Death Aboard a Train, Bible Studies, and the Texas Panhandle
It's interesting what you find when you go digging through history in the Texas panhandle. It seems like every time I decide to go looking for an interesting story from "back in the day," our slice of planet Earth doesn't disappoint.
Today, a friend of mine sent a link to me of a post regarding the death of a man on a train in the Texas panhandle in 1916. The train had left Pampa, and was headed northeast.
The man of interest to us that was on board died from cystitis; a bladder infection. He was 64 years old.
He was a preacher, and had been in our area on a ministerial tour. He was traveling across the mid and southwestern states.
Before this, he was a prolific speaker and writer on theological topics. He even founded a religious movement called the Bible Student movement.
When it came to writing, he wrote approximately 50,000 printed pages worth of material in books, articles, sermons, tracts, and pamphlets. 20 million copies of a six volume series he wrote and published would be distributed worldwide.
His death caused a rift among those who belonged to the society built on his teachings. This rift would give rise to a religious group we are all very familiar with.
The society was called the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. The man was Charles Taze Russell, or Pastor Russell as he was called.
The group that we're all familiar with that formed after his death? That would be the Jehovah's Witnesses. You may be familiar with the tracts, and pamphlets they distribute. Or, you may be familiar with their magazine, The Watchtower.