Christadelphian slavery supporter predicted that Christ would return in 1866

The founder of the Christadelphian
religion opposed the freeing of
black African slaves in the US
In Matthew 7:24 Christ exhorted his followers in a parable that described the wisdom of building a house on a foundation of rock and not on a foundation of sand.

The Christadelphian house is a religion constructed on the foundation of the teachings of Dr John Thomas; a medical doctor who lived in various parts of the United States prior to the American Civil War. These teachings were the result of a long period of sixteen years in which he evolved and changed his interpretation of the Bible until he arrived at an explanation that he thought was the truth.

There is no reliable way in which we can test much of the accuracy of Thomas's interpretation of Scripture. If he is wrong we will never know because we will stay in our graves until the end of the Universe and never be resurrected. If he is right we will be raised to the judgement seat of Christ and some will be rewarded, while Atheists like me will be given a hard time.

However some aspects of Dr Thomas's ability to interpret the Bible can be tested by considering his success at interpreting Bible prophecy with regard to events that are now in the past. The nature of the man's character can also be assessed through a consideration of the way that he wrote and the moral judgements that he made.

I propose to test both of these things by quoting two different writings of Dr John Thomas for your consideration.

Christ will return - in 1866
Did Christ return in 1866
as predicted by John Thomas?

Dr Thomas's inability to correctly interpret scripture can be demonstrate by the following glaring mistake in the "Apostolic Advocate" magazine that he edited. I quote Volume 1 (1834) where he predicted the return of Christ in 1866:

"There is a part of prophetic time, upon the heels of which, our race is now treading, called “the time of the end”—“a time of trouble,” says the Messenger of God, “such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” Dan. 12:1. This short space of time is called by Isaiah “the day of vengeance.” It begins at the end of 1260 years from the rise of Mohammed, or from a few years before, at the institution of the politico ecclesiastical tyranny of the papacy. If the 1260 years begins with the rise of Mohammed it will end A.D. 1866, but if, from the latter date, A.D. 1847. From the year 47 or 66 of this century, or between these data, or at least, very soon after the latter, this, “time of the end” begins."
"The Everlasting Nigger"

This was a phrase of contempt used by defenders of slavery prior to the American Civil War who opposed the freeing of the Negro Slaves in the Sothern States of America. Black people were thought by them to be lazy and stupid and that this condition would never change because they were sub-human, like animals. Therefore they used the term "The Everlasting Nigger" of their African slaves.

When Dr John Thomas lived in Richmond Virginia he is known to have purchased and owned four negro slaves.

Christadelphian founder John Thomas would
have purchased his black African slaves
at a market like this
The following quotation is from a much longer letter written by Thomas to the first editor of the Christadelphian magazine, Robert Roberts. It can be viewed in full by clicking here.

It shows slave owner Christadelphian founder Thomas using the derogatory term "The everlasting nigger" when condemning other religious groups to his own, who were agitating for the emancipation and freeing of black slaves in the Southern States.

It continues to ridicule and condemn those who were "the loudest brawlers for negro freedom." 


West Hoboken, Hudson Co., N. Jersey,
Dec. 11, 1865
"Dear Bro. Roberts,

Grace, mercy, and peace from the Father Deity, and His Son Jesus Anointed, our Elder Brother, High Priest, and Lord: and may He soon come for our deliverance from this present evil world, and the machinations of all knaves and hypocrites, in which it abounds greatly......................................
African Christadelphians are following
a religion founded by someone who
called them "the everlasting nigger"

We have a great many speculators in the faith on this side the Atlantic. Mere theorists, who are a sort of amalgam made up of a little Storrism, a little Adventism, a little Campbellism, .......... and “the everlasting nigger” are the prolific “head-centres.” ..................................Thus, the loudest brawlers for negro freedom have proved themselves the most savage of tyrants; ..............................................

But I must conclude, wishing you and all the faithful with you all spiritual blessings in Christ; and that he may come soon and find us watching and prepared is the earnest prayer of
Yours faithfully,

I leave it to my readers judgement to decide if the Christadelphian house is built on a rock foundation of reliable Biblical interpretation and admirable moral integrity, or if it is resting on the work of a misguided, empty headed Bible hustler fantasising about the return of Christ while his home was serviced by black human beings shipped from Africa in appalling conditions, purchased at the local slave market, without pay, rights or human dignity to please their Christadelphian founder owner who mocked those who wanted them freed.


  1. In just a few sentences, we see that John Thomas,far from being "called out" or having a "better" understanding of scripture, was just a man of his time, caught up in the politics of his time.

    He mocks both the enslaved, and in his eyes, inferior black people, and in the same sentence other Christian denominations. Society was in the process of changing, and throwing off notions of acceptability of slavery and racial superiority. Society moves on, and religion follows it, not the other way round. Thomas was digging his heels in and going backwards, whilst at the same time, Roberts was earning a living from phrenology, a pseudo-science that was also a backward step, and was to be used for decades to perpetuate white superiority myths.
    Such is the foundation of Christadelphianism.

    The black African "Christadelphians" have almost certainly not read the so called "pioneer works" of Thomas and Roberts. Even to a well educated, native English speaking graduate, with the correct cultural background to be informed, such as myself, The writings of these two are confused and obscure, not to mention littered with error either historically present or exposed by the passage of time.
    The less well educated will not realise that their white CBM masters in the UK, enjoy free state healthcare, regardless of wealth, free state provided school education for all children from the age of 3 to 19, free state provided housing for those unable or unwilling to work, and payments of up to $25,000/yr for those unable to work. Meanwhile they hold these African "Brethren" on a leash, like the chap in the picture, threatening to pull their school fees and $5 funeral payments if they don't do as they are told.

    1. This may give you an idea of how mean the wealthy UK Christadelphians are when it comes to their black African Christadelphian subjects:

      From the CBM website:

      "Malawi starving"

      "We have about 5,000 members in Malawi and 900 in Mozambique, most of whom will have been affected by the crisis. So far we have sent £17,000 and this is being distributed in areas of particular need."

      - Do the maths: 5,900 Christadelphians in Malawi and Mozambique "most" of whom were starving and the CBM sent them seventeen thousand pounds between the lot of them, which equates to two pounds eighty eight pence or US$3.60 each. :)

      What would have happened if those black Africans had been born with white skin instead of black? I can assure you that they would have received very substantially more than US$3.60 each.

      Mbalanga Francis told us that the CBM pay US$5.00 for a Christadelphian funeral in Africa and the CBM tell us on their website that they pay US$3.60 if black African Christadelphians are starving.

      The white Christadelphian CBM (Cheque Book Mission) in the UK are purchasing their black converts at a bargain price. For less than ten dollars each they can feed and bury thousands of them. :)


    "we came across a group of pastors who were, so say, digging up evil objects in people’s gardens to get rid of demons, and charging for the privilege. They all have huge cars and huge houses, and are known to be totally corrupt, but nobody dares gainsay them – fear is a huge weapon and when you have no better knowledge, then you will always be persuaded by your pastor that what he says is true. He obviously knows God better than you do and you just dare not risk not doing what he says. It is really quite terrible to hear how people are totally taken in by the whole scandal, and absolutely ripped off. Their pay is what they can extort from their congregations, so it is obviously in their interests to say that the more the people give, the more they will be blessed!"

    As a response to the above quote, I'm considering taking a set of photographs of the $500,000 houses with $80,000 cars on the drives, of the homes of the Christadelphians that I know of. They will of course be annonymous, the purpose being to help the African brethren see how they might fit in to the Ecclesial lives of these people.
    Please post here if you would like me to do that.

    1. This seems a fair critique of any kind of prosperity gospel (whether in the western world or in the third world).

      Surely the difference in the UK Christadelphian case is that they are (almost) all earning a salary from other work, not from their interpretation of the Bible? Their work may or may not be consistent with their professed beliefs, but at least it is not using those beliefs as a source of income.


    "Our first stop en route was at a place called Kigumba, some few miles east of Masindi. Here there was a brother who had got some students together, and so we stopped for a night to meet them and to encourage him. We had a good time with them, and many of them have asked for the correspondence course. Our initial impressions were sadly dented, however, when they asked for what were obviously inflated transport costs, but we still hope and pray that their interest will be proved to be genuine".

    Non-native English speakers might no realise just how patronising the CBM website actually is. They consider Africans to be dishonest and corrupt from the outset, whose main object is to take money of their white superiors.
    You must be mad to let them treat you like this.


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