Jesse Hemery and the The Goshen Fellowship
From the old website of the Association of bible researchers or Bible -scholars: “Bijbelvorsers“, we published on October 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm on http://bijbelvorsers.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/3518291-jesse-hemery-and-goshen-fellowship
The Dutch original version written by us on the “Windows Live Spaces” is not traceable any more
The Goshen Fellowship, not to be mixed with the Trinitarian House Church movement, nor the Baptist church group, was formed as a result of the ministry of Jesse Hemery in England.
J.C. Sunderlin and J.J. Bender were two associates of the well-known “Pastor” Charles T. Russell of Allegheny, Pennsylvania, had started of the growth of the Bible Students movement in England in 1881. Nearly ten years later, on July 1, 1891, Charles T. Russell first arrived in the British Isles, landing at Queenstown, Ireland, and made a two-month missionary tour, embracing Britain, Europe and Russia. He concluded that Britain offered the best potential and decided to concentrate activities there. He visited and talked to small groups of Watch Tower subscribers and addressed public meetings of up to two hundred interested persons specially invited in Liverpool and London. He also arranged with a London firm to supply Millennial Dawn books, Bible study aids, at special rates to colporteurs (colportage men and women, knockers, canvassers or peddlars).
By December 1898 there were nine established congregations in Britain. Help in organization became the pressing need. C. T. Russell had previously sent “pilgrims” from America to work with colporteurs in the field and to address congregations. Pilgrims were spiritually older men who visited congregations giving Scriptural counsel and encouragement. They were really the forerunners of the travelling ministers now known as circuit overseers.* Russell then decided to appoint Jesse Hemery, a railway signalman from Manchester, to pilgrim service. For ten years Hemery had responded actively to the tract work organized by Bender, and now he commenced his new service on January 3, 1899.
Jesse Hemery had arranged his affairs so that he could devote all his time to the ministry, and he was willing to take up an assignment in London. Hence, on Thursday, November 1, 1901, Hemery was appointed branch overseer of the British Isles branch.
Women had played quite a prominent part in the early days in Glasgow and other congregations, conducting Sunday schools for children. When in April 1903, Russell was in England for a convention tour and expressed that he was not in favour of the ladies doing all that important work some were rather put out by the modified view on woman’s place in the Christian congregation. But the sense of urgency among the brothers in those days kept them going and moved them to undertake a distribution of free literature to every farm and isolated homestead in both Scotland and England.
In time the growing activity of the Bible Students in Britain called for changes in the legal structure of the group. On June 30, 1914, the International Bible Students Association (IBSA) was registered under the Companies Acts as an unlimited company. The liability for the mortgage on the London Tabernacle was transferred to the new legal corporation, which became the lessee also of 34 Craven Terrace, then occupied by the Hemerys and ten other members of the Bethel family. The parent legal body was the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.
Paul S. L. Johnson, a Jew who had become first a Lutheran minister and then a Bible Student pilgrim (teacher/preacher), shortly before Pastor Charles Taze Russell died in 1916, was sent to England to straighten out troubles among the British students. In order to facilitate Johnson’s work, Russell gave him “enlarged powers.” Johnson, in November, proceeded to England and, under the authority received from Russell, fired two of the managers of the London office. Judge J. F. Rutherford, confirmed as president of the Watch Tower Corporation while Johnson was in still in England, saw Johnson as a major threat to his consolidation of leadership control. Johnson believed that the “special authority” given by Russell was still valid. Johnson, Raymond Jolly, and a host of Bible Students withdrew from the Rutherford-led organization and joined in the formation of the Pastoral Bible Institute (PBI).** Differences soon arose among the PBI leaders, so Johnson left and formed the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement. The Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement believes Russell was that faithful and wise servant of Matthew 24:45-47 and was labelled by Johnson the “parousia messenger.”
It turned out later-from Johnson’s own writings-but was not known at the time, that he had come to England having in his possession not only a copy of the proposal signed by the Elders, but also a copy of the 1916 Elders’ Schedule marked by Jesse Hemery to show which of the Elders were sponsoring the move toward control of its own affairs by the Church. And he says that Jesse had sent two copies of this list to America before he left for Britain.
Three men, namely Rutherford, Johnson and Hemery, were each convinced that they were, the best man to rule and direct the brethren, ambitious enough to attempt achievement of the coveted position, and blind to the harm they were causing.
Johnson “dismissed” Jesse Hemery as manager for the Society; Jesse took no notice of that but realizing, rather late it must be admitted, the seriousness of the situation, called in Shearn and Crawford, whom he had quite happily seen disfellowshipped and sent into the wilderness only a few weeks previously, to come back and help him get rid of Johnson-which, with perhaps a commendable disregard for old differences, they did.
Jesse Hemery was progressively centralizing power in himself. Secession from Hemery, J. F. Rutherford and the Watch Tower Society progressed rapidly after World War I ended. The Bible Students Committee was constituted in London on April 5, 1919 to coordinate publishing, pilgrim service, etc., outside the Society. He was undoubtedly the most prominent Bible Student/Jehovah’ s Witness in England, serving as Vice President of the IBSA, a position he held until 1946 since his appointment by Pastor Russell in 1901. He had a powerful and indeed all-sufficient ally.
Rutherford began to forcibly and dogmatically alter the existing doctrinal views, organizational structure and other Bible Students started to react against it or go their own way. Bible Students began to realize that not only the truth, but even the spirit of truth they held so dear had been compromised.
Jesse Hemery printed a short booklet supporting Rutherford, and denounced Johnson in “Harvest Siftings Reviewed” itself reviewed (December 7th, 1917).
By the end of 1928 three-fourths had severed their association with Rutherford and the newly changed Watchtower Society. In Great-Britain several separate groups came into existence:
William Robertson formed the Bible Student Publishing Co. before the major split of 1917; he published a quarterly journal The Bible Student that was critical of both Pastor Russell and Rutherford. There were certain IBSA officials who joined after the split in 1917. This group stopped operations in the 1920s.
Bible Fellowship Union 1917
At the time of the split in 1917, the Forest Gate Church was the second largest Bible Student group in England. F. G. Guard, father-in-law of William Crawford, led the class in divorcing themselves from the Society. In 1939 they started publishing The Forest Gate Church Bible Monthly, along with booklets and tracts. This group disbanded in 1979.
Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement 1918 [Paul S.L. Johnson]
Berean Bible Institute 1918 [Australia]
Stand Fast Bible Students Association 1918
Christian Truth Institute 1920
New Jerusalem Fellowship 1922
Elijah Voice Society 1923
Institute of Pyramidology 1923
Old Paths Publications 1925
Dawn Bible Students Association 1928 reorganized as DAWN in 1932
Watchers of the Morning 1937 [offshoot of Pastoral Bible Institute]
Goshen Fellowship 1951 [Jesse Hemery]
Epiphany Bible Students Association 1957 [John Hoefle]
Laodicean Home Missionary Movement 1957 [John Krewson]
Jesse Hemery was disfellowshipped by N. H. Knorr in 1951. Although he accepted much of Russell’s interpretations, he did reject the second presence as being a current reality. Believing Revelation was to be fulfilled in the future, he wrote and published a few Futurist interpretations of Revelation and other books of prophecy. He did reject the second presence as being a current reality.
He died in 1955 shortly after founding the “Goshen Fellowship” in 1951. Frank Lewis Brown headed the group for many years, publishing Zion’s Herald, a monthly journal beginning in 1965. Today there are still some adherents.
We added on March 2, 2012 at 4:29 am:
The problem with smaller groups or schisms of the Jehovah Witnesses is that they still found themselves as a special chosen group who should be careful not to read material which could bring them off their path.
The Goshen Fellowship, having no internet website, may as such also have been diminishing by their members getting older and dying. The problem mainly could be that they either did not preach enough or did not make work enough to get them be known.
As such those who leave the Watchtower Group should sincerely decide if they want to be a Watchtower Movement member or if they want to be part of a worldwide movement of Bible Students.
We think it is better that they try to share their ideas and help others in this way to explore the Bible and to come to more wisdom. Sharing ideas with other groups can help them both to grow in their knowledge of the Word of God, and shall be giving both more ways to honour Jehovah.
As brother Marcus (Marcus Ampe) points out, the problem of keeping contact, makes that we sometimes loose track of persons.
Our member Jani responded on February 4, 2012 at 4:44 am:
My article about this group:
The Goshen Fellowship (1951 – Present) Still exist?
The Goshen Fellowship was formed as a result of the ministry of Jesse Hemery. He was undoubtedly the most prominent Bible Student/Jehovah’s Witness in England, serving as Vice President of the IBSA, a position he held until 1946 since his appointment by Pastor Russell in 1901. He was disfellowshipped by N. H. Knorr in 1951. Although he accepted much of Russell’s interpretations, he did reject the second presence as being a current reality. Believing Revelation was to be fulfilled in the future, he wrote a few commentaries on Revelation and other books of prophecy. He died in 1955 shortly after founding the “Goshen Fellowship” in 1951. Frank Lewis Brown headed the group for many years, publishing Zion’s Herald, a monthly journal beginning in 1965. According to this source, they still exist.
According to a Great Britain source the movement now is defunct.
I think this group have two good points in common with the “Back to the Bible way” movement:
1. They reject the second presence as being a current reality
2. Believing Revelation was to be fulfilled in the future
The bad thing was that JH claimed he is the faithful slave, as some say, if I understood correct.
1. Ministry of the lamb, 108 pages
Autor: Frank Lewis Brown
Editor: Goshen Fellowship, 1970
2. The scripture of truth: the vision, its understanding, 84 pages
Autor: Frank Lewis Brown
Editor: Goshen Fellowship, 1967
I need more information.
On March 2, 2012 at 4:19 am Marcus Ampe wrote:
and on March 2, 2012 at 5:59 am he continued:
There were also many JW in the group of Free Christians who were still really JW, but face their problem with what happened to their children in their community. Several churches got problems about sexual actions which should not be permitted and certainly should not happen in a church community. The Kingdom Halls could not escape the trap of this world either, and because of the coverup operations the Watchtower Organisation tried to do, several parents were displeased with the organisation, but in their heart and kidneys they stayed JW. So when the Free Christians ceased some of them went back to the organisation.
+ March 3, 2012 at 8:13 am:
Until a few years ago I got a Dutch version of the Zion’s Herald which was sent to me from Germany. If I remember well I was subscribed until 2005-06, but I do not have any copies any more to get the address back. The contact person I had for the magazine was somebody living in Holland, if I remember well somewhere in the South East (Limburg). The magazine was printed in English, German and Dutch. From the way of writing it was clearly they had a Jehovah Witnesses stamp more than the Bible Student division of Charles Russell, though traces of The Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, Studies in the Scriptures could still be found.
I wonder if the Bible Fellowship Union at 4 Manor Gardens, Barnstone, Nottingham, NG3 9JL UK, would not know more; Perhaps some people joined that Bible Students Group. I do not have full names, because in their magazine I can only find abbreviations like: DN, TH, AOH, GC. Perhaps you can contact them and see if they can tell you more.
* International Bible Students Association (IBSA) pilgrims were excellent speakers, and their local talks were typically well-publicized and well-attended. Prominent Bible Students A. H. Macmillan and J. F. Rutherford were both appointed pilgrims before they joined the board of directors of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania; the IBSA later adopted the name Jehovah’s Witnesses and renamed pilgrims as traveling overseers.
** R. E. Streeter was one of the founding fathers of the Pastoral Bible Institute and a member of the editorial board of that churches The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom magazine.
Find additional reading:
Troubled Years 1916-1918
A Bible Study Investigation into Our Relationship to God and into “the Time of the End”
A People for His Name: A History of Jehovah’s Witnesses …
Introduction – Biblical Truth Seekers
- Looking at older articles series over Russell on the previous Bible-scholar Association
- Around C.T.Russell
- Charles Taze Russell and what he started
- Russell himself never claimed to be a prophet.
- Russell and his beliefs
- Charles Taze Russell never claimed to have found a new religion, or a new church.
- Biblestudents & T.C.Russell
- A visible organisation on earth
- Different approach in organisation of services #1
- Different approach in organisation of services #2
- Different approach in organisation of services #3
- Suprising figures about Jehovah Witnesses
- Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news