At the Captain’s Table

INTERESTING people, good food, and enjoyable conversation make a meal at the captain’s table aboard ship a delight. But a discussion at the table of Captain Robert G. Smith, of the White Star Line, shed light on a spiritual banquet.​—Isaiah 25:6.

In 1894, at the age of 24, Robert took command of the sailing ship Kinclune of Dundee to make his first round-the-world voyage. Later he skippered White Star ships, such as the Cedric, the Cevic, and the Runic. * While crossing the Atlantic from New York to Liverpool, England, on one of these ships, Robert was host at the captain’s table to Charles Taze Russell. The conversation with Russell sparked Robert’s interest in the Bible message, and to help him learn more, he gladly obtained from Russell copies of Studies in the Scriptures.

Russell kept in touch by letter, and as a result, Robert’s interest in the Bible message grew. Robert shared his newfound knowledge with his wife. It was not long before both of them became active Bible Students, as Jehovah’s Witnesses were then known. Robert later had the privilege of presenting Bible discourses. In Brisbane, Australia, for example, he spoke on “The Balm of Gilead” and showed how God’s Word contains a message that is an “antidote for all earthly woes.” Back in England, his wife and young children helped in presenting the “Photo-Drama of Creation,” playing the recordings of Russell’s commentary as the slides were shown.

Robert passed on to his children the heritage of Kingdom truth that he had received. Today, five generations later, 18 family members busily share the good news with others, grateful for what was served at the captain’s table.

Through their publications and their Bible educational work, Jehovah’s Witnesses are helping people worldwide to learn the Bible message that intrigued Captain Smith. You too can find out what proved to be so interesting at the captain’s table.


^ par. 3 A sister ship, the Titanic, was commanded by Captain E. J. Smith (no relation) on its disastrous maiden voyage.

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Robert G. Smith

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Charles T. Russell