You might find this site helpful. Barbara Anderson and her husband were both at Bethel and Barbara worked with the writing committee. She has also done extensive research on Maria Russell and wrote a book. She has some insight because she interviewed relatives of Maria Russell who could give info not found from WT sources.
Was Russell "that" Faithful and Wise Servant?
I don't think anyone is the FDS.
It is wrong to build a religion around one scripture.
The Catholics use Matt 16 "Upon this rock"
JWs used Matt 24:45-47.
Who is right?
I prefer to use the John 13 Followers have love among themselves.
The bother with this argument is that the people who come later are revisionist historians. They rewrite their own history to suit their preferred present needs.
Did the Bible Students in the days of Pastor Russell believe he was the F&DS, yes.
Proclaimers Book, jv 18, p625: "Many who were sifted out at that time clung to the view that a single individual, Charles Taze Russell, was the “faithful and wise servant” foretold by Jesus at Matthew 24:45-47 (KJ), which servant would distribute spiritual food to the household of faith. Particularly following his death, The Watch Tower itself set forth this view for a number of years. In view of the prominent role that Brother Russell had played, it appeared to the Bible Students of that time that this was the case. He did not personally promote the idea, but he did acknowledge the apparent reasonableness of the arguments of those who favored it."
But now poor Bro Russell has been relegated to a John the Baptist role, a forerunner of the true faithful and discreet slave class. Says who? Why the present F&DS of course. In much the same way that they now apply more to themselves only and not to the global anointed ones. Because now they teach that the faithful slave only came into existence in 1919 C.E. (Watchtower February 2017, page 25, para 10.)
Revisionist historians. Chop and change the facts to suit themselves. And the rank and file just gobble it up.
From Wikipedia on the FDS
Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell's writings believe that he filled the office of "that faithful and wise servant," and that his great work was giving to the Household of Faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation.
In 1917, the publisher's preface to the book, The Finished Mystery, issued as a posthumous publication of Russell's writings, identified him as the "faithful and wise servant" appointed by Christ; as late as 1923, the Watch Tower repeated the same belief about his role, declaring: "We believe that all who are now rejoicing in present truth will concede that Brother Russell faithfully filled the office of special servant of the Lord; and that he was made ruler over all the Lord's goods ... Brother Russell occupied the office of that 'faithful and wise servant'."
"Thousands of the readers of Pastor Russell's writings believe that he filled the office of "that faithful and wise servant," and that his great work was giving to the Household of Faith meat in due season. His modesty and humility precluded him from openly claiming this title, but he admitted as much in private conversation." Watch Tower 1916 Dec 1 p.356
Russell continued to be considered the Faithful Slave after his death in 1916.
"THE WATCH TOWER unhesitatingly proclaims Brother Russell as "that faithful and wise servant." He delivered the message faithfully, finished his course and has now entered into his reward. Through him the Lord gave to the church the message that is so essential to each one who in this harvest time would win the glorious prize." Watch Tower 1917 Mar 1 p.67
The parable of the faithful slave is just a moral lesson about living a moral life because no one knows when Jesus will return. There are both risks and rewards to not obeying god.
no ctr, no earthly hopers and heavenly hopers, no annoited class. nada, nothing
Russell was mostly wise and faithful to himself, his public image and stature.
Ho got something much more from what he got from being a clothing store owner.
He was also faithful and devoted to his publishing company Zion's Watchtower.
Was he faithful and loyal to Jesus in his guidance and instructions for preaching his Gospel. ?
1973 is 'new light'.
The following is from Finished Mystery facts. and keep in mind, He wrote finished mystery
Despite the claims of Rutherford, the book, The Finished Mystery, was not written by Russell. The many quotes from that book about Russell were not written by Russell. The book was written by Clayton J. Woodworth and George H. Fisher under the supervision of Joseph Rutherford. Rutherford falsely claimed the author to be Charles Russell.
Since Rutherford often misrepresented Russell, I highly doubt that Rutherford's statement that "he admitted as much in private conversation" is fully accurate. The book also claimed Russell to have been a prophet, something which Russell consistently denied. It also gave authority to Russell -- such authority that Russell himself consistently refused for himself or for the Watch Tower Society as it existed while he was alive. Then it was claimed that Russell was still directing the work from beyond the veil, which, in effect, gave Rutherford and his associates the authority they were attributing to Russell. All of this was a prelude to the setting up of Rutherford's "Jehovah's visible organization" authoritarian dogma, which the vast majority of the Bible Students around the world rejected.
"Did the Bible Students in the days of Pastor Russell believe he was the F&DS, yes."
I will say that this was the prevailing view. From Russell's standpoint, he never assumed any authority to tell anyone they had to believe such or to reject such an idea. From the standpoint of Russell and the Watch Tower Society as it existed while he was alive, it was an individual matter, and thus while many Bible Students did believe he was "the faithful and wise servant," not all the Bible Students agreed with this. The same is still true among the Bible Students today.
To me, the ideas presented about the faithful and wise servant being alleged as being identified as a certain person, or a certain group of persons, is not what Jesus was referring to. There is nothing in his parable that says that he was speaking of appointing a certain person or group in the end of the age to who is supposed to be some sole channel of dispensing truth. My own study concerning the four servants may be found at:
Great comments. Thanks!