Thursday, April 19, 2018

ZWT and the YMCA

Zion’s Watch Tower soon found a readership outside the obvious Age to Come and Adventist connections. In 1881 it found a regular home in a YMCA library. The cutting below (from the Buffalo Morning Express of April 9, 1881) listed what readers would find in their free reading room. It was an eclectic mix. Any library that included the British satirical publication Punch (or the London Charivari) – one of the few joys I remember from dry history lessons at school – had to accommodate wide tastes of the day. One such taste was Zion’s Watch Tower. Look down the graphic and see it listed in the Monthlies available to all, not just YMCA members.

The dalliance with Zion’s Watch Tower was probably short lived.  Later that year concerns were expressed about the paper, although the reasons given were interesting. It wasn’t doctrine or the herald of Christ’s presence that concerned the YMCA, but rather the paper’s (quote) “opposition to church organization.” From the Buffalo Evening News for October 11, 1882.

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