TESTIMONY OF A FORMER JEHOVAHS WITNESS by Ted Crisp Roland Gruel, now 83 years old, first

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TESTIMONY OF A FORMER JEHOVAHS WITNESS by Ted Crisp Roland Gruel, now 83 years old, first came in contact with the Jehovahs Witnesses in 1925. His father, a farmer, boarded a young girl whose entire family was Jehovahs Witnesses. Her brother soon married into Rolands family. From this union, Roland was encouraged to read Pastor Russells books and attend a Bible study the Witnesses conducted in the town of Frankentrost, Michigan. Consequently, he accepted their doctrines. He was baptized in 1931, the year the Watchtower Societys name was changed from International Bible Students to Jehovahs Witnesses. At this time Roland had a well-paying job at Baker Perkins in Saginaw. However, he felt an overwhelming fear that many people would perish in the fires of Armageddon and decided to go into full time door-to-door work. Being handy with tools he built a trailer home and moved south to minister in 1933. Life was hard and money scarce. He made only pennies on the books they sold. In 1953 Rolands wife passed away, and he began losing his sight. This forced him to move back home to Saginaw. He was still able to maintain full-time Pioneer status (over 100 hours per month in door-to-door work). Roland was driven by the belief that the more active he was in door-to-door work, the better his chances were of surviving Armageddon. Roland said he made some enemies in the Watchtower organization and was disfellowshipped in 1958 for spurious reasons. When he left the Witnesses, he lost all his friends. To this day they are not officially allowed to speak to him. Roland said that the "judicial hearing" in which he was disfellowshipped reminded him of the Spanish Inquisition - "It was simply horrible." Through all this, Roland has come to realize that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is not of God and teaches questionable doctrine. It is also interesting to note that Roland was considered to be one of the 144,000 mentioned in the book of Revelation (the only ones going to heaven, according to Jehovahs Witnesses). He personally met Judge Rutherford, the second president of the Watchtower Society, and was a personal friend of Burt Schroder, a high ranking official in the organization today. After 30 years in the Watchtower Society, Roland found himself physically, financially and emotionally depleted. He left to work through his feelings of isolation, hurt, rejection and fear. Currently, Rick Dill and I are spending times of encouragement with Roland while sharing the Good News with him. Please pray for Roland and his wife that they may find a Bible-believing church where their hearts can be lifted up and made whole.

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