walkitout (walkitout) wrote,


A while ago, I was trying to find out what denomination Presidents belonged to (I had this sense they were all Episcopalian except for JFK, but I knew that had to be wrong and I was trying to correct it). Along the way, I stumbled across this:


That was a bit of a shocker. Ike raised by a group that would later be called JWs? JWs mining the relationship (via mum)? Whoa. I took an extremely brief look at the "River Brethren" which is/was the official story. Extremely brief. As in, I failed to notice they were Anabaptist. D'oh.

In reading Dyck's _An Introduction to Mennonite History_, I stumbled across a section on the Brethren Church/Dunkards/River Brethren and I Remembered Ike's Mom. Holy Moly. Another Mennonite become JW.


If I didn't know several people who went from JW to LDS, it would have taken me weeks to recover. As it was, my exploded brain cells reassembled themselves efficiently and I was moving right along again within 24 hours.

In the meantime, however, I'm wondering about Charles Taze Russell. I know there is massive overlap between JW eschatology and Seventh-Day Adventist eschatology (and I understand there was extensive interaction between adventist groups and Russell early on). I'm a lot less clear on Mennonite/JW connection, but thinking that the River Brethren (with their emphasis on immersion) are a likely candidate. Russell being in Pennsylvania presents a target rich environment for Mennonites of all flavors as well. Initial googling doesn't turn anything up, but with this topic area, it never seems to.

ETA: It took a while, but while I've got nothing on the Mennonite/Russell theory, I _do_ have something connecting Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to Russell: the Emphatic Diaglott (Wilson was connected to Stone-Campbell until he decided to co-found another group). This isn't significant to anyone but me; my Repeatedly Religious G'ma had extended family in Stone-Campbell/Disciples of Christ then married a guy who was raised Mennonite then converted to JW. A connection between religion #1 and religion #3 is personally satisfying.

I was also interested to stumble across indications that pre-White adventists were mostly anti-trinitarian.
Tags: genealogy, religion

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.