The TRUTH About The

            "Truth"

The Real Truth Comes From God's Word Not From Man's Interpretation of It

TRUTH

 
Scriptural FACTS       = GOD'S Word of TRUTH

 History

See also: Bible Student movement 

   
Pastor Russell, founder of the Watch Tower Society 

In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed a group in PittsburghPennsylvania to study the Bible.[23] During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including immortality of the soul, hellfire, predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the burning up of the world.[24] In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; later that year they jointly produced the book Three Worlds, which combined restitutionist views with end time prophecy.

The book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874[24] inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that 1914 would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times,"[25] at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth.[26][27][28]

Beginning in 1878 Russell and Barbour jointly edited a religious journal, Herald of the Morning.[29] In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, and in July, Russell began publishing the magazine Zion's Watch Tower and Herald of Christ's Presence,[30] stating that its purpose was to demonstrate that the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.[31]

From 1879, Watch Tower supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically. Thirty congregations were founded, and during 1879 and 1880, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings.[32][33][34] In 1881, Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society was presided over by William Henry Conley, and in 1884, Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles.[35][36][37] By about 1900, Russell had organized thousands of part- and full-time colporteurs,[30] and was appointing foreign missionaries and establishing branch offices. By the 1910s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred "pilgrims," or traveling preachers.[38] Russell engaged in significant global publishing efforts during his ministry,[39][40] and by 1912, he was the most distributed Christian author in the United States.[41][42]

Russell moved the Watch Tower Society's headquarters to Brooklyn, New York, in 1909, combining printing and corporate offices with a house of worship; volunteers were housed in a nearby residence he named Bethel. He identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the  International Bible Students Association.[43] By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement[44] and congregations re-elected him annually as their "pastor."[45] Russell died October 31, 1916, at the age of 64 while returning from a ministerial speaking tour.[46]

Reorganization (1917–1942)