Historic Reflections by Bro. P. Blackman
This article represents the first in a series compiled with a view to providing some insight into the early development of the reformation group now known as ‘Truth For The Final Generation.’
After twenty-three years, it is difficult, yet possible, to have an accurate representation of the events which led to the calling of this movement. In the contributions which are to follow this overview, an attempt will be made to provide much detail in an effort to create a living picture of the very significant events which impacted the Kingdom of God and all those who were involved.
There was a Prophetic Awakening in the churches in Barbados in the mid 1970’s. There was great interest in the end time prophecies. Elliot Douglin, a medical doctor, was the foremost teacher visiting many Adventist churches conducting what was known as a ‘Week of Prophecy.’ Indeed, many churches benefited, including Government Hill, Greens and Charles Rowe Bridge, to name a few. As the study of prophecy continued, it led to a new discovery in the word of God. This new message, familiarly known as ‘The Character of God Message’, brought new revelations to those who were longing for a new experience. But with every new revelation come challenges and opposition, and so this was no different.
The initial insight into this message came from the writings of Ellen White, which gave a new understanding of some biblical occurrences. This in turn led to more intensive study of God’s word. The teaching of the prophetic and character messages continued wherever there was interest and opportunity.
Around 1981 a copy of the book ‘Behold your God’ written by F.T. Wright was received, which helped in our understanding of the message. I saw this book ‘Behold Your God’ at Bro. Douglin’s Appleby Gardens residence in early 1982. I noted the address and wrote to Destiny Press in Australia.
Bro. Wright sent me 4 copies of the book ‘Behold Your God’, instructing me that I should order any additional books I needed from Mr. Leroy St. Clair in California, USA . Thus, during the period 1982 – 1987, I imported almost two thousand books and distributed them both to those who had an interest and those who worshipped with us at Farley Hill and later, Battaleys.
As we studied the messages given by the 1888 messengers Jones and Waggoner, our hearts were thrilled, and we rejoiced further when we saw in their presentations the message on God’s character. Also imported were the General Conference bulletins in which were wonderful presentations from many of those imbued with truth. Indeed, among them were Haskell and Prescott.
The most intense period of agitation and opposition came from 1981- 1991, reaching a peak between mid 1983 and October 1984 when there was a decision taken primarily against Dr. Douglin, the leading proponent of the message, and secondarily, against all those who accepted the truth concerning the Character of God message.
However, before October 20th 1984 when the first meeting was held at Farley Hill National Park and during the late months of 1982 and October 1984, many of us met for study of the message on Friday nights. Indeed, we communicated with each other throughout the week. These meetings were held at Bro. Douglin’s home. After October 19th , study groups were formed in some parishes .In some groups, studies were held on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday nights. Some groups met for two nights per week.
( To be continued)