John Wroe was born in the village of Bowling, near Bradford, in 1782, and was baptised in the Parish church at Bowling on 8th December, 1782. He was the son of a worsted manufacturer and farmer. After a rather scanty education, he entered his father's business for a time, but later took a farm on his own account. John Wroe married Mary Appleby on 22nd April, 1816 at Bradford parish church and they had the following children:
- Joseph Wroe born in 1816 at Bradford married Mary Day and died in 1890 at Leeds, Yorkshire.
- Susannah Wroe born in 1818 at Ossett, Yorkshire married Francis/John Wilson. This couple had no children.
- Appleby Wroe born 1820 at Bradford, Yorkshire and died 14th March, 1834 at Wakefield, Yorkshire.
- Mary Wroe born in 1823 at Bradford, Yorkshire and died 27th March, 1824 at Bradford, Yorkshire.
- Benjamin Appleby Asriel Wroe born in 1826, Yorkshire, married Mary Ann Deane, he died in 1860 at Gravesend, Kent.
- Yohanan Wroe born in January, 1830 in Yorkshire and died in February, 1830 in Yorkshire.
- Sarai Wroe born in 1831 at Sandal, Yorkshire, married Joseph Teale, and she died 9th April, 1909 at Alverthorpe, Yorkshire.
In 1819 John Wroe was afflicted with a very acute fever and his life was considered to be in serious danger by two doctors who attended him. Considering his recovery was very improbable, he became seriously concerned about his Spiritual welfare and expressed a wish for a minister to come and pray with him. Although his wife sent for four Church ministers, in turn, each refused his request. His wife then asked if she should send for the minister of the established church at Bradford, but as it was getting late, John requested her to read a few chapters of the Bible to him, but he received little comfort at that time. After a while he gradually recovered his bodily health, but his distress of mind continued, and it is on record that he "wrestled with God" day and night for some months.
A short time later John Wroe started having visions or trances, which were usually preceded by his being struck blind and dumb. After one of these visions, he remained blind for six days. During these periods, many remarkable events were foreshadowed and revealed to him.
He was then directed by the Spirit to relinquish his worldly employment and he became wholly engaged in the "Work of the Ministry", extending his travels and public speaking, and taking with him a few of his supporters to act as writers and generally assist him. John was subjected to persecution and derision, in certain quarters, often with major threat to his person.
Scripture does tell us that the spirit of prophecy was not to be entirely restricted to the Prophets of old or to the days of the Apostles, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams" Joel 2:28,29.
He journeyed over many parts of Europe including Gibralter, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland and Wales. In addition to these earlier travels, he later travelled many times to the United States of America, Australia.
In many of his travels his message was well received and bodies of members were established from time to time.
During his last visit to Australia in 1863, John Wroe died in Melbourne at the age of 81 leaving the Church affairs in the hands of Trustees. During his lifetime he frequently impressed upon his hearers not to follow John Wroe as something more than a man - for he was but human - but to follow the Spirit, of which he was merely a mouthpiece.
Built for John Wroe by Christian Israelite Church members during the 1850's - the mansion is located in Wakefield, Yorkshire.
Further reading on this topic:
Visit www.cichurchhistory.com for all history related information relating to the Christian Israelite Church.