Charles Taze Russell


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founder in 1881 of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, the forerunner of the organization now popularly known as Jehovah's Witnesses (q.v.). A draper in Pennsylvania, he was active in the Congregational Church before he encountered Adventism. He came to reject the doctrine of eternal punishment, to believe that the Second Coming of Christ had taken place in 1874, and to expect the end of the world in 1914. His publications attracted others who regarded him as their Pastor, though he was never ordained. He began publishing the magazine Zion's Watch Tower in 1879. Under his presidency the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (as it was renamed in 1896) developed into a flourishing business, despite his involvement in various scandals.

Subjects: Christianity.

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