Ethos of the 12 Tribes Messianic Communities A Source Analysis


Part of 1970s Jesus Movement

Super Bowl Sunday

Elbert Eugene Spriggs, Jr.

Moved from Chattanooga to Island Pond in 1979

1984 seizure of 112 children


3,000-4,000 members living in "12 tribes"

~ 4 tribes in U.S. ~ 2 tribes in Latin America ~ 4 tribes in Europe

~ 1 tribe in Canada ~ 1 tribe in Australia

Major Beliefs

Restore church of Acts and 12 Tribes of Israel

Three Eternal Destinies

Love, Self-sacrifice, and Community

Professional Website


Strong content: Publications and testimonials

Unique and consistent Lifestyle

Their reputation is wonderful. We've never had a complaint. They are very responsive to community needs. - Leslie Lewis

Hospitable and self-sacrificing

The Bible

Primary support in their publications

. . . Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. - Eph. 5:25-27

Success? Control?

Website: Good; High

Lifestyle: Mixed; Medium

Bible: Poor; Low

Regional Success

Strengths: Internally consistent and perception management

Weakness: Limited large-scale, positive publicity

Thank You

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