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First Christadelphian Fraternal Gathering

Initially the emerging Christadelphian movement gained most growth in Britain to the extent that prior to his death the founder John Thomas planned to move across. In fact he died in March 1871 before this was completed, but had bought the house in Olton, Warwickshire, five miles from Birmingham, that can be seen in this picture in preparation for the move.

This is a picture of the first recorded fraternal meeting held by the Christadelphians in a marquee set up in the grounds of his empty house. It is a unique moment between the last days of his life and the events that were to lead to it becoming a fully structured denomination.

The men in this picture were to have the job of taking over where he left off and the picture of unity seen here was to be replaced by intense fracture as they disputed over the need for a codified belief system, the degree to which it should be done, the beliefs considered essential and its organisation.






Christadelphian Quotes

You lay a great stress upon facts throughout your letters, and are incessant in your demand that I should attend to them. This is good; but facts have to be rightly put together, and then you must have all the facts. I do not think you put the facts rightly together, and you leave out some, I am sure.

(Robert Roberts, a Christadelphian Pioneer, quoted

by Ruth McHaffie in Brethren Indeed)

The Spirit of liberty, based upon the law of faith, is the Spirit of Christ; and this spirit all the Sons of God are privileged to possess, and having it, to breathe. I claim the right of exercising this privilege, as well as my contemporaries; and I require of them that they should do to me as once they loudly required others to do to them…

(written by John Thomas, the founder of the Christadelphians, when he was against creeds in 

The Apostolic Advocate magazine, August 1836)

(John Thomas, from Apostacy Unveiled, p. 137,

quoted in The Christadelphian Magazine, January 1906)

Must a man never progress? If he discovers an error in his premises, must he for ever hold to it for the sake of consistency? May such a calamity never befall me! Rather let me change every day, till I get right at last.

(from a letter written by John Thomas in 1848, quoted by Robert Roberts, in Dr. Thomas: His Life and Work)

Do what is right; be valiant for the Truth; teach it without compromise, and all lovers of the Truth will approve you. For all others you need not care a rush!

(from a letter written by John Thomas to Robert Roberts and published in The Christadelphian magazine, February 1866)