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As the original Davidian group gained members, its leadership moved the church to a hilltop several miles east of Waco, Texas, which they named Mount Carmel, after a mountain in Israel mentioned in Joshua in the Bible's Old Testament.A few years later, they moved again to a much larger site east of the city.Howell and his group relocated to Palestine, Texas.from the Davidian cemetery and had challenged Howell to a resurrection contest to prove who was the rightful heir to the leadership.In 1984, a meeting led to a division of the group, with Howell leading one faction (calling themselves the Davidian Branch Davidians) and George Roden leading the competing faction.After this split, George Roden ran Howell and his followers off Mount Carmel.Sheriff Harwell got Howell on the phone and told him to stop shooting and surrender.Howell and his companions, dubbed the "Rodenville Eight" by the media, were tried for attempted murder on April 12, 1988; seven were acquitted, and the jury was hung on Howell's verdict.

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While waiting for the trial, Roden was put in jail under contempt of court charges because of his use of foul language in some court pleadings, threatening the Texas court with sexually transmitted diseases if the court ruled in favor of Howell.He promoted different doctrinal beliefs than Victor Houteff's original Davidian Seventh-day Adventist organization.On Roden's death, control fell to his wife, Lois Roden.The Branch Davidians (also known as "The Branch") is a religious group that originated in 1955 from a schism in Shepherd's Rod (Davidians) following the death of the Shepherd's Rod founder Victor Houteff.Houteff founded the Davidians based on his prophecy of an imminent apocalypse involving the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the defeat of the evil armies of "Babylon".

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