Charles Taze Russell – Fact Vs Fiction

There are numerous articles on the internet claiming to “expose” Charles Taze Russell, a prominent religious leader from the 19th century. Almost one hundred years after his death, Russell critics continue to advance disproven accusations leveled against him by those opposed to his teachings related to the Bible.


  • That while Charles Taze Russell did establish the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society he is NOT the founder of what became known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization. Mr. Russell died in 1916, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses as we know them today began in 1931.


  • That Charles Taze Russell’s biblical teachings are greatly different than those of the modern day Jehovah’s Witness organization?
  • Charles Taze Russell was NOT a freemason and that he was opposed to anything involving spiritism or the occult. Claims that Mr. Russell was a closet member of the Masonic order are so absurd that informed scholars supportive and opposed to Russell’s work do not even take them serious.
  • That the Bible Students organization under Russell’s headship did not act as a central authority over the local study groups. Pastor Russell did not stress allegiance to worldly organizations.
  • Pastor Russell did not  write The Finished Mystery as claimed by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Pastor Russell was a respected Christian Zionist, often invited to speak before orthodox Jewish groups? In addition, his views on Zionism have been hailed by the likes of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and former United Nations Ambassador, the late, Jeane Kirkpatrick.
  • That the claims of Russell haters, such as Walter Martin, have long ago been proven false?
  • That much of what Russell forecasted for the year 1914 actually came true?
  • That the works of Pastor Russell, the six volumes of the Studies in the Scriptures series remain in print today, and serve as a spiritual blessing to thousands of Christian Bible Students?



The late “Doctor” Walter Martin the author of several books including the best-selling “The Kingdom of the Cults” advanced several false rumors as established facts, when it came to the character of Charles Taze Russell. For example, according to Martin, Charles Russell lied under oath in a libel suit that he brought against a minister who had printed falsehoods about him. The truth is that Pastor Russell was NEVER indicted or convicted of perjury. Russell critics are reluctant to inform their audiences that he actually WON the case in question!


Several anti-Russell web sites even stoop so low as to claim Pastor Russell was a “child molester.” This is not only a lie; it is irresponsible to publish such claims without proof. We challenge any of Russell’s critics to produce evidence that he was ever charged, or convicted of such a crime. The supposed “victim” of this crime never made such an accusation and was supportive of Pastor Russell’s work for years after his death.

Charles Taze Russell’s marriage and divorce became a favorite topic for those wishing to discredit him. Once again when the facts are held up against the allegations it is clear that the truth is not the main objective for Russell haters. There is no evidence in the court records that any of the accusations against him by his estranged wife were proven. For example under oath Mrs. Russell took back her charge of “adultery.” In truth Pastor Russell was ahead of his time in how he treated his wife. Mariah Russell had a prominent role in the everyday work of the early Watchtower Society. She is credited with writing articles for the publication, as well as visiting Bible Student groups around the world on behalf of her husband. In spite of the discord that occurred at the end of their marriage, Russell supported his wife financially and even made provisions for her in his will.

It has been claimed by Russell critics that he once swindled his followers by getting them to invest in “Miracle Wheat.” The truth was that he was swindled in this investment, which in turn caused him to give wrong information on the investment potential of the controversial wheat. He offered in writing to reimburse any fellow Bible Students that lost money on this venture. Not one of his brethren asked for their money back!

Unlike prominent religious leaders today, Charles Taze Russell lived a life of self-sacrifice. He existed on a salary of ten dollars a month. As a young man he inherited a large sum of money from his parents. He placed every dime that he had into the ministry work. The Bible Students Organization never solicited money from followers, and sold all materials at cost, those without means were given Watchtower publications for free. In the original “Photo Drama of Creation” Pastor Russell admonished his brethren not to take money for preaching the gospel, just as it was freely given to us, we are to freely give it to others.

Another tactic used by Russell haters to discredit him, was the fact that he had no “formal” religious training. They ridicule the fact that he is called “Pastor” Russell. Now wait a minute! Is this not the same criticism used by the Pharisees in trying to discredit Jesus and his Apostles? (Acts 3:13)

Just like with any other fallible man, Charles Taze Russell was not perfect. By his own admission he made mistakes. He freely admitted that he was wrong in his expectations for the year 1914. That said, time has shown that the year 1914 was the year that the world changed for all time. Since 1914 we have clearly been in a “Time of trouble not seen since there was a nation.” (Daniel 12:1)


Some of Pastor Russell’s brethren in their appreciation for his works may have placed him on too high of a pedestal. This was never encouraged by Pastor Russell himself. In fact, he never claimed that he was the “wise and faithful servant” of (Matthew 24:45) He maintained that this was a “class” of servants. When one examines his writings, it is clear that he took the truthful doctrines from others over the centuries and pieced them together in a harmonious way, which in turn revealed the wonderful plan of God. This is something he freely admitted. He never claimed to be a prophet, only a student of prophecy!

Charles Taze Russell was a man of humility and he always acted as a “fellow servant.” When it comes to character and integrity, his morals stand up well over the test of time. He continues to be an example on how one can live a life of sacrifice and service to the Lord.

Pastor Russell in his own words


Leave A Comment