F.S. Cherry church 1886 founding year doubtful.

According to various sources the founding date of the Church of the Living God Pillar and Ground of the Truth was 1886 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  There is no evidence this is true. There is no record of the church nor Prophet F. S. Cherry in Tennessee at anytime.

8. Landing, Black Judaism, 340 The founding date of 1886 is according to Cherry’s own account.  Landing and others point out that this date is probably fabricated in order to usurp the Church of God and Saints of Christ’s claims to be the first black Jewish group. The Church of God and Saints of Christ was established in 1896 in Kansas, but settled in Philadelphia and then Virginia.  See Elly M. Wynia, Church of God and Saints of Christ: The rise of Black Jews, Cults and Nonconventional Religious Groups.

Further disproving this date is Cherry’s birth year. When speaking with U.S. census takers in 1920, 1930, and 1940 he stated his birth year was 1875. That means he would have been 11 years old in 1886.


11 thoughts on “F.S. Cherry church 1886 founding year doubtful.

  1. Prophet F S Cherry never stated he was born in 1875. That assumption was made by census officials. If he was deceased on Feb 11, 1963, at age 95, then calculating backward the actual estimated year of birth would be 1868. This would make him at least 18 years old in 1886. Joseph, son of Jacob(Israel) was sold into Egypt at age 17. The prophet Daniel delivered Susanna by service as her lawyer at age 17. David slew Goliath at age 17. Furthermore, he never maintained that it was he who opened the doors of the Church. God IS A SPIRIT AND, THEY THAT WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. It is written, “The just shall live by faith”. The foundation of the American Government is established upon the TEN COMMANDMENTS in the book called BIBLE. This is the reason the American prison system contains so many “African American” males.


    Liz Cherry

    • Good Morning Elizabeth: Thank you so much for your reply. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful summer weather!

      According to the census Frank S. Cherry stated that his birthdate was 1875, this is something that can not be entered by a census taker on their own volition, that would defeat the purpose of gathering age data. The purpose of the census was to track the age of the population, movement,’racial’ make up and other factors.

      We are left with a different scenario if we are to believe he was 95 years old when he died. First it would mean that he lied to census takers for 40 years by telling them he was born in 1875 when he was actually born in 1868. Or he was actually telling the truth for 40 years of census and later claimed to be born earlier for other reasons.

      As far as establishing the church in Tennessee, there is no evidence I’ve found thus far that verifies this claim. The information I know of is the oral information that circulates around the church that it was established in 1886 on East 9th Street in Chattanooga TN. Again, there are no documents to verify this claim. If a physical address is given I think it’s safe to assume that an actual church existed. Again there is not documentation available to verify this at this point.

      Additionally, it was claimed that the church was moved to Philadelphia in the early 1900s. So far according to the census Frank S. Cherry lived @ 2134 w. Nicholas St starting around 1915-20. that would mean the church would have been in existence about 30 years. It wasn’t for another 30 years in 1951 that the church was purchased according to public records.

      This timeline is inconsistent and presents problems for an objective observer. If we are to examine the time period and other organisations and the cultural environment during that time perhaps we can find the motivations for dating the the church founding to 1886.(please see my research on Prophet William S. Saunders)

      America is not a Judeo Christian nation founded on the bible. The Ten Commandments, the first four deal with not worshiping other gods, making graven images, etc. are not the basis for laws in the US Constitution. There are actually 613 commandments with commandments to kill the offenders if they are broken. You are commanded to kill unruly teenagers, sabbath day workers, adulterers etc. This is not part of American Jurisprudence.

      Thanks again for responding I look forward to your feedback ~shelton

  2. Dear Brother Henderson:

    Welcome to the United Church of God – Chattanooga, Tennessee congregation

    We observe the seventh-day Sabbath and God’s Holy Days as revealed in the Bible. The mission of the Church is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God in all the world, make disciples in all nations and care for those disciples.

    The above statement was obtained by going to the following web site chattanooga.ucg.org. I actually had the address to the Church of God on East 9th St in Chattanooga TN. I wrote to them but, I never received a response. Why don’t you contact the above indicated church to find out if they know of F.S. Cherry?


    Elizabeth L Cherry

  3. Census takes used to get dates of birth and places of birth wrong all the time. It’s very possible that they were wrong — though 3 censuses in a row would be highly unusual. People also give their wrong dates of birth. That is more probable. There is Frank Cherry born in 1866 in Georgia. If someone knows the names of Cherry’s parents, that would confirm it. https://familysearch.org/search/record/results?count=20&query=%2Bgivenname%3Asam~%20%2Bsurname%3ACHERRY~%20%2Bbirth_place%3Avirginia%20%2Bbirth_year%3A1845-1860~

    • Very unusual for 3 presumably different census takers to get the same date incorrect from the same man I agree that is highly unlikely!

      Frank Cherry gave his birthdate as 1875 which conflicts with his age at his death, which is published as 95 years old.

      If he was born in 1875 it means he was actually 88.

      If he was born 1866 it would have made him 97.

      People give incorrect birth dates I agree but I keep in mind the times and it is and was illegal to lie to the census workers.

      Forty years of reporting to the census he consistently gave his birth date as 1875 so I gonna assume he was telling the truth. This being true casts doubts on his claims and pronouncements.

  4. We all know cherry started that lie, if you want to know the truth come to Pittsburgh PA, and look up Chuch of the Living God Pilllar and Ground of the Truth.

  5. Back then there were no Birth Certificates, it was all done by Rumor, or it was written in the family Bible, so many Black People were unaware of their actual Birth-date because of this fact, and to keep it 100 no one actually knows their own birth-date, we only know what we were told or what was recorded, and no one even knows if that is true only the biological parents who were there at the time the baby was born and the witnesses truly know!

    • Mr Cherry decade after decade affirmed his birth year as 1875 via the US Census…that means he lied about his age.

      • Prophet told us that he was introduced to the church so there was a man there before Him I believe the name was Prince Allen.

      • He told whom?

        Prince Allen? Do you have any written evidence of this person. Nowhere in my research has this name been mentioned.

        What year did he introduce FS Cherry to the church?

        Where did this happen?

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