Branch Davidian Timeline





What follows is a brief timeline covering the history of the group in the years leading up to the raid in 1993

1918: BULGARIAN IMMIGRANT VICTOR HOUTEFF JOINS A 7TH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH IN ILLINOIS

1934: AFTER A DISPUTE OVER THE INTERPRETATION OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION, HOUTEFF FORMS HIS OWN RELIGIOUS GROUP

1935: HOUTEFF MOVES TO WACO, ESTABLISHING THE ORIGINAL COMMUNE ON 189 ACRES IN AREA OF WHAT IS NOW VANGUARD SCHOOL

1940: THE GROUP HAS 64 RESIDENTS AND HOLDINGS INCREASE TO 377 ACRES

1942: HOUTEFF CHANGES THE GROUP’S NAME TO DAVIDIAN SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS

1955: HOUTEFF DIES AND IS SUCCEEDED BY HIS WIFE, FLORENCE. AT ITS PEAK, DAVIDIANS NUMBER 20,000 TO 30,000 WORLDWIDE

1955: FLORENCE HOUTEFF SENDS OUT A MESSAGE THAT THE EXPECTED KINGDOM WOULD BE ESTABLISHED ON APRIL 22, 1959. HUNDREDS OF FOLLOWERS DISPOSED OF THEIR PROPERTY AND BUSINESSES AND MOVED TO THE COMMUNE.

1957: WACO BUYS CULT'S PROPERTY FOR $700,000 (IT'S NOW A RESIDENTIAL AREA); THE CULT BUYS PROPERTY 10 MILES EAST OF WACO.

MAY 5, 1959: ONLY 450 MEMBERS REMAIN AT THE COMPOUND AND ARE SPLIT AGAIN WITH THE LARGEST GROUP FOLLOWING RIVAL LEADER BEN RODEN WHO CHANGED THE NAME TO BRANCH DAVIDIANS.

1978: BEN RODEN DIES AND IS SUCCEEDED BY HIS WIFE LOIS

1984: DAVIDIANS ARE TORN BETWEEN LOIS RODEN'S SON, GEORGE, AND VERNON HOWELL

1985: A HOWELL-RODEN RIVALRY CULMINATES IN HOWELL'S GROUP BEING FORCED OFF THE PROPERTY AT GUNPOINT.

1986: LOIS RODEN DIES.

1987: HOWELL AND SEVEN MEN ENGAGE IN A GUN BATTLE AT THE PROPERTY, NOW CALLED MT. CARMEL, AGAINST GEORGE RODEN.

NOVEMBER 1987: HOWELL AND THE SEVEN ASSOCIATES ARE CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER.

1988: THE SEVEN ASSOCIATES ARE FOUND INNOCENT AND A MISTRIAL IS DECLARED IN THE CASE AGAINST HOWELL. CHARGES ARE DISMISSED.

1989: RODEN IS CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF A 56 –YEAR-OLD ODESSA MAN.

DECEMBER 1990: RODEN IS FOUND NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY AND SENT TO VERNON STATE HOSPITAL.

FEB. 28, 1993: FEDERAL AGENTS TRY TO SERVE ARREST AND SEARCH WARRANTS ON HOWELL (WHO NOW CALLS HIMSELF DAVID KORESH)




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