By Jack Ryan
KH used by
Oe congregation and Obiyama congregation
(KUMAMOTO KUMAMOTOSHI )
is soon to be closed.
Reason ’They cannot afford to maintain KH.
Two Congregations have no loan payment, but amount of donation keep declining.
By Jack Ryan
GRAND TOTAL OF $2,194,513,000
It was announced in 2003 that the printing was to be moved to Wallkill leading to the sell-off of six named properties in Brooklyn for a total of $302,620,000.
It was announced in 2011 that the World Headquarters was to be moved to Warwick leading to a sell-off of twenty-seven named properties in Brooklyn for a total of $1,891,893,000.
It is believed that the Watchtower still owns two small (non-commercial) residential properties in Brooklyn.
Printing Moves to Wallkill
Property Price Date Sales Ledger 360 Furman Street $205,020,000 Apr 2004 Sales ledger 108 Joralemon Street $2,500,000 Apr 2005 Sales ledger 89 Hicks Street $14,000,000 Jul 2006 Sales ledger 67 Livingston Street $18,600,000 Mar 2007 Sales ledger 8-10 Clark Street $12,500,000 Apr 2007 Sales ledger Standish Hotel (169 Columbia Hts) $50,000,000 Nov 2007 Sales ledger TOTAL $302,620,000 .
World Headquarters Moves to Warwick
Property Price Date Sales Ledger 50 Orange Street $7,100,000 Dec 2011 Sales ledger 165 Columbia Heights $4,100,000 Jan 2012 Sales ledger 161 Columbia Heights $2,950,000 Mar 2012 Sales ledger 105 Willow Street $3,330,000 Apr 2012 Sales ledger 183 Columbia Heights $6,600,000 Apr 2012 Sales ledger 67 Remsen Street $3,250,000 Sep 2012 Sales ledger 34 Orange Street $2,825,000 Nov 2012 Sales ledger Bossert Hotel (98 Montague St) $81,000,000 Nov 2012 Sales ledger 200 Water St (173 & 177 Front St) $30,600,000 Mar 2013 Sales ledger 76 Willow Street $3,025,000 Jul 2013 Sales ledger 81 Prospect Street $23,000,000 Oct 2013 Sales ledger 64 Prospect St (117 Adams St) $46,000,000 Oct 2013 Sales ledger 175 Pearl Street $53,000,000 Oct 2013 Sales ledger 137 Pearl Street (77 Sands St) $54,000,000 Oct 2013 Sales ledger 107 Adams Street $64,000,000 Oct 2013 Sales ledger 124 Columbia Height (122 & 128 Columbia Hts) $105,000,000 Apr 2016 Sales ledger 25-30 Columbia Hts/55 & 67 Furman St $340,000,000 Aug 2016 Sales ledger 61 Adams Street $65,000,000 Nov 2016 Sales ledger 85 Jay Street $345,000,000 Dec 2016 Sales ledger 107 Columbia Heights $87,500,000 May 2017 Sales ledger 119 Columbia Heights $18,000,000 Aug 2017 Sales ledger 97 Columbia Heights $58,000,000 Aug 2017 Sales ledger 90 Sands Street $135,000,000 Aug 2017 Sales ledger Towers Hotel (21 Clark St) $202,500,000 Oct 2017 Sales ledger 74 Adams Street $60,000,000 Nov 2017 Sales ledger 30 Front Street (One York St) $91,113,000 Dec 2018 Sales ledger TOTAL $1,891,893,000 .
Watchtower Still Owns
Property Type Link/s 80 Willow Street Townhouse Still owned by WT in September 2018 86 Willow Street Carriage House Still owned by WT in September 2018 .
NOTE Property Addresses: Some of the above properties - which sometimes span whole blocks - have a number of official addresses which are also sometimes different to the 'as-used' WT address. Although 'one' property sale is listed above, it might actually 'officially' represent up to four properties that are joined together. There where no property sales between November 2007 and December 2011.
Please comment below if you have a query
By Guest Nicole
RFR Realty has closed its sale of 90 Sands Street in Dumbo to a low-income housing developer for $170 million, according to city records.
After purchasing the building from the Jehovah’s Witnesses last year for $135 million with the intent of renovated the 600-key hotel, RFR dealt the property to Breaking Ground, a not-for-profit organization focused on creating and maintaining affordable housing.
The sale was widely reported on earlier this summer. Christian Bautista of The Real Deal was the first to report on the sales closing, which was recorded on August 31, according to the city’s Department of Finance.
Standing 30 stories tall and made of brick, 90 Sands stands between the entrance ramps to both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. It also shares a skybridge with a retail and office complex that includes Etsy, software companies and WeWork Dumbo Heights.
Breaking Ground used a $157 million mortgage from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Supportive Housing Loan Program as well as a $10 million sponsor loan from its own housing development fund.
Founded in 1990, Breaking Ground opened its first supportive housing center at the 652-unit Times Square Hotel in 1992 and now operates 3,500 units throughout the city, with roughly 1,000 more in the work, according to its website.
Led by president and CEO Brenda Rosen, the organization is funded by donations, many of which are from corporate and institutional investors in the fields of real estate and finance.
With properties in New York City, Stamford, Connecticut and Seattle, RFR Realty invests in office, residential, retail and hospitality assets.
Neither company returned calls seeking comment on Tuesday afternoon.
By Guest Nicole
A bomb squad responded to a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thurston County after finding a suspicious device Wednesday morning.
Detectives responding to a fire found a suspicious item that “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
The fire itself is believed to be the work of an arsonist targeting Jehovah’s Witness buildings across the county.
Detectives found smoldering logs stacked up on an outside wall of the Kingdom Hall. The logs were dowsed with water. There was minimal damage done to the building.
The same Hall was shot up in May. Three others were set on fire. One Hall in Olympia was completely destroyed.
By Jack Ryan
The Farley Road Kingdom Hall sold recently for some serious coin.
This was a rare triple Kingdom Hall with a duplex on the property typically used for traveling overseers.
It appears this Realtor has been busy. He sold another Kingdom Hall in a nearby city (Menlo Park) back in Dec 2017.
By Guest Nicole
A new worship centre for Jehovah's Witnesses is coming to Gloucestershire.
Plans were approved earlier this week (June 19) by Gloucester City Council to build the place of worship in Kingsway.
The development will be the second Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Gloucester, the first being based in Abbeydale.
The plans for the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in Kingsway (Image: Gloucester City Council)
The proposal includes a single storey building to be used by Jehovah's Witnesses as a place of worship and religious education, as well as five car parking spaces.
The developer, Elevation One building design, said the building will resemble a site used by the religious group in Dover.
A planning statement submitted by the firm said two new halls like the proposed have been built in the last year and another 14 nationwide have been planned.
The site fronts Thatcham Avenue and abuts the southern boundary of Kingsway Primary School.
The plans for the Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in KingswayÂ (Image: Gloucester City Council)
It is not clear when building works will begin.
It will be the ninth Kingdom Hall in Gloucestershire with others in Cirencester, Cheltenham, Tewkesbury, Stroud, Dursley, Blakeney and Lydney, in addition to the existing on in Gloucester.
By Guest Nicole
A Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses was sprayed with gunfire early Tuesday morning and investigators with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office hopes the public can help them track down the shooters.
This latest incident comes after a series of other incidents that have hit Jehovah’s Witness Halls in the county. (new paragraph here) The shooting happened in the 15000 block of Vail Road in Yelm. Investigators were on scene for most of the day Tuesday. Authorities say it does not appear to be a random shooting.
The hall is in a rural area but the detective on scene who spoke to KIRO 7 discounted the possibility that the shooting was an accident. There were more than a dozen bullet holes and graze marks along the wall of the building.
Dennis Lynam says he’s belonged to the Vail Road congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses since he was a child and has kept watch over the building.
“It’s pretty sad. It’s the times we live in… These individuals, they need help themselves to figure out where they need to go in life. I just wish they’d realize this is (is a) wrongful thing. (There) could have been somebody in there," Lynam said.
Detective Ben Elkins with the TCSO was wrapping up his investigation at the scene by early evening Tuesday and said damage on the outside was extensive.
“If somebody would have been inside the building then it could have been a lot worse than what we have here ... this is clearly a targeted building and that’s based on the evidence we found here today,” Elkins said.
Elkins says nobody was at the hall at the time of the shooting.
The incident at the Yelm hall comes after two incidents of arson in March.
In one case, a suspect was caught on camera setting fire to a Jehovah’s Witness Hall. It was one of two suspected arsons against JW Halls in Thurston County.
Elkins says the latest crime in Yelm was different. “This is a weapon being used to fire into a building so it’s unclear if it’s the same person or person,” Elkins said. Investigators said they are open to all leads.
The TCSO wants the public’s help to track down the people responsible for the shooting and hopes someone saw or heard something Tuesday morning when the gunfire erupted.
Lynam says the shooting incident has not rattled his faith, though he does have a message for those who are responsible. “As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we look to God’s kingdom to change the effects of what’s happening today… they really need to think about what they’re doing and they can be forgiven as long as they repent from what they’re doing.”
There are no surveillance cameras at the Hall, though investigators hope to find other cameras in the area that may show something. Anyone with information is urged to call authorities.
By James Thomas Rook Jr.
Siberian Jehovah's Witnesses try to shield property from confiscation
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES' REAL ESTATE DEAL RULED FICTITIOUS
RIA Tomsk, 15 March 2018
The Seversk city court ruled a transaction regarding real estate belonging to Jehovah's Witnesses to be fictitious. The property was transferred to federal ownership; similar cases are now being reviewed in another two district courts in Tomsk oblast. How and why this is happening is the topic of this RIA Tomsk article.
The prosecutor's office acted as the initiator of a judicial investigation in Seversk (a satellite town of Tomsk). It sent a plaintiff's declaration to the Seversk city court for challenging the real estate deal on the part of Jehovah's Witnesses in Seversk. According to the prosecutor's office's account, the transaction bears a fictitious character and is intended to prevent the transfer of the property to the ownership of the Russian federation.
Earlier, federal news media reported that in October 2016, a court issued a warning to the "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" regarding extremist activity. In March 2017, the Russian Ministry of Justice filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court for finding the organization extremist, preventing its activity, and liquidating it, and it also suspended the activity of the movement within Russia. The lawsuit was granted on 20 April 2017.
After the filing by the Russian Ministry of Justice (25 March 2017) of the administrative plaintiff's declaration in the Russian Supreme Court for the liquidation of the "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" and 395 local religious divisions that are part of its structure, the organization's property was transferred by the court to state income.
However law enforcement agencies thought that local religious organizations, on order from the administrative center, undertook measures for shielding assets on the basis of fictitious transactions.
An example of such a transaction was discovered in the ZATO [closed administrative territorial formation] of Seversk in Tomsk oblast. The oblast prosecutor's office challenged the sales transaction of the premises of a house of worship by the Seversk organization of Jehovah's Witnesses.
"The prosecutor's office of Tomsk oblast filed plaintiff's statements in the Seversk city court regarding the illegal alienation of immovable property of local religious organizations, the North Tomsk Jehovah's Witnesses and the Seversk Jehovah's Witnesses, by fictitious transactions. They had been eliminated from the Uniform State Register of Legal Entities in August 2017," a source in law enforcement agencies of the region explained.
He said that on 10 March 2017, the Seversk religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses concluded a fictitious contract for sale of a building belonging to the organization and located in Seversk at 3 Komsomolskaia Street. At the same time, funds were not received in the organization's account. The investigation does not rule out the possibility that the money simply was appropriated by the leadership of this organization, which includes local bureaucrats.
"The investigation established that Andrei Sergeevich Ledyaikin acted as the seller; he is a member of the committee of the 'Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia,'" the source stressed.
The prosecutor's office of Tomsk maintained that this transaction was fictitious and aimed at the prevention of the transfer of the building and land to federal ownership. The court recognized the correctness of the prosecutor's office. In addition, similar cases now are ongoing in the October court of Tomsk and the court of Asino.
Religious or commercial structure?
According to information from public sources, the parent organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is registered not as a religious but as a commercial structure. More precisely, as a publishing house created in the U.S.A. The activity of Witnesses was prohibited in Russia on 20 April 2017 by the Russian Supreme Court for extremist activity. This was by no means a unique incident; this organization is considered dangerous in 37 countries, primarily Muslim countries.
In the opinion of a docent of the history faculty of Tomsk State University, Dmitry Konikov, the Jehovah's Witnesses are not a purely religious organization. "But it is still incorrect to call Jehovah's Witnesses just a commercial organization. The commercialization of their activity is a rather recent trend," Konikov told RIA Tomsk.
He said that to define some religious movement as a sect requires understanding from which doctrines its adherents derive.
"A sect, like a heresy, is always the denial of belief in some doctrines asserted by a 'mother' church or teaching. At the same time, in the protestant movement there are many kinds of protestant churches and a single canon simply does not exist; there is no main line from which to depart is considered a heresy," the scholar explained.
Perhaps the most blatant scandal involving Jehovah's Witnessses occurred several years ago in France, news media write. There a court ruled them to be a commercial structure and ordered recovery from the organization of unpaid taxes of more than four million euros. In the opinion of French authorities, the Witnesses conducted not religious but commercial activity. Of course, they appealed the decision to the European court.
According to historical information from TASS, the Jehovah's Witnesses are an international religious organization. It was founded in the 1870s in the U.SA., in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, by a preacher, Charles Russell. The Jehovists deny a majority of Christian doctrines, including the creation of the world, the immortality of the soul, and the doctrine of the Trinity.
Characteristic of this religious movement is the expectation of the imminent end of the world and the establishment of paradise on earth, where those whom the Jehovists consider to be worthy will live eternally. At the same time, it should be noted that none of their predictions of the end of the world have come true.
The doctrines of the movement have frequently been revised. Jehovah's Witnesses maintain that while studying the Bible they come to new conclusions and reject older "mistakes" (for example, veneration of the cross). Jehovists do not recognize governmental institutions and civic obligations, they refuse service in the army, and they forbid blood transfusion, including for children.
Unconditional submission to the will and goals of the organization is required from each adherent to the teaching. Nobody has the right to depart from it independently. The movement cultivates and supports among its devotees hostility to those who do not acknowledge its teaching. Because of this, Jehovists are often accused of inflaming religious hatred and many call it a sect.
The main activity of Jehovah's Witnesses is the spreading of their teaching and the sale of their own literature. In the U.S.A. they have the possibility of conducting propaganda on radio and television. In order to advance its goals the movement uses a number of legal entities, the oldest and most well known of which is the "Watchtower Society." The funds of the organization are collected by contributions and sale of printed products, purchased and produced by adherents.
The movement has a multi-layered administrative structure, headed by the Governing Body, consisting of ten to fifteen persons; as a rule, membership in it is life-long. The total number of active members of the movement is estimated to be about eight million persons. Jehovah's Witnesses' activity is forbidden in many countries, including China, North Korea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. (tr. by PDS, posted 15 March 2018)
Editorial disclaimer: RRN does not intend to certify the accuracy of information presented in articles. RRN simply intends to certify the accuracy of the English translation of the contents of the articles as they appeared in news media of countries of the former USSR.
Jehovahs Witnesses obey the secular laws in the lands in which they operate. This information would be on file for public review by the New York State Real Estate Office. The Christian Congregation of Jehovahs Witnesses is a preaching organization, we believe, carrying out the same work that Jesus, Paul, and the faithful Christians in the first century engaged in. They are not a real estate holding company. Because the real estate market has boomed in many cities, including Brooklyn, New York, some of these properties have gained in value. Remember though that the Witnesses held firm in Brooklyn while the neighborhood around them was being left to decay.
many do not realize how much property watchtower bible and tract society actually own. we take the work of spreading the kingdom news very seriously and are convinced that Jehovah God and his son have entrusted this responsability to this organization. therefore, it would take alot of money to accomplish the work of educating the entire population of this planet about Jehovah's ways and standards, and prepare them to survive armageddon. so even though most have not responded we continue to take the message throughout the earth in hopes that many more will listen and be saved.
The watchtower bible and tract society holds title to: Properties in brooklyn new york; Facility near Walkill, NY; Agricultural Farmland (3-6 Sections) near Walkill, NY; Educational Center @ Patterson, NY Branch office properties in Toronto Canada, England, Europe; some parts of Africa; Most of the countries of South America; New Zealand, Austrailia, Indonesia, the Philipines, Japan, and Tiawan. The watchtower bible and tract society holds title to Notes secured by real estate on tens of thousands of properties as a result of "quick build" kingdom halls and renovations on other similar properties. (aggregate amount of notes estimated in 2004 to be in excess of $11,000,000,000 in the United States alone) Current estimate of existing market prices would place the value of the notes held in the United States in the neighborhood of $30 to $40 Billion as of 5-13-08 World wide the estimate aggregate value of real estate and debentures held would be in the neighborhood of $300 to $600 Billion. This does not include Owned or subsidized commercial operations. Those would increase that value by 25% to 50% more.
Russian court turns properties of banned JehovahÂ’s Witnesses over to government (the Russian)
By Guest Nicole
The Pierre congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses invites the public to knock on the new door of their new Kingdom Hall out on the rise on U.S. Highways 83/14 on the northeast edge of town.
The congregation just completed construction of its new, more modest church building, called a Kingdom Hall, after tearing down its larger Kingdom Hall built in 1989, said Dennis Stahlecker, an elder in the congregation.Â
Â“The other building was taken down about the middle of September,Â” he said.Â
When it was built 28 years ago, more than 600 volunteer Witnesses came from across the region and nation to help in the patented Â“barn-raisingÂ” way the denomination puts up Kingdom Halls in few days.Â
This time, perhaps 200 volunteers from across the nation Â— from Oregon came in shifts to help the local congregation put up the new, tidy, double-wide pre-fabricated Kingdom Hall.
Instead of the seating for 200 or more as the other one had, this one can seat about 55, Stahlecker said.Â
Â“When we built the old one, we had people with families with children. Now the children are gone,Â” he said.Â
The Pew Research Center that studies American religion says the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses have one of the lowest retention rates of denominations and religious groups.Â
Now the Pierre congregation has about 40 Â“publishers,Â” as they call baptized members, Stahlecker said.Â
In spring of 2016 at their annual memorial service of JesusÂ’ Last Supper and death, about 70 attended, including many visitors from a distance.
The members of the Pierre congregation put the old building up for sale for more than six months and had a few interested possible buyers, including someone looking at using it as a daycare, Stahlecker said. But the listed price of about $230,000 wasnÂ’t met by anyone, so the congregation took down the building.Â
Â“We believe that somebody, a higher power, kind of oversees these things,Â” he said. Â“When it didnÂ’t sell, we kind of figured it wasnÂ’t meant to sell.Â”Â
The congregation owns a nice piece of property on the north side of the highway and finding another place to meet, if the older building had sold, would have been more expensive, perhaps, Stahlecker said.Â
JehovahÂ’s Witnesses are known for visiting homes to share their faith, especially their view that the world is near a sudden end with God promising a new heaven and near earth.
The denomination traces its roots to 1870s America and has been known for setting dates for the return of Jesus Christ. The group began using the name JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in the early 1930s. For more than a century it owned prime real estate next to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City from where it ran its Watchtower Society publishing. But in recent years it has sold most of that property and moved its headquarters to Warwick in upstate New York.Â
The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses have been called an extreme example of Protestantism, in that relying only on their own reading of the Bible, the group has rejected many traditions of historica Christianity: most significantly, the idea of the Trinity. The group also does not observe most Christian holidays, including Christmas, seeing them as man-made practices not found in the Bible. JehovahÂ’s WItnesses also donÂ’t serve in the military or pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag, seeing it as a compromising of their duty to God.
JehovahÂ’s Witnesses donÂ’t have a typical paid clergy or pastor, but volunteer elders who lead the services and BIble studies. Circuit ministers travel a region, staying in each location for a few days.Â
There are Kingdom Halls in Mobridge, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, Huron, Watertown and about a dozen other sites, with about 330 total members in the state.
The new, more economical and smaller building Â“should be easy for us to take care of, in terms of maintenance and keeping it warm,Â” Stahlecker said. Â“ItÂ’s mainly to serve as a classroom. We study the BIble here, itÂ’s like a schoolhouse for us.Â”Â
Regular Bible study meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and public talks are given at 10 a.m. onÂ Sundays.Â
Â“We invite people to come,Â” he said. Â“We have, too,Â JW.orgÂ (online) where people can get on there if they have any questions about JehovahÂ’s Witnesses.Â”Â
For more information, call 224-5501
By Guest Nicole
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Tuam’s Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation is hoping to refurbish its premises at the Weir Road in the town.
The development at Killaloonty would involve the renovation of the existing building, and a change of use of the adjoining caretakers apartment.
The change of use would facilitate a relocation of the front entrance, new toilet facilities, an enlarged auditorium and a new multipurpose room.
The project would also see the provision of accessible toilets and car parking bays, additional general parking and a new pedestrian entrance.
County planners are due to make a decision next month.
By Jack Ryan
August 1, 2017 TO ALL BODIES OF ELDERS Re: Using and Maintaining Kingdom Halls
By Jack Ryan
River-to-River Trail to Provide a Pedestrian Route to Gunks
From the Open Space Institute's website:
River-to-Ridge Trail to Feature Local Agrarian Culture: http://www.osiny.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=9339
Map of Trail: http://www.osiny.org/site/DocServer/River_to_Ridge_Trail_overview_7.27.pdf?docID=15461
By Guest Nicole
Kingdom Hall to open to the Annan public
Rod Edgar , Saturday 21st January 2017 A RELIGIOUS venue in Annan is set to show off the results of a major refurbishment this weekend.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are throwing open the doors of The Kingdom Hall in Downies Wynd tomorrow, allowing the public to see the changes carried out during nine to ten weeks of work.
Clive Davies says there is a lot of gratitude for the help provided by local businesses and the council, and he said: “It’s because we appreciate the community’s support; it did cause a bit of disruption with all the work going on.”
The Jehovah’s Witnesses moved to their current home in 2003, vacating the building in Greencroft Wynd which went on to become Sparklers Nursery.
Anticipating there will be interest from the public to see what has become of the Downies Wynd building, Mr Davies said: “Some people might remember it when it was the Co-op Funeral Parlour.”
Extensive work has been carried out at The Kingdom Hall entirely by volunteers who travelled the length and breadth of the country.
Mr Davies said: “There were up to 30 people a day in there, depending on what the jobs were.
“It was basically taken back to the four walls.”
The development includes a state-of-the-art auditorium with platform linked through soundproof glass to an adjoining smaller meeting room.
There is also another meeting room, new toilets and the foyer area has been redesigned to welcome visitors.
Other work included the installation of a new disabled-friendly ramp at the front, plus stainless steel railing.
And a new audio-visual system was installed, as Mr Davies said: “Now, on rare occasions, a discourse can be given in London which can be streamed over the Internet to us.
“At one time if there was a special event we’d go to bigger centres, with thousands there, but now everybody goes to The Kingdom Hall and they log on.”
The open day runs this Saturday from 1-5 pm, with refreshments and no collections.
Kingdom Hall to open to the Annan public
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Visiting a kingdom hall
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
A large plot of land on J M Turk Road in Flowery Branch was once covered by a forest, but has been cleared away in the last year to make room for a new Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall.
The hall opened in May after eight months of construction, said one of the congregation elders Robert Rankin.
“We used all-volunteer labor,” he said. “No one was paid to do this.”
The term “kingdom hall” was adopted by witnesses to describe their place of worship instead of the word church. They say biblically, the word “church” describes a group of worshippers, and not the place they congregate.
Kingdom halls are thus places for witnesses to meet and learn about the kingdom of God.
The Flowery Branch kingdom hall was designed with a more modern, “educational center look,” Rankin said.
“This is the new design,” he said. “You used to build them with a more residential look, with the sloped roof, you know. But in the long run, this outlasts that.”
His wife, Mary Rankin, said it is a commonly used international design, because it meets codes in just about any part of the world.
Robert Rankin said the facility is made of absolutely no wood, which saves time in construction because nails don’t have to be driven into planks. And the building’s flat roof allows air conditioning and utilities to be stored on top.
The hall also has a dehumidifying system to help keep the temperature comfortable, Mary Rankin said.
“I always have a problem being too cold,” she said. “But this is great.”
As witnesses or visitors enter the kingdom hall, they enter a bright, open lobby area with a wall of windows. Against another wall is a community board, showcasing lists and schedules. All duties in the hall are shared, including who cleans every day.
The kingdom hall has one large space used primarily for worship with a capacity for about 235 people. Each Sunday, it seats just less than 150 attendees. A nearby “overflow room” is used as a private meeting room, seating about 50 people.
A third auxiliary room toward the back of the building seats closer to 25.
All three rooms have mounted televisions, with the goal off streaming video in all of them, Robert Rankin said.
The facility has spacious mens’ and womens’ restrooms, a family restroom, a walk-in coat closet and a small, private meeting room close to the front doors.
“We have one lady in our congregation who can’t do the fluorescent lights,” Mary Rankin said. “But she can sit in there. For a while she wasn’t able to come, but now she can sit and hear the whole program.”
“And if someone has something personal they want to talk to one of the brothers about, they can do that here,” Robert Rankin added.
The new hall was constructed because of vast growth in the area, the Rankins said.
“It’s the fastest growing religion in the world,” Mary Rankin said.
Robert Rankin said more than 8 million witnesses are in the world. Already two other kingdom halls are in the Hall County area, one on Stephens Road in Gainesville and another on Ednaville Road in Braselton.
“That’s where we moved out of,” Robert Rankin said. “Because we had actually six congregations in the one building. So there are two here now and a Spanish congregation that meets here as well.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not follow the “megachurch” model with one preacher or minister to a single, large congregation. Every kingdom hall has multiple elders. The Flowery Branch facility has 12, with Robert Rankin as the coordinator of the body of elders.
“When you have a meeting of the elders, the coordinator just provides an agenda,” he said. “But he has no more authority than any others. And ministers are not paid.”
The kingdom hall has a midweek meeting — what other denominations might call a worship service — at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and a weekend meeting at 10 a.m. Sundays.
Meetings begin and end with song and prayer and include audience participation in Bible examination and study, like a classroom discussion. They are open to the public, not just Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“It’s pretty good,” Robert Rankin said with a laugh. “I’ve been in it since I was a young guy. It does increase your knowledge. It doesn’t just give you a speaking ability or train you, but it gives you information.”
Meetings at the Flowery Branch kingdom hall often start with a 2-3 minute video, to introduce a topic or subject. The screens throughout the hall are used for this purpose.
Collections are never taken at any kingdom hall. Instead, donation boxes are fixed to the wall, one for local facility maintenance and another for world donations.
“Getting these halls built in third-world countries — everybody contributes,” Robert Rankin said. “But there is no requirement. Everyone just takes care of each other.”
He said if anyone has questions about Jehovah’s Witnesses, what they do and what they believe, they can read some frequently asked questions and watch informational videos at www.jw.org.
Mary Rankin said commonly asked questions include “Why does God allow suffering and evil?”
“A lot of people ask us that,” she said.
Robert Rankin said the greatest and simplest hope for the kingdom hall is to be available to people and to educate.
“We’ve gone out for years and heard people say, ‘But you don’t believe in Jesus,’” he said. “But that’s just ridiculous. What hope is there, unless he is there? Our feeling is, as the scripture (says), Jehovah is the creator and Jesus is the Son of God who came here and willingly died for us. And we’re here to promote that.”
By Guest Nicole
Officials from Renton and King County are investigating a series of three fires that occurred within 40 minutes of each during Thursday’s early morning hours, including a fire at a construction trailer near a Jehovah’s Witness Hall that officials are investigating as an arson.
Investigators do not believe the fires are related.
According to Lead Fire Inspector Phil Cane, the first call came in at 2:57 a.m. Firefighters were dispatched to Heritage Glen Condominium complex in the 14130 block of Southeast 171st Street for a report of a dumpster fire. Cane said the fire was not close to a structure and not particularly dangerous.
Because the fire, which is considered suspicious, is outside the city boundary, the King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating.
Firefighters were able to contain and put out that fire relatively quickly, which is good because at 3:23 a.m. a second call came in, this one about a brush fire in a homeless camp off Talbot Road.
Firefighters dispatched the “brush Rig” from Station 17 in Fairwood, which contains smaller hose lines and other brush fire tools. That fire was contained to a 10-foot-by-10-foot area and fire inspectors believe it was accidental.
At 3:27 a.m. the call for a third fire came in, this one at the Jehovah’s Witness Hall in the 16000 block of 116th Avenue Southeast, where witnesses reported hearing explosions.
Firefighers responded to find a fire at a consturction trailer on the site located next to the building. Cane said the fire used construction and landscape debris as fuel and investogators belive the explosions were caused by aerosol cans exploding and were simply a result of the fire, not the cause.
Cane said the fire caused “very minor damage” to the hall.
“It could have been much worse,” he said.
Investigators believe the fire at the hall was intentionally set and are investigating it as an arson.
Cane said homeowners and business owners should be aware of debris outside and around their buildings that could become “targets of opportunity” to those “predisposed to light fires.”
He also encouraged anyone with information on any of the blazes to call 911 or the arson hotline at 800-55-ARSON (27766).
By Guest Nicole
Tanzania - Bukombe Kingdom Hall - beautiful sisters with beautiful dresses!
By Guest Nicole
Phil Ackland of the Summerland Jehovah’s Witnesses takes a seat in the newly constructed Kingdom Hall on Biagioni Avenue. An open house for the facility was held on Friday and Saturday.
Doesn’t having brothers and sisters being used as security to “protect” Kingdom Halls show a form of idolatry over a building / corporation? Isn’t a human life worth so much more than a building? And what exactly would one of Jehovah’s Witnesses doBy Guest Nicole
Doesn’t having brothers and sisters being used as security to “protect” Kingdom Halls show a form of idolatry over a building / corporation? Isn’t a human life worth so much more than a building? And what exactly would one of Jehovah’s Witnesses do if confronted by determined robbers?
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