A CONDENSED SKETCH OF DAVIDIAN HISTORY
In 1929, Victor T. Houteff, a Sabbath school teacher in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church at the time, began to expound a series of Bible studies based on the denomination's Sabbath school quarterly of Isaiah 54-66. He shared these studies with his class on Sabbath mornings and afternoons when requested. Though he was teaching nothing contrary to the denomination as far as the conclusion was concerned, he encountered bitter and determined opposition from the very outset. In the course of time, he documented these and a few other studies and compiled them into a book entitled "The Shepherd's Rod Volume One."
Prior to completing the book and taking it to the publishers,
he typed the first 172 pages and distributed thirty-three copies to the leading brethren
of the General Conference at its session in June, 1930. He pleaded with them to
investigate the contents of the book and to share their findings with him along with any
errors they may discover as soon as possible. The recipients verbally agreed to do so
either in person or by letter. In this way he presented a formal request to the General
Conference to investigate his teachings.
Sadly, the General Conference did not respond. Prior to
completing and publishing the book, Bro. Houteff made two additional appeals to his local
conference as to the progress of their investigation and intentions. This was answered
only by complete silence. While awaiting a response from the General Conference, the local
conference took it upon themselves to disfellowship Bro. Houteff on
It took nearly four years for the General Conference to consent to give him a hearing. In the interval between the publishing of the book and the G.C. hearing, members of the church who were brave enough to study his message for themselves were convinced of its truthfulness. Among the brethren who accepted his message were high-ranking, well-respected leaders in the denomination. The result was that they were disfellowshipped from the church, and in many cases physically assaulted in an attempt to bar them from entering. In other cases, those who were somehow able to enter the churches were physically ejected from the premises, though causing no disturbance of any kind.
After the above-mentioned abuses, the long-awaited hearing
was held on
After being cast out of the churches by the leading brethren
even before a hearing was granted and a decision was made, the Davidian movement was
officially organized on
For twenty years, the movement worked diligently to build and complete "The Camp", or Headquarters. The "camp" consisted of various departments designed to facilitate a Bible training school, accommodations to care for the sick, aged, orphaned and unfortunate and school for the children who accepted the message. By 1942, the organization became officially known as "The Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association", and in 1943 the governmental principles of the Association were listed and explained in "The Leviticus of the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists."
In November, 1955, Sis. Houteff set the date of
From the very inception of the Davidian message, the goal of its adherents has been to share its contents with every church member freely and allow him to exercise the gift of religious liberty to decide for or against it. The Davidians have never voluntarily forfeited their church membership or their privilege to attend the S.D.A church. On the contrary, the message teaches that our duty is to remain on the inside and call for the reformation predicted in the Spirit of Prophecy (see C.O.R. p.121; Testimonies for the Church Vol. 8 pp. 250, 251). In fact, the message emphatically states that the Davidians must remain in the church no less than eleven times throughout its published literature.
Realizing the importance of the "camp" with its
various departments, and its role in taking the message to the church, the call was
sounded to re-establish it in 1994 in a rural location in