New developments have been reported in the world headquarters of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. Headquarters, known as the new Mt. Carmel Center, is located east of Waco near Elk.
The developments include:
1. A questionnaire which sounds out professional, religious and monetary standings.
2. Plans are underway to construct 10 large barracks-type buildings.
3. A small group of Davidians is making plans “for the establishment of God’s Kingdom in Jerusalem.”
4. Daily worship services at the center have been reduced from three to one.
The printed questionnaire, dated May 4, was distributed at a closed-to-the-public meeting earlier this week.
It asks persons to give their trade or profession as well as “yes” or “no” answers to the following statements:
1. Without any reservation I am in harmony with Mt. Carmel’s programs and the Executive Council.
2. I am not in harmony with Mt. Carmel’s program and the Executive Council.
3. I am willing to pay my own expenses and work for nothing as long as I am able.
4. I am not able to pay my own expenses but am willing to work for my immediate necessities.
The series of three meetings daily has been discontinued and only one session a day — an evening worship service — is being held.
An “all-out effort” is being made toward the construction of 10 large barracks-type buildings at the center. Davidian leaders announced plans for construction of the buildings Sunday at the first open meeting in 10 days. They said the buildings are being erected to house thousands of additional people who will flock to the center “in the near future.”
While the Davidians are waiting for what they call “events to come” and building, a splinter group of the organization known as The Branch is making definite plans “for the establishment of God’s Kingdom in Jerusalem.”
At least 20 members are making plans to go to Israel next month to “make way for the others who are to come.”
Arrangements as to when they will depart and how they will travel have not been completed. Advance preparations, however, have already been made.
Benjamin L. Roden of Odessa, leader of The Branch, returned from Israel recently after making arrangements as to where his followers will live once they go to Israel.
“We’ve located a vegetarian village, Naphtali, in the northern part of Israel,” Roden said. “The people there have expressed interest in our movement and have asked us to be a part of their village. It should prove a most satisfactory arrangement.”
Members of The Branch have the same basic beliefs as the Davidians except they feel the Davidians are expecting the prophesied Biblical events to occur one year too soon. They believe the events will occur in the spring of 1960, not soon after April 22, 1959, as the main group of Davidians believes.