The House of David

The House of David

Book - 2007
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Book News
Benton Harbor, Michigan, a thriving summer resort at the time, may not sound like the ideal place to found paradise, but it certainly suited itinerant preacher Benjamin Purnell and his wife Mary. They founded a religious colony there which grew to over a thousand members, many of whom were skilled in entertainment and architecture. Purnell became exceedingly rich as adherents signed over their possessions and soon his investments, such as the colony's amusement park paid off in hundreds of thousands in attendance annually. The colony boasted hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, private islands, mansions, factories and miniature railroads. Siriano, founder of the House of David museum, has compiled hundreds of fascinating images, including many of the colony's famous bearded baseball team and orchestras, tracing the growth of what soon became one of the biggest faith-based enterprises in America. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Arcadia Publishing
In 1903, Benjamin Purnell, a long-haired, bearded itinerant preacher, arrived in Benton Harbor. He and his wife, Mary, stepped out of their covered

preacher's wagon, and gazing across a thriving summer resort, they saw their long-awaited paradise. Acquiring this paradise, they established a religious

colony called the House of David, which grew to over 1,000 members from around the world, with phenomenal talents in music, sports, entertainment, and architecture. A pre-Disneyland-type amusement park was constructed, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. As the colony's leader, the very charismatic and convincing Purnell called himself a brother to Jesus, and members flocked in, handing over their homes, wealth, and worldly possessions for the promise of everlasting life, creating huge wealth. Soon they built exquisite mansions, hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, factories, and miniature railroads. Holdings included diamond and gold mines, an island in Lake Michigan, thousands of acres of farmland, an Australian resort, an art studio, orchestras, vaudeville acts, a famous bearded baseball team, and more. This book will take readers on the fascinating journey of the House of David.

Publisher: Charleston, SC : Arcadia Pub., c2007
ISBN: 9780738550824
Branch Call Number: 977.411 Si78h
Characteristics: 127 p. : chiefly ill. ; 24 cm


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