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George Storrs
posted 5/20/01 11:09 AM     Click here to send email to George Storrs  
Any material relating to Jonas Wendell is very difficult to find, thus I have very little Wendell material available.

Jonas also had a brother named Rufus, who also authored "religious" materials, but again, little is known.

The following Letters were originally provided by Note the dates, locations, magazine affiliations, plus biogaphical info on George W. Stetson.


NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 1, 1854. NO. 3.

From J. Wendell.

Edinboro, Penn, Janurary 18, 1854.

Br. Storrs:

The light of "life, only through Christ," is spreading in these parts, though not without opposition. The other evening I preached on the subject and, after I close, a Methodist minister arose and spoke in defense of their "traditions," and closed by saying we made man like the beast. I remarked, in reply, that we did not make man like the beast, but God declares he is so; and then quoted Ec 3:18,20; Ps 49:20. Thus, while God declares man to be "like the beasts that perish," you correct the Almighty, and say man is like God. Where is your authority? Where your proof from the Bible? I admit you have, in the Bible, one proof text for your position, and only one, viz: Ge 3:4-5. But I reject your witness; he stands impeached by all the other witnesses, as well as by direct testimony, that he is a liar from the beginning. The discussion lasted till near midnight. I then told him I should be happy to meet him at any time, and discuss the question, but he would not agree to meet me. It has created quite an interest, and I am invited in every direction to come and preach the word of life --all new places. I have been here but a few weeks, and the traveling has been bad --no sleighing nor wagoning; consequently, I have remained near home; but the prospect seems fair for doing good, but the blessing of God, which I pray may rest upon all our efforts. Amen.



April 23, 1873

Bro. Grant:

Since closing my labors with the N.Y.S. Mission Tent last fall, my labor has been with the church in this place, and in an adjoining county. During the winter we had Bro. G.W. Stetson of Ohio with us in a protracted effort for four weeks, which resulted, we humbly trust, in much good; the church was revived, and wanderers were induced to return. To God be all the glory. Amen.

The church in Edinboro numbers something over 100 members, but they are scattered over a territory of several miles, and for a few years have had no pastor, but only occasionally a sermon --they had become scattered as sheep without a shepherd. At the close of our protracted meetings, Bro. Stetson was invited by the church to take the pastoral charge of the same, which he consented to do from May 1 next. May God bless pastor and church is my prayer. Amen.

Should my life and health continue, I shall (if the Lord will) after May 1 go 'into the regions beyond,' and proclaim in the ears of this doomed world the swift judgment of God and give to the household 'meat in due season.'

Jonas Wendell

This electronic version is fully protected by U.S. Copyright Law, and I would ask that neither you nor your visitors make any copies of this article, without first obtaining the same permission which I received from the copyright holder shown in the Copyright Notice included with the article below.

(C) Copyright 2001. Wetosa Computer Services, Inc. All rights reserved. No use of this electronic text may be made in whole or in part without the expressed permission of WCS, Inc. License will be considered for non-commercial educational usage. Please direct all inquiries to:

George Storrs
posted 5/20/01 11:44 AM     Click here to send email to George Storrs  
The following excerpt is taken from a Nevada, Ohio history website.

This article shows that Jonas Wendell was active in organizing Advent Christian Churches outside the Allegheny/Pittsburgh area, during the late 1860s. This excerpt also mentions George Stetson.

Advent Christian Church.

-This church was organized February 18, 1867, in the early part of the winter of which year Elder Jonas Wendell, of Pennsylvania, and Elder D. R. Mansfield and wife, of Michigan, came to Nevada [Ohio] and conducted a series of meetings in the Lutheran Church building, as a result of which there was an extensive revival, and the above-named ministers assisted by Elder King effected an organization. Elder King was the prime mover in securing the services of the clergyman referred to, and had prepared the field for their effective work by having previously promulgated the doctrines of the Advent denomination to quite an extent throughout the vicinity. By his influence and that of others the services of the able Dr. G. W. Stetson, as pastor, were subsequently secured. Prominent among the -original members were H. A. King, Henry Welty, Martin Bacon, Catharine McJuncken, Rebecca McJuncken, Martha Young, Cornelius McLaughlin, Benjamin Hopp, C. P. Hopp, Mary A. Hopp, R. M. Stewart, Truman Daily, George Benedict and Andrew Benedict. The first and present church building was erected in 1869, and was dedicated in October of the same year. The edifice is made of brick, and cost when completed and furnished $11,000. It is located within Antrim Township on lots two and three, of Petrey's Addition, and is 40x7O feet in size. Elder H. G. McCulloch was the first pastor engaged and remained with the church about one year; his brother, Elder Eusebius McCulloch was next called and was retained eleven years; Elder J. W. Hobbs, of New York began his pastorate November 20, 1881, and has continued to the present time [1884]. The church has suffered some by the removal of many of its members to other parts of the country. During the pastorate of Elder E. McCulloch, Elder Miles Grant, a prominent Adventist Evangelist, of Boston, Mass., came to Nevada and assisted in a series of meetings in which the church experienced quite a revival. In 1883, the ladies of the church organized a " home mission society"

George Storrs
posted 5/20/01 12:16 AM     Click here to send email to George Storrs  
To fully understand Wendell's and Stetson's place in history, one must have a basic understanding of the history of the Adventist Movement. The following article is taken from the online version of Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia.

This article provides a so-so summary of the various branches of the Second Adventist Movement, which resulted from the Millerite Movement of the 1830/40s.

This includes the "Advent Christian Church" (Jonas Wendell and George Stetson), the "Life and Advent Union" (George Storrs), and the "Church of God of Abrahamic Faith (Benjamin Wilson).


ADVENTISTS, members of a number of related Protestant denominations that stress the doctrine of the imminent second coming of Christ. Adventism received its clearest definition and most earnest support under the leadership of an American Baptist preacher, William Miller. Miller and his followers, known initially as Millerites, proclaimed that the second coming would occur between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. The failure of this prediction was called the First Disappointment, and many left the movement. Following this, a second date-Oct. 22, 1844-was set, and many Adventists disposed of their property in anticipation of the event. The movement was widely ridiculed after the day passed uneventfully. Thereafter many Adventists lost faith and returned to their former churches. Those remaining split into four main bodies, which still continue to flourish.

Seventh-day Adventists.

By far the largest group is the Seventh-day Adventists, with more than 3.3 million members worldwide in 1980. The church originated between 1844 and 1855 under the leadership of three American Millerites, Joseph Bates (1792-1872) and James (1821-81) and Ellen White (1827-1915), but was not formally organized until 1863. Two tenets are prominent in the church's theology: belief in the visible, personal second coming of Christ at an early but indefinite date and the observance of Saturday as the Sabbath. Members accept the Bible as their sole religious authority, placing special trust in the literal interpretation of prophetic passages. They hold that grace alone is sufficient for salvation; they administer baptism by immersion and practice foot washing in connection with observance of the Lord's Supper. Seventh-day Adventists expect the eventual destruction of the wicked and everlasting life for the just, including the living and the resurrected dead, at the second coming of Christ. In their social life, approved recreation replaces entertainments such as dancing and theatergoing. The denomination has a comprehensive program for youth. Holding that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, Seventh-day Adventists put great stress on health and avoid eating meat and using narcotics and stimulants. They maintain more than 360 hospitals and clinics around the world. The denomination also conducts missionary, educational, and philanthropic programs supported by a voluntary system of tithing (contributing a tenth of one's income) and by freewill offerings. Church activists are maintained in all parts of the world, and denominational publications are printed in 197 languages and dialects. The church conducts one of the largest school systems of any Protestant denomination.

Other Adventist Churches.

The Advent Christian Church, first known as the Advent Christian Association and then the Advent Christian Conference, began in 1854 to withdraw gradually from the American Millenial Association, primarily because of a growing dispute over the question of immortality. First organized in 1860 in Salem, Mass., the Advent Christian Church preached a doctrine of "conditional immortality," according to which the dead remain in an unconscious state until the resurrection, which would take place at the second coming after the millennium. The church observes the sacraments of baptism by immersion and the Lord's Supper. Although organized into regional and central groups (the central group is the Advent Christian General Conference of America), each church governs itself independently. According to recent statistics, membership in the U.S. and Canada neared 30,000. The church supports missionary work in Mexico, Malaysia, Japan, India, and the Philippines; it founded Aurora College in Aurora, Ill., the Berkshire Christian College in Lenox, Mass., and two publishing houses. In 1964 the Life and Advent Union, founded in 1848, merged with the Advent Christian Church.

The Church of God (Abrahamic Faith) developed from several smaller groups of similar faith (some dating from 1800); some of them had organized in 1888 under the name Church of God in Christ Jesus. The churches, however, did not function as a unit until 1921, when a national conference was established and the name Church of God of the Abrahamic Faith was adopted. The corporate name is Church of God General Conference (Oregon, Ill.). Acceptance of the Bible as the supreme standard of the faith results in a literal interpretation of the biblical references to the kingdom of God; the premillennial coming of Christ, the belief that the return of Christ will precede the millennial kingdom of God predicted in Rev. 20:1-6, is central. The members maintain that the dead are merely asleep; at the time of the second coming the righteous will be resurrected on earth and the wicked will be finally destroyed. Acceptance of these doctrines, repentance, and purification through baptism by immersion are requirements for admission to the church. The individual churches are autonomous; recent figures indicate 9500 members. Missionary work is carried on in India, Mexico, and the Philippines.

The Primitive Advent Church is a recent offshoot of the Advent Christian Church; it has about 600 members, all in West Virginia, and its aim is to recover the principles and thought of early Adventism.  

Bruce posted 5/19/02 8:39 PM    
Jonas Wendell died sometime near 1874. He and his brother Rufus were very active Second Adventists. (The name was derived from the Advent Christian periodical "The World's Crisis and Second Advent Messenger.") Jonas Wendell was converted to Adventism through the work of Lucie Maria Hersey (later Stoddard). [Isaac Welcome: History, page 305] Some of Wendell's activities can be traced through brief notices in The World's Crisis.
Jonas Wendell and George Stetson were close friends, traveling together from time to time. When Wendell moved from Edinboro PA to Allegheny in 1870, Stetson visited him there, and eventually moved there himself. Stetson lived in Allegheny all of 1872 and into early 1873. In 1873 Wendell convinced him to move to Edinboro and pastor the Advent Christian Church there. Stetson and W. H. Conley (d. 1897) were close friends. Conley's provided a meeting place for the first Allegheny congregation, and Conley was a member of the early Bible study group. [ZWT June 11, 1894 (extra edition)]
Jonas wrote a booklet entitled: The Present Truth: Or, Meat in Due Season. Published in 1870 just before his move to Allegheny, it promoted the visible coming of Christ, asserting Jesus' return was due in 1873/4.
Rufus Wendell was a close associate of George Storrs. (The photo of Rufus Wendell in the Jenks Memorial Collection is republished in C. E. Hewitt's "Midnight and Morning.") Rufus Wendell was for a short period editor of "The World's Crisis." Hewitt says his "life only in Christ views compounded with a forthright conviction that Christians should bear arms had rendered him persona non grata in that office." Rufus was chosen vice-president of the Life and Advent Union, serving under Storrs, who was president. He active in promoting that organization's magazine. Wendell and Storrs both left the Life and Advent Union, abandoning its peculiar views.
They both returned to the Advent Christian ministry. Storrs was replaced as pastor in Albany, New York, by Wendell after Storrs moved to Brooklyn. Wendell was a scholar and able debater, especially effective in debates on the state of the dead. In later life he contributed to the first edition of Young's concordance, and his name appears on the title page of the first edition. He also published Farrar's Life of Christ. That work appealed to Adventists because of Farrar's teaching on the state of the dead. Wendell also published two editions of the Bible, a New Testament, and later the full Bible as a comparative version showing what was different in and what was common to the Authorized Version and the English Revised Version of 1881. He authored a book entitled "The Speeches of the New Testament." Rufus Wendell's publications are scarce to very rare, usually available only in libraries.
George Arthur Stetson II posted 8/7/02 11:03 AM     Click here to send email to George Arthur Stetson II  
The George Washington Stetson of whom you write is my great great grandfather.
I'd be very interested of learning whatever possible of his life and works.
I sit beneath a large oil portrait of the man and have a number of his personal books (which he read, not which he wrote) on my shelves.
Thank you, G. Arthur Stetson
Karl Wagner posted 8/12/02 1:33 AM     Click here to send email to Karl Wagner  
I am very interested in working out the connection C. T. Russell had with the Advent Christian Church. What I've found has been very helpful. I'm a Seventh-day Adventist. I've put together a flow chart of various Adventist groups coming out of the 1844 Millerite Movement. It's been four years now and I'm updating it and making corrections. I'm still not sure in how I should show the WTS in relation to the Advent Christian Church. Are the JWs an offshoot of the Advent Christian church or did they just have an influence on CTR who formed it? Was CTR a member of the Advent church? I understand that Barbour's group which joined with him when he orgin. the WTS had about 100 former Advent Christians with him when in 1879. This seems like the "smoking gun" that the WTS is an offshoot of the Advent Christian church. Any comments?
I would much appreciate the input.

[This message has been edited on 01/27/2003]
Kelly posted 1/24/03 9:36 AM    
From a Yorkshire, New York history:

The Advent Church of Yorkshire, at Yorkshire Corners, was organized with 63 members in 1868, during a revival that was held in a tent by Revs. Clinton Colgrove, William A. Fenn, and Jonas Wendell.  Mr. Colgrove, an elequent divine, and formerly of the Baptist Church, had begun preaching here in the school-house three years previously, and continued his labors with this church until 1875.  The first members of this church were Deacon Watson, Philander Cook, Victoria Wood, E. W. Earle, Anson Jones, Gertrude A. Shaver, Charles E. Reynolds, Marshall McGee, Mrs. M. Magee, J. P. Robinson, Weber L. Peirce, Mrs. W. L. Peirce, Clara Brand, William Newton, Angenette Newton, Caroline A. Wetherbee, Lettie Newton, Andrew Ely, Martha Ely, Mark Peirce, Clinton Colgrove, Lavina Hill, John Nichols, Addison Colton, Mary A. McIntosh, Mrs. C. E. Reynolds, J. M. Pomeroy, Mary E. Pomeroy, Anna Hughes, Elisha cline, George Williams, Lucy Williams, Mrs. Nelson Wade, Amanda Pomeroy, Joseph Rice, Mrs. Anna Walker, Grace Franklin, George Marsh, Delphina Marsh, Lucy Hopkins, Elarcia Colgrove, E. F. Cook, Mrs. L. V. Cook, John Case, Eliza Case, Mary Case, Alice Wade, Lelia Holman, Samantha Cook, Chauncey Rogers, Mary Peet, Mrs. Mary A. Boss, Rosa Boss, Ann Goodenough, Hannah Carpenter, Mrs. Alder Crosby, George Hitchcock, Simeon Williams, Ralston S. Burto, Mary E. Barto, Elder Jacob Blain, Lewis Bentley, and Elizabeth Hughes.  Their church edifice was erected in 1869, has sittings for 300 persons, and cost $3300.  The church has a present membership of 20, a small Sabbath-school.  No pastor.

[This message has been edited on 01/27/2003]

Sergio posted 3/7/03 9:01 AM     Click here to send email to Sergio  
To G. Arthur Stetson:
Hi! It must be thrilling to learn things about an ancestor.
Let me ask you something. Could you give us a phisical description of George Stetson? Was he fat, slim, blond, dark, shaved, bearded...?
Kim posted 5/14/03 4:46 PM     Click here to send email to Kim  
I do believe our numbers have increased in the Church of God Abrahamic Faith. You might get in touch with Anthony Buzzard to get it right. Thanks.
We have many Churches in the States and some in other countries also.

Anthony's Church
GSTORRS posted 10/18/03 1:20 PM     Click here to send email to GSTORRS  

[This message has been edited on 12/03/2003]
GSTORRS posted 12/2/03 2:55 PM     Click here to send email to GSTORRS  

[This message has been edited on 12/03/2003]
Charlott Jones posted 12/8/03 6:13 AM     Click here to send email to Charlott Jones  
I find this very interesting as both Jonas and Rufus Wendell were half brothers of my gr-gr- grandmother. I have information on their family when they were young. Also noticed mention of a photo of Rufus Wendell. Does anyone know where a copy of this for my family history might be obtained. Thank you....
Bruce posted 12/16/03 8:03 AM    
Rufus Wendell's picture is owned by the Jenks Memorial Library. Rufus Wendell contributed to the first and early editions of Young's Concordance, preparing a suplementary sections entitled "A Complete Index to Hebrew and Greek Words." I own his "working copy" in which he has enscribed his name and address.
I am very interested in the relationship of Rufus and Jonas. One contemporary source calls Rufus Jonas' nephew. Yet other sources say they were brothers.
bruce posted 1/24/04 6:25 AM    
I spotted this in The World's Crisis and Second Advent Messenger of December 22, 1869: "Personal.--We learn that Bro. Jonas Wendell has just closed a most successful debate at Antwerp, with a Methodist minister; and is to have another one at Nevada, Ohio. He is an able advocate of the doctrine of the Bible."
Sergio posted 3/1/04 11:08 AM    
Though I didn't have a reply by George Arthur Stetson, certain Bible Students got in contact with him and he sent them a portrait. If someone is interested, the picture is available at

[This message has been edited on 09/14/2006]
Charlott Jones posted 3/10/04 4:23 PM     Click here to send email to Charlott Jones  
Rufus Wendell was the nephew of Jonas Wendell. Rufus was the son of Jonas' brother Rev. John I. Wendell, a Methodist minister and his wife Nancy Diefendorf. Rufus lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the time of his death from heart trouble at the age of 70. He was married and had a son and daughter.
GSTORRS posted 3/28/04 6:27 AM     Click here to send email to GSTORRS  

[This message has been edited on 09/14/2006]
George Storrs
posted 10/17/06 2:52 AM    

Jonas Wendell was born in Minden, Montgomery County, New York, on December 25, 1815. His parents were Jacob and Magdelena [Snyder] Wendell. Like George Storrs, Wendell started out in the Methodist-Episcopal Church, but became an Adventist during the Millerite movement in the mid 1840s. Jonas Wendell also played a role in the smaller Adventist movements which predicted Christ's return in 1852, 1854, 1866-8, and finally 1873. Wendell reportedly was married to a Jane Gilmore, and had a son named Daniel.

There seems to be more to the story as to why Wendell moved from Pittsburgh to Edinboro in 1870/1; being replaced by George Stetson; and then being replaced at the Edinboro church, again by Stetson. It is possible that his alleged fall and injury may have been an "excuse". The following may also explain why Charles Taze Russell minimized the influence that Jonas Wendell had on him in 1869-70.

In May 1871, Jonas Wendell was arrested in Edinboro on the charge of fornicating with a 18-19 year female, who had come to Edinboro with Wendell from Pittsburgh. The girl had been living at Pittsburgh's "House of Refuge" prior to being released to Wendell's care. Whatever actually occurred between Wendell and the girl, Wendell was not convicted, but his reputation likely suffered; which may explain why Stetson was asked to come to take over the Edinboro church. As noted in above posts, Wendell had been known around Edinboro for many years. Such would make it seem that the authorities would not have arrested Wendell unless there was some credible evidence- although maybe insufficient to convict.

[This message has been edited on 10/17/2006]
Bruce posted 3/31/07 9:47 PM    
Can you give us the documentation on Wendell's arrest? I'd like to follow up on your post.
Joel posted 2/5/15 6:24 PM     Click here to send email to Joel  
I have primary records from the Independent Church of the Second Advent of Hartford that Rufus Wendall was travelling between Boston and Hartford to preach, starting in April, 1861. However in Sept. of 1861 resigned so that he might spend more time editing the "World's Crisis" publication.
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