The real 1st President of the Watch Tower - Not Russell

by Amazing 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Amazing

    Like a number of you, I have known for years that Chuck Russell was NOT the first president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania ... which was first founded before any other Watchtower corporation.

    Who have been the Presidents and when:

    1. William Henry Conely (the con man) - Feb 1881 to Dec. 1884 is the first president (Chuck Russell was Sec.-Treasurer)

    2. Chuck Russell - Dec 1884 to Oct 1916

    3. Joey Rutherford - Jan 1917 to Jan 1942

    4. Nathan Knorr - Jan 1942 to June 1977

    5. Freddy Franz - June 1977 to Dec 1992

    6. Milton Henchel - Dec 1992 to Oct 2000

    7. Don Adams - Oct 2000 to present (first non-Anointed)

    I wrote to Don Adams to appeal the issue of crime being committed in the congregation of which I was a member ... I had turned in a child molester to the authorities ... the response to was to have their legal department Disassociate me ... hence the law suits ... hence the Society paid out to the victims ...

    I will be posting my final story on in the near future ... and then you will know the rest of the story.

    Simply Amazing


  • Chalam


    Expect a post from C.T. Russell soon ;)

    I think he is involved in coffee and not miracle wheat though these days!

    All the best,


  • cabasilas

    According to the last posts in this thread, Conley -- the first president of the Watch Tower ended up as part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

    Here's an interesting tidbit on Conley. In 1884, Lutheran pre-millennial writer George Peters published his magnus opus entitled "The Theocratic Kingdom" in 3 volumes. Peters referred to and refuted N.H. Barbour and C.T. Russell in several places on the idea of an invisible presence in several places. What's interesting about Conley is that Peters dedicated the third volume of his set to Conley. Apparently, the first president of the Watch Tower gave up on the idea that Christ had returned invisibly in 1874 and had gone back to the traditional view that Christ's coming is a future event. For those interested, Peter's 3 volume work can be downloaded as one file. All the places that Peters critiques Barbour and Russell are noted in this file in the bookmarks section. It can be downloaded at:

  • Amazing


    Thanks for the information ... I first heard of Conely in 2000 while at BRCI, but, not much since then. The person who mentioned him wanted the opportunity to publish the information, so I said nothing until now. However, it is fairly well known anyway by now. What you provided is some additional information that helps complete the picture and historical setting.

  • marcopolo

    WHY Russel have put him (William Henry Conely) as president ??

  • cabasilas

    My guess it was all about the money. Conley was probably a heavy contributor. By 1884, Conley was gone and apparently no longer believed in the invisible presence of Christ happening in 1874. (Barbour rejected that too, but Russell and Barbour broke fellowship over another issue.) So, with Conley gone the Society was officially chartered in 1884 with Russell as president.

  • Kenneson

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