But other disappointed followers kept the movement alive, although in fragmented form.
Their activities eventually led to the formation of several sects under the broad heading of "Adventism" including the Advent Christian Church, the Life and Advent Union, the Seventh-Day Adventists, and various Second Adventist groups. After first referring to his tiny new sect as The Shepherd's Rod, Houteff and his people in 1942 incorporated and renamed themselves Davidian Seventh Day Adventists.
By such extrapolation the denomination is able to stretch its history back to the beginnings of the human family, at least in the eyes of adherents who are willing to accept such arguments.
When this expected Rapture failed to occur on time in 1878, The Herald's editor, Mr.
Barbour, came up with "new light" on this and other doctrines.
In the summer of 1876 wealthy Russell paid Barbour's way to and met with him to discuss both beliefs and finances.
The upshot was that Russell became the magazine's financial backer and was added to the masthead as an assistant editor.
He contributed articles for publication as well as monetary gifts, and Russell's small study group similarly became affiliated with Barbour's.
Russell and Barbour believed and taught that Christ's invisible return in 1874 would be followed soon afterward, in the spring of 1878 to be exact, by the Rapture, the bodily snatching away of believers to heaven.
Barbour had some arguments to offer in support of his assertions.
In particular, he came up with a basis for reinterpreting the Second Coming as an invisible event: In Benjamin Wilson's Emphatic Diaglott translation of the New Testament the word rendered 'coming' in the King James Version at Matthew , 37, 39 is translated 'presence' instead.
He called it and Herald of Christ's Presence and published its first issue with the date July, 1879.
In the beginning it had the same mailing list as The Herald of the Morning and considerable space was devoted to refuting the latter on points of disagreement, Russell having taken with him a copy of that magazine's mailing list when he resigned as assistant editor.
Perhaps as many as 50,000 followers put their trust in Miller's chronological calculations and prepared to welcome the Lord, while, as the appointed time approached, others watched nervously from a distance.