home missionary

Layman's Home Missionary Movement

The Layman's Home Missionary Movement, founded by Paul S. L. Johnson in 1919, is a non-sectarian, interdenominational religious organisation that arose as an independent offshoot of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society after the death its founder, Charles Taze Russell. It is active in many countries including Poland and the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and various parts of Africa.

Early history

in 1917 a disagreement arose between the members of the Editorial Committee of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (a bible student movement founded by Charles Taze Russell) over Russell's arrangements for the Editorial Committee outlined in his Last Will and Testament,

This caused the Society to splinter into many groups with over 20% of the Bible students leaving the WTBTS to form other independent groups including the Elijah Voice Society, The Pastoral Bible Institute (PBI) and others. The Layman's Home Missionary Movement (LHMM) was formed by 3 former directors, Paul S L Johnson, Raymond G Jolly and Robert Hirsch, of the PBI after the majority decided to have the board rule the institute. The name had been used by Pastor Russell in the early (International Bible Students Association). This group still functions and is active in over 50 countries.


After the death of Pastor Johnson in 1950, Raymond G. Jolly led the movement, but there were quickly disagreements with other members :

  • John Krewson of Fort Myers, Florida. He was disfellowshipped in 1955 and formed the Laodicean Home Missionary Movement in Philadelphia.
  • John Hoefle of Mount Dora, Florida, had left the Watchtower Society to join Johnson in 1928, and was disfellowshipped in 1956. He formed his own group, the Epiphany Bible Students Association. He died in 1980 and his wife continued his work.


Executive Trustees

Paul S. L. Johnson (1920 –1950) graduated from Capital University of Columbus Ohio with high honors, and also from the Theological Seminary of the Ohio Synod of the Lutheran Church. Pastor Johnson was a Greek and Hebrew scholar, which in a very special way gave him the skills necessary to understand the Bible from the original languages. A doctrine taught in the seminary was that of eternal torment. He came to believe that a God of perfect Wisdom, Justice, Power and Love, would not, could not, punish His enemies forever. He adopted the view that Bible teaching is that the punishment for sin is death, not eternal torment.

Raymond G. Jolly (1950 – 1979) graduated from Bloomsburg State College with high honors. He studied theology and the classics at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania. He served in the Presbyterian Church, but later left to promote the Gospel from a non-sectarian standpoint, serving as a Pilgrim under both Russell and Johnson. He assumed the office of Executive after the demise of the latter until his own death, Feb. 14, 1979.

August Gohlke , a special helper under Raymond Jolly was appointed as Executive Trustee in 1979, and served until his death in 1985, greatly expanding the public work, including a radio broadcast ministry that covered large parts of the United States.

Bernard W. Hedman was the Editor of The Bible Standard Magazine from 1985 until his death in 2004; he also served as Executive Trustee and Director of the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement, further expanding the work as well as republishing some of their existing publications that had been exhausted.

Ralph M. Herzig was elected as Executive Trustee and Director of the Laymen’s Home Missionary Movement in 2004, and assumes the office of General Editor of The Bible Standard and Present Truth magazines as well as overseeing the Pilgrim service, which among other things serves as a speakers bureau serving its many congregations and tendering evangelistic service to outside groups and individuals on request.


Currently, the LHMM publishes the six-volumes series Studies in the Scriptures, written by Charles Taze Russell in the 1880s (see External links section).

It also publishes and makes available to the public the 17-volume set written by Professor Paul S.L. Johnson, Epiphany Studies in the Scriptures, as well as two magazines, the bi-monthly The Bible Standard and the quarterly The Present Truth.

External links

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