The Shepherd's Rod or The Rod or the Davidians is an American offshoot of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. It was founded in 1929 by Victor Houteff, its President and Prophet. Houteff joined the Seventh-day Adventist church in 1919, but was disfellowshipped in 1930 for promoting heretical doctrines. The official organisation name was changed in 1942 to Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, but was still referred to as "The Rod" by both members and critics. The group was headquartered at a property known as the Mount Carmel Center near Waco, Texas and reached its peak in the early 1950s with thousands of adherents before splintering into various factions after Houteff's death in 1955. The name is a reference to Houteff's initial and most important publication, The Shepherd's Rod. The various groups claiming Houteff's theology continue to be known as the Shepherd's Rod and Davidians.
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