TESTIMONY OF A FORMER JEHOVAHS WITNESS by Ted Crisp Roland Gruel, now 83 years old, first
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
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
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.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank