Chapter one considers Russell family antecedents and C. T. Russell’s childhood with some reference to his business ventures. We draw heavily on Russell’s accounts as scattered through the pages of the Watch Tower and Convention Reports, public and church records.
Chapter two takes us into his meeting with Wendell, Stetson and others. We provide extensive biographies of Wendell and Stetson and more brief notices of others Russell met between 1869 and 1874. We define the difference between Age-to-Come (One Faith) belief and Adventism and explore which most influenced Russell’s associates. Among those we profile and whose interactions with Russell and his associates we explore are George Darby Clowes, John T. Ongley, and George W. Cherry. We explore Stetson’s shift from Adventism to One Faith belief. Photos of the hall Wendell first spoke in and the one in which Russell met him and copies of newspaper notices and similar matters illustrate this chapter
Chapter three considers interaction with Storrs. We present an extensive biography of Storrs, emphasizing his shift from Millerite Adventism to Age-to-Come belief. This discussion is drawn from contemporary records. We also consider the Russells interactions with Eleazer L. Owen, Seventh-day Adventists and Christadelphians. We detail the history of the One Faith congregation that grew out of Wendell’s visit. We consider claims made about Russell’s view of William Miller and his connections to other, non-Adventist millenarians.
Chapter four considers the formation of the Bible Class, following the trail of their doctrinal development and connecting it to contemporary persons and articles. We discuss in some detail William Conley’s background, his connections to Peters and others, and his doctrinal differences with Russell. We leave the history of their separation and Conley’s shift to faith-cure advocacy to volume two.
Russell describes their doctrinal development several times. Combining his various statements we outline the salient points as: 1. End of the age; 2. Second Probation; 3. Ransom and Atonement; 4. Parousia and Restitution; 5. Restoration of the Jews; 6. World Burning; 7. Baptism; 8. Resurrection; 9. End-times chronology and prophetic framework; 10. The Trinity; 11. Devil and Demons; 12. Great Pyramid, and 13. Other doctrines including congregation “ordinances.” We connect their study to contemporary events, discussions and articles in journals we know they read or tracts by people they knew.
Chapter five considers Russell’s introduction to the Barbourite movement. It profiles the principals and discusses his meeting with Barbour in Philadelphia and his meeting with Paton in Pittsburgh. There is some newspaper documentation of Barbour’s activity in Philadelphia. This chapter presents a thorough biography of Paton and biographies of those most prominent among Herald of the Morning readers: Benjamin Wallace Keith; Samuel Howe Withington; Ira and Lizzie (Elizabeth) Allen; Avis M. Hamlin. It ends with a consideration of the social milieu and Russell’s commitment to the work.
Chapter six considers in detail Barbour and Russell’s ministry up to the spring of 1878. We explore newspaper articles detailing their first missionary trip. We discuss their publishing ministry and some new doctrinal developments. They abandoned belief in an earthly heaven in mid 1877, causing some considerable controversy. We look at reactions to their ministry both from Adventists and from One Faith believers, quoting from articles appearing in their journals.
Chapter seven considers their ministry’s fruitage. We profile some who were prominent in the following years. These include Caleb Davies; William Imre Mann; Joshua Tavender; John Corbin Sunderlin; and Arthur Prince Adams. We draw on private letters, church records and contemporary newspaper articles.
Chapter eight considers the atonement controversy and separation. This exists as notes only.
We plan an additional chapter considering Barbour and Russell’s households, their wives and other connections. This may be inserted between chapters six and seven. An appendix on Russell’s supposed Masonic connections is ready. A second appendix considering Russell’s preaching with evangelists connected to The Restitution is partially complete.
A rough page count of volume one is 380 pages. That will change with edits.