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Who are the "true" davidians, are they the shepherds rod or ???

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Thank you for your answer....I have no problem in diversity or fellowshipping with others who may not believe as I do, but I am careful as to who the teacher is.


Thank you, again! =)

Sir James


While I am not exactly sure who you are refering to.  I suspect that you are referring to the "House of David" which are ofte called "Davidians."  If so, than they are quite different group from the "Shepherd's Rod" group. 


As I recall, the "House of David," or "Davidians," started out in southwestern Michigan, in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area, just west of Andrews University.  The last I heard, this sect had for the most part died out.  The last I heard was that there were only a half dozen or so elderly ladies and one old man still alive and I'm sure that they have passed away since that time.


This group believed that you had to be born into their group, they did not seek or even in some cases, even allow outsiders to join.  So, naturally, they would die out as some other beleifs they held greatly limited the number of children who were born.


Anyhow, that is what I remember of them, I use to live not very many miles from their compound.  A computer search might bring up more information, I don't know.  But, the ones I met of this group were very much like the Amish or Menninite people in dress and life style.  Wonderful people and very industrious, but not well informed.


Maranatha :)





thank you you for the clarification on the davidians, i now know the davidians are of a different group than of the shepherds rod. if i recall, alex made mentioned that the shepherds rod are davidians as well.


sir james



Here is the history of the "House of David," Benton Harbor, MI that I was referring to.  It has nothing to do with the Shepherd's Rod.  That is another group.  As to whether they used the name: "Davidian," in their name, I am not aware.


Israelite House of David
Church of the New Eve, Body of Christ

1902 at Fostoria, Ohio, Mary and Benjamin's last means of transportation during a 7 year sojourn on the road as itinerant preachers.

Founded at Fostoria, Ohio, 1902, by Mary & Benjamin Purnell;
relocated in 1903, by inspirational direction, to
Benton Harbor, Michigan;
reorganized by Mary Purnell, 1930, as today's:

Mary Purnell 1912, an accidental picture that became the emblem of her authority to govern the House of David after her husband's death in 1927.

Mary's City of David



In the Spring of 1902, Mary and Benjamin Purnell had found a temporary home and resting place in Fostoria, Ohio, after 7 years on the road as itinerant preachers. Here they would found the nucleus of the Seventh Church at the Latter-Day, the Israelite House of David, Church of the New Eve, Body of Christ, and finish the printing of their 780 page manuscript, of 7 years in writing,

The Star of Bethlehem, The Living Roll of Life.

By inspiration, Mary Purnell was given the actual home base for the newborn church to be at Benton Harbor, Michigan. In the Spring of 1903, a small party of Charles Norris, John Schneider, Cora and Paul Mooney, Mary, Benjamin and Coy Purnell journeyed from Fostoria to Benton Harbor, arriving on Saint Patrick's Day. Silas Mooney had been sent ahead to procure properties for housing and open ground for raising food, and to meet with the heads of the local circle of believers, the Louis and Albert Baushke families and a party of nine in Benton Harbor. The Baushke family being prominent citizens and carriage makers by trade, built in their down town Benton Harbor factory, America's first automobile of their own design.

By 1910 the Star of Bethlehem was in its third edition, had circulated around the world to the churches/followers of the former six Israelite messengers, and had gathered into the fast growing Israelite House of David community over 700 people.Israelite House of David Co-Founders: Ben and Mary Purnell

Eden Springs Park was in its second extra ordinarily successful season on its way to become America's premiere pre-Disney, theme park; the House of David schools would provide education and recreational activities for its children that would soon develop into legendary barn storming base ball teams, "Jesus Boys", and traveling jazz bands that would catch the attention of America in sweeping nationwide vaudeville circuit tours throughout the 1920s. By the mid 1930s, and in spite of world wide economic depression, the Israelite House of David and its reorganization, Mary's City of David, would come to dominate southwestern Michigan's economy, tourism and agricultural industries.

Mary's City of David harvest crew, Rocky farm, September,1940.

As today's third oldest practicing Christian community in America, we welcome you to browse/study/enjoy your way through the pages of our rather unique and extraordinary record; you will find there are many facets and interests upon many levels within the pages. And should you want more information (as this format is only a brief), we welcome you to look at our literature selections at the end of our Gift shop page; contact us by mail, email or phone; and please visit our "Living History" experience of Mary's City of David Museum and Tours (open June through the end of September each year) for an in depth look at the innumerable details of 100 years in progress with roots back to post-Elizabethan England, and Jane Lead's Philadelphian Society.

Within this history you will see that the Israelite House of David and its reorganization, Mary's City of David, over the century, has touched the lives of most of the local population, and also has had its significant effects upon American culture.



I went on the internet again and verified that indeed the Shepherd's Rod did incorporate the name Davidian into their title.


The Shepherd's Rod

The Shepherd's Rod movement as it is popularly known was derived from a series of Biblical Studies presented to the Seventh-Day Adventist church by Victor Houteff in 1930.

He published the first part of his message in a book entitled The Shepherd's Rod Volume 1 in 1930, and a 2nd, The Shepherd's Rod Volume 2 in 1932. In subsequent years he was able to publish The Shepherd's Rod Series. Read more


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Maranatha :)


Hi Ray


Not bad.


This (below) is a true summary as far as I know, but many details are unstated:


"The Shepherd's Rod movement as it is popularly known, was derived from a series of controversial Biblical Studies presented initially in Los Angeles, California, in the 1930's by Victor Tasho Houteff, A Bulgarian Emigre, and while a Sabbath School Teacher in a Los Angeles local Seventh-day Adventist church.

Victor Tasho Houteff was born in Raicovo, Bulgaria, March 2, 1885, and became a member of the Greek Orthodox Church before emigrating to the United States in 1907. In 1919, while running a small hotel in the mid-west, he joined the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination.

Church. By 1923, Bro. Houteff relocated to Los Angeles, California, where he became a respected and popular church member and Sabbath School Teacher. His lessons revealed new and startling expositions of countless Biblical passages. While not contradicting the church's fundamental doctrines, he called for a world-wide denominational reform, and brought "new light" to SDA eschatology. Those new teachings subsequently brought a wave of persecution to believers who were convinced of its veracity and that it was divinely inspired truth. Its theological positions posed a gargantuan challenge to SDA clergy and laity. Its explications and exegeses were so compelling that even some high ranking officials embraced the message.

In 1930 Bro Houteff published his first Volume, entitled, "The Shepherd's Rod, Volume 1". He published a 2nd (Shepherd's Rod, Volume II) in 1932. This of course did not stop the persecution. In fact, it intensified. This brought on a series of confrontations involving believers being verbally and physically abused. Church leaders numerous times and with varying methods, attempted unsuccessfully to stamp out the fledgling movement.

Finding no other recourse, Rod believers organized the Universal Publishing Association in 1934, in Los Angeles, California. In 1935 he established a training center, and Headquarters in Waco, Texas, where for about 20 years the ministry catapulted the message to Adventists world-wide. It published and dispensed millions of pieces of literature, initiated and employed hundreds of workers, all the while building an expansive institution with 389 acres - with crop farming, houses, horses, goats, a dairy farm, orchards, and an apiary. It had its own water supply, dispensary, mercantile, chapel and Bible Training School. Up to 125 persons resided at the Center--mostly staff and their families. By the mid 1950's its regular subscribers numbered about 100,000 worldwide. The Denomination numbering just over 800,000. It was during this period that "Rod" believers became known as Davidian Seventh-day Adventists.

On February 5, 1955, Victor Houteff died at Hillcrest Hospital, Waco, Texas of heart failure. His wife was elected the Chairman of the Executive Council, but through a series of unfortunate and ill-advised decisions and predictions, plunged the movement into disrepute, especially when the new Council forecasted the establishment of the Kingdom in April 22, 1959. This debacle became known as the "knock-out blow" and subsequently caused the movement to fragment, and the Association dissolved.

Since that time, orthodox believers have reorganized endeavoring to carry the original, untainted, message to the SDA denomination in harmony with Bro. Houteff's original writings. Believers still number in the thousands, but continue to face stiff opposition from the Church's hierarchy--believers still battle unrelenting prejudice and persecution. Furthermore, they have to confront radical and fanatical elements who start their own groups and introduce strained and contradictory teachings, completely out of harmony with the Bible, the teachings of the church and Victor Houteff's message."





Yes, the devil has been busy to confuse the whole matter yet, if anyone is interested in the "original" scanned and reprinted materials, contact me., or dial toll free 866 801-0707, or fax 877 557-0707.


Know for yourself.  God has promised each one individual assistance.  Take Him at His word and investigate (yes read), for yourself.  Heaven or hell is before us all, and we may now choose.


Fear not, but choose well.


Take Care



Hi James & Ray


Notwithstanding, the people up in Michigan, one believing the Shepherd's Rod message (as I do), will call himself a Davidian Seventh Day Adventist.


It is that simple.


Take Care




thank you very much for the clarifications, this would be helpful in my studying more about the davidians and shepherds rod messages and their movements.


sir james


I know it's been a while since this post, but thank you for it.  :D

here is a research paper on the subject.

What is so wrong with the truth. The Srod is a group of people that are not afraid to accept the WHOLE truth of scripture and the SOP and are willing to pass on the light of truth to those that have the heart and mind to listen and obey the teachings of truth. Be. Houteff was the other half of the prophecy of Zech. 4.


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