburgh Secretary-Treasurer. But the others elected to the Board of Directors, viz. C.A. Wise (Vice President), R.H. Barber, W.E. Spill, W.F. Hudgings, and C.H. Anderson, were freer to carry out their responsibilities. When the imprisoned leaders were released, Barber resigned in favor of MacMillan. http://pastorrussell.blogspot.com/2009/03/change-in-administration.html
Pastoral Bible Institute (PBI)
Amid the rancor of the Watch Tower’s Pittsburgh convention meetings (1918 Saturday Jan. 6), several withdrew to a hastily-convoked mini-convention at the Fort Pitt Hotel for the balance of the weekend. A Committee of Seven was convoked. The first scheduled convention outside the IBSA was held 1918 July 26-29 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The Committee Bulletin was then published monthly from August to October. Two or three hundred attended the Providence, R.I., convention 1918 Nov. 8-10. It was there resolved to form the Pastoral Bible Institute (P.B.I.) to resume the pastoral work outside the Society; it was incorporated in New York 1918 Nov. 23. A new journal, The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom, commenced publication immediately with a December issue4 under an editorial committee composed of I.F. Hoskins, R.E. Streeter, I.I. Margeson, H.C. Rockwell, and Dr. S.N. Wiley. The PBI published Streeter’s books on Revelation (2 vols., 1923) and (posthumously) Daniel (1928). The PBI offices were in Brooklyn until ca. 1960. The work was split between St. Louis and Batavia, Ill., when the 177 Prospect Pl., Brooklyn, property was disposed of. Recent circulation of The Herald was several thousand. Among the better-known pilgrims were: Isaac Hoskins (part time), H.A. Friese, L.F. Zink, J.J. Blackburn, Wm. McKeown, Benjamin Boulter, Paul Thomson, Walter Sargeant (d. 1941 Nov. 18), John T. Read (noted for his singing voice), Alec L. Muir, Fred A. Essler, and W.J. Siekman. (See further in the Appendix.) For many decades an annual convention in late September at Atlantic City, N.J., was closely associated with the PBI.
Stand Fasts and the Elijah Voice Society
The IBSA classes in the Northwest backed the Seventh Volume all the way. But Charles E. Heard of Vancouver and many others felt Rutherford’s recommendation in 1918 Spring to buy war bonds was cowardice, and sacrilegeously perpetuating harvest work. The Stand Fast Bible Students Association was organized 1918 Dec. 1 at Portland. It published Old Corn Gems (Jos 5:11-12) and organized many conventions in the Northwest and throughout the U.S. Heard, Wm. B. Palmer, R.O. Hadley, W.M. Wisdom (briefly), Ian C. Edwards, H.A. Livermore, Allan A. Yerex, and Finley McKercher were all prominent. Many (non-doctrinal) divisions followed a Seattle convention 1919 July 25-27. In 1922, John A. Hardeson and C.D. McCray (later dropped out) organized the Elijah Voice Society for an ambitious regathering and witness work. They published the Elijah Voice Monthly. The E.V.S. became the most prominent Seventh Volume group, though they never quite gathered "Gideon’s 300." In 1923 Fall, Edwards and Heard organized Stand Fasts into the Star Construction Company in Victoria (although Heard was persuaded by his wife to stay in Vancouver). Fearing the time of trouble, Edwards in the Fall of 1924 took the company of more than 300 to Sooke and then to Port Renfrew and the Gordon River on the southwest part of Vancouver Island. When the business failed in 1927, Dr. Alec McCarter (dentist) and Oscar Kuenzi closed out the property. From twelve hundred adherents or more in 1919 in the Northwest and near Wisconsin, these Seventh Volume movements have dwindled to near vanishing.
Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement
Paul S.L. Johnson had fallen out with Rutherford in 1917 but continued to visit IBSA classes for a couple of years (though not under Watch Tower auspices). He was one of the prominent founders of the Committee of Seven, though the affiliation was brief. He organized the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement and began publishing monthly the Present Truth and Herald of Christ’s Epiphany ("PT" -for believers) on 1920 Jan. 1, and bimonthly the Herald of the Epiphany (in 1952 renamed The Bible Standard and Herald of Christ’s Kingdom - for witness work) on 1920 July 16. By 1941 Johnson taught that Pastor Russell had been the Parousia (Presence) messenger of the Reaping period but that he himself was a special "Epiphany messenger" for the separation time and Time of Trouble.7 (In later years it was taught that he was the last member of the Church and that R.G. Jolly was the last member of the Great Company-also a heavenly class.) He wrote voluminously on the interpretation of types and shadows before his death in 1950 Oct. 22. Adherents now believe they constitute an earthly class of "Youthful Worthies" or (since 1954) of "Epiphany Campers," who will reign on earth with the Ancient Worthies. Johnson was succeeded as executive trustee by his chief adherent, Raymond Grant Jolly (1886-1979) [then by August Gohlke (1916-1985), and then by Bernard W. Hedman]. The headquarters was moved from Philadelphia to the Chester Springs suburb 1967 Oct. 15. The LHMM publishes the Bible Standard and Present Truth journals in English, Polish, French, Dano-Norwegian, and Portuguese. Perhaps 250-300 partake of the Memorial8 in the U.S. and Canada. There is a greater number of adherents abroad (e.g., of perhaps 6200 others, about half are in Nigeria, one third in Poland, and several others in France, India, England, Scandinavia, Brazil, and the West Indies). In Poland the LHMM separated from the other Bible Students 1927 April, under the leadership of Czeslaw Kasprzykowski in Warsaw (who then disassociated a few years later). Wiktor Stachowiak (1897-1990) became the Polish representative 1936-1990.
Others prominent in the LHMM work included John J. Hoefle, Michael Kostyn (until ca. 1930) and C.J. Schmidt of Detroit, F.A. Hall of Indianapolis, Wm. Eschrich of Milwaukee, Daniel Gavin of Springfield, Mass., Carl Seebald of Muskegan, Mich., Alex Wayne (Wojnerowski) of Memphis, John Treble of Miami, and J.L.A. Condell of Jamaica. Principal conventions were at Philadelphia, Muskegan, Chicago, and Hyde, Cheshire, England. There have also been some splinter groups: W.S. Stevens of Atlanta left in 1935 and circulated a letter claiming Johnson was dictatorial. S.A. Cater9 of Vancouver, B.C., departed in 1948, and Thomas T. Ryde in Los Angeles left soon afterwards. Cyril Shuttleworth, the British representative, left in 1951. John W. Krewson split with Jolly in 1954-1955 over whether Krewson (not eligible for the heavenly hope) should assume the teaching position? he published The Present Truth of the Apocalypsis journal through his Laodicean Home Missionary Movement in Philadelphia and later in Florida. About 1956 Feb. John J. Hoefle left and began issuing a monthly newsletter through his Epiphany Bible Students Assn. of Mount Dora, Fla. Hoefle taught that the elect of the church continued longer than the other two groups had taught. Those who left were commonly disfellowshipped (whether before or after leaving).
Dawn Bible Students Association
In the early 1930’s there was interest in an energetic effort to regather Bible Students outside the Society and to put forth a public message. The new effort was spearheaded by the New York (Brooklyn) ecclesia, with support from around the country. W. Norman Woodworth and John E. Dawson (who had commenced Frank & Ernest radio broadcasts on WBBR in 1927) having left WBBR and the Society, the Brooklyn Radio Committee attempted radio broadcasts in New York, and then Boston, beginning 1931 April 12. The broadcasts were discontinued after three months each due to shortage of funds. Radio Echo tracts were issued from 1931 April 29 through 1932 September. A monthly tract-sized paper, The Dawn, was issued to answer radio requests. The Witness Bulletin was published for a few years beginning 1931 October.
The Pastoral Bible Institute declined to sponsor the work, but many of its leaders expressed moral support. Therefore Dawn Publishers, Inc., was organized 1932June 7 in New York to replace ecclesia sponsorship. The Dawn was expanded into a monthly magazine 1932 October. The free Bible Students News was issued for four years beginning 1935 ca. June. Bible Students News was again published from ca. 1947to 1950. The Dawn offices were originally in Brooklyn, 251 Washington St., then 136 Fulton St., before being moved to 199 Railroad Ave., East Rutherford, N.J., ca. 1944 Jan. 1. Thereupon, the Dawn Bible Students Association was incorporated 1944 May 22 in New Jersey; Dawn Publishers was merged into it in 1953. Recent circulation of The Dawn was around 15-20,000. In the later 1930’s Bill Gleason arranged for Russell Pollock to broadcast programs on the California Rural Network. Soon afterwards, Frank & Ernest resumed radio broadcasting (Norman Woodworth and George Wilson, with Don Copeland announcer). Many gave enthusiastic support to the new activity: Lilia Woodworth and Norma Mitchell, Corey Mitchell, Ruth Roark, Rose (Johnson) Bertsche, Oscar Magnuson, W.F. Hudgings, William Robertson, Jere Reimer, Arnold Greaves (a printer), Mr. and Mrs. Rodgers, Walter Sargeant, Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Hoeveler, Mr. and Mrs. John Hutchinson, and some from farther away, L.F. Zink, George Kendall, Christian Zahnow, among many others.
Watchers of the Morning
In the early 1930’s troubles arose in the PBI. Some of its prominent members began to believe the Church was under the Mediator and under the New Covenant (rather than part of the Mediator of that covenant when it goes into operation in the thousand-year kingdom of Christ), and that the Church has no part in the sin offering (rather than joining with Jesus Christ in that offering). Some also doubted that the Lord had returned in any sense, and that the sleeping saints had been raised from the dead. Others protested that none should be engaged in the ministry except those in harmony with "Present Truth." Still others, who were in harmony with "Present Truth," defended the right of those who were not to continue in the service without limitation. At the PBI annual meeting 1936 June 6 the "liberal" directors, Dr. S.D. Bennett, J.J. Blackburn, J.C. Jordan, P.L. Read, and P.E. Thomson, were elected, together with their nominees, Chester E. Stiles of Washington, D.C., and Benjamin Boulter of New Jersey. The "Present Truth" directors, I.F. Hoskins and B.A. Parkes, were not elected, nor their nominees, P.A. Gates of Memphis, C.H.S. Kuehn of Toledo, C.W. McCoy of Spokane, S.N. McElvany of Pittsburgh, and G.C. Stroke of Buffalo. Thereupon, Isaac Hoskins withdrew from the PBI and in 1937 April began publishing Watchers of the Morning, emphasizing "Present Truth." Among those cooperating with Hoskins were H.H. Eddy of Providence, R.I., C.W. McCoy of Spokane, and Charles F. Moser of Toledo. Watchers of the Morning continued until Hoskins died (1957 Sept. in the Los Angeles area). (His sister, Edith, stayed with the PBI.)
Epiphany Bible Students Association
After the death of Paul S. L. Johnson in 1950, the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement began to experience troubles in its leadership. In the spring of 1955, charges of fraud and dishonesty in business were circulated against John J. Hoefle (1895-1984), a prominent leader who had spoken at Johnson's funeral. Hoefle, in turn, accused the leadership of the Layman's Home Missionary Movement of slander and lying, and, in the ever growing polemics, some doctrinal distinctions between Hoefle and Raymond Jolly, who had succeeded Johnson as head of the organization, began to appear. They disagreed on the nature and validity of John's baptism (Acts 19:1ff), which Hoefle saw as an excuse for Jolly to accuse him of being out of harmony with both Johnson and Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student Movement. Hoefle was formally disfellowshipped on February 8, 1956. Hoefle began to publish the correspondence on the controversy and his opinions on the ongoing administration of Jolly. By the end of 1957, these letters had become a regular monthly publication. In 1968, the title Epiphany Bible Students Association began to appear on the masthead. Hoefle continues in the Russell/ Johnson theological school with only minor differences with the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, primarily of an administrative nature and concerning variations on the interpretation of specific texts. For example, both the LHMM and the Hoefle taught of two classes of individuals who would appear in the future Kingdom of God: the Ancient Worthies who would rule (Ps. 45:16) and the Youthful Worthies who would be in partnership with them. The LHMM under Jolly, were teaching that as of 1954, all of the Youthful Worthies had been won and began to speak of a new class of people, the Consecrated Epiphany Campers. Hoefle rejected this teaching, claimed that no such class existed, and that the Youthful Worthies would be won until the time of restitution. The Epiphany Bible Students Association is organized around individuals who receive the monthly newsletters. There are regular meetings for Bible study at the Mount Dora Bible House, the headquarters in Florida. Other study groups around the country meet in private homes. Leonard E. Williams has succeeded Hoefle as president of the association, and Emily Hoefle, his widow, remains active as the secretary.
Laodicean Home Missionary Movement
John W. Krewson was a member of the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement who withdrew in protest over the leadership of Raymond Jolly, who had succeeded Paul S. L. Johnson. In 1955, within months of Johnson's death, Krewson was disfellowshipped and soon began to publish a periodical, The Present Truth of the Apocalypsis. He offered LHMM members an option to John J. Hoefle, who had also been disfellowshipped and had formed the Epiphany Bible Students Association. They began to argue, each casting doubt on the other's right to preach and asserting that the other was not a pilgrim (preacher with proper credentials). As time passed, Jolly, Hoefle and Krewson have continued the intrafamily feud; sometimes Jolly and Krewson agree against Hoefle, and sometimes Hoefle and Jolly agree against Krewson. Krewson and Hoefle disagreed on Johnson's status as the last saint, Hoefle arguing that Charles Taze Russell's appointments of other pilgrims (who were still alive) was ample refutation. Both Hoefle and Jolly joined in refuting Krewson's teaching on the apocalypse. The Laodicean Home Missionary Movement is loosely structured around Krewson's periodical by individuals and small groups who use it for study and edification.
The Berean Bible Institute
The BEREAN BIBLE INSTITUTE: was established in 1918 in Melbourne Australia for the dissemination of Bible teachings, mainly by means of printed publications. The principal publication, titled "Peoples Paper and Herald of Christ's Kingdom", was initially a monthly publication but is now published quarterly. It was first published in 1918 and is now published in January, April, July and October each year. The current format comprises 12 pages of A4 size. The Berean Bible Institute is an independent entity incorporated in Victora, Australia. It maintains ties of fellowship and co-operation with similarly minded Bible Student groups and individuals in the United States of America, Great Britain, Europe and other parts of the world. The Institute seeks to encourage personal and group study of the Bible, with a view to enabling individuals to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the Divine Plan for human salvation. A consequence of such knowledge should be the development of personal conduct that conforms to the will of God as expressed in the Bible. Berean Bible Institute policy is to encourage each one individually to heed the words of the Apostle Paul: "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21). The Institute offers a range of FREE Booklets on Bible topics, published mainly by various groups in USA, as well as priced reference Books on the Scriptures. The Berean Bible Institute does not solicit funds and there is no membership or joining fee. It is funded by income from bequests received over the years and the free will gifts and donations of those who appreciate its work. All services are provided free as far as resources permit. In particular the Peoples Paper is provided free to everyone who requests a copy.
The Jersey City Bible Students
The Jersey City Bible Students: was formed in the late 1800s as a result of the ministry of the Late, Pastor Charles Taze Russell. At the time Christians in the Jersey City area formed a small Bible study group. It is known to be the oldest Bible Students congregation. It supported Pastor Russell and the International Bible Students Association until late 1916, when it was evident that the Society under its new leadership were no longer in harmony with the Divine Plan as outlined in scriptures and espoused in the writings of Pastor Russell's "Studies in the Scriptures." The Jersey City brethren then immediately withdrew their support of the Society to function independently of it and others. It has a rich history and has survived till today. Millennial Morning is sponsored by the Associated Bible Students of Jersey City. We are a completely autonomous, non-denominational Christian fellowship, not affiliated with any of the church systems of today. We as a group own no property, take no collections, and pay no ministers for their services. This fellowship has no CENTRAL head, office or publishing house. We study the Bible together with others of like precious faith and maintain an association and fellowship that is worldwide through conventions. Our most distinguishing characteristic as seen by the world is that we believe God has a plan, which is revealed in the Bible and ALL of mankind from Adam to the last person to be born on earth will be resurrected. They will be resurrected regardless of their belief, regardless if they have heard of God and without regard to nationality or skin color. We welcome all to share with us in the study of God's Word. There is no organization to join and no creed to affirm. Our services are as simple as the church in the days of the Apostles. Our congregation benefits from the prayer support of one another and our fellowship is warm and friendly.
Christian Millennial Fellowship
Christian Millennial Fellowship: This is not a complete history of all the off-shoots of Bible Students, but merely an attempt to show where CMF began its history in the string of "The Adventist Family." Charles Taze Russell began publishing the Watch Tower in 1879. He was assisted by a group of followers called "Millennial Dawn Bible Students." In 1881, the Zion’s Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was set up. In 1907, after teaching for approximately 25 years that the Church was being developed under the New Covenant, Russell changed his views and declared that the New Covenant was future and that God would make this covenant with the house of Judah and the house of Israel. This change in teaching did not set well with some and there were those who left the Society at this time. In addition to the New Covenant change, he was also challenged by some brethren on his teaching that the Church shared with Jesus in the Sin Offering. He based this teaching on the types in Leviticus 8, 9 and 16. Many of his followers had come to accept and recognize him as that "wise and faithful servant" in the Parable which Jesus spoke, who was "serving meat" when the Lord returned invisibly (as they believed) in 1874. These and other teachings were challenged by those who separated in 1909. Those who left at that time were called "New Covenant Bible Students" by some; others called themselves "Free Bible Students," inferring that they were no longer under the control of a man (Pastor Russell) or organization (Watchtower Society).Conferences of the "Free Bible Students" began to be held in the New England area in 1909. These are known as the Christian Believers Conferences and are still held yearly in August. There is a week-long conference held every July that began about 50 years ago by a "Free Bible Student" mid-west group that is held in western PA. These are called the Berean Christian Conferences. A Western Christian Believers Conference is being held in January 1998 for the first time in southern CA. In England there is a "Free Bible Student Conference" also held every August. In addition there are some other conferences or conventions held around the country and in England by individual Free Bible Student groups throughout the year. A group of separated brethren in the Hartford, Connecticut area formed a congregation and were known as the New Creation Bible Students. Gaetano Boccaccio was one of their elders and in 1940, he began to publish The New Creation magazine. This ministry expanded to publishing tracts and booklets as well as the magazine, which is now distributed world-wide. This ministry was given the name of Christian Millennial Fellowship (CMF). This CMF ministry is still active today and since the death of its founder in 1996, its headquarters are now in Port Murray, NJ under the direction of Elmer Weeks. There are many independent CMF groups in foreign countries that have embraced its message and are actively spreading the good news. CMF cooperates freely with all the independent Free Bible Students groups. CMF is supported by the generosity of donors from around the country. All of its publications are offered free of charge and the CMF staff members are volunteers who donate their time and energy as unto the Lord.
There are no longer meetings held. I ran by the house and asked the housemaid where Ms Hoefle resided before her death in 2010? at over 100 years of age. At the time (c. 2005) they were less than a dozen people meeting at the residence (nursing home) on Sundays. However when Ms Hoefle died (I believe it was 2010) the meetings stopped and her relative (I believe her niece) still sends out newsletters but no more meetings are held. There never was an official "Mt Dora Bible House" in Mt Dora. The followers simply met at the residences of J. Hoefle, then his wife Emily from what I can conclude. A Marjorie Williams (I believe Leonard E. Williams is now deceased) now sends out newsletters only, mostly (over 95% of which) are reprints of Russell's writings or once in a blue moon, a reprinted article from the pen of Hoefle (deceased in the early to mid 1980s). There is however, a thriving congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Mount Dora that has approximately 110 publishers. (I've given talks there within the last 10 years) Little contact was ever made between the followers of Hoefle and the local congregation however with Hoefle preferring to stay away from them (I gather this from comments made from his writings on one or two "run ins" he had) No local publishers in Mt Dora presently (as of Nov 2012) know anything of Hoefle or his followers and the longtime friends (pre-1970) have mostly passed away or moved away from the Mt Dora area. In the surrounding congregations only 2-3 older Elders know of the Hoefle groups existence (that's out of 4-6 congregations locally). - by JW Chris G.