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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

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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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2 hours ago, Nicole said:

Doesn’t having brothers and sisters being used as security to “protect” Kingdom Halls show a form of idolatry over a building / corporation?

No more than when David and Samuel the seer assigned Levites to temple guard duty, or when Nehemiah assigned guards during the Jerusalem wall-rebuilding program. 1 Chron. 9:24; Neh. 4:22-23. (comp Acts 4:1).


2 hours ago, Nicole said:

Isn’t a human life worth so much more than a building?

Certainly is.

Although security guarding is not just about protecting property. Protecting life of building occupants may be involved and of course there are also safety issues in connection with e.g fire, gas and electrical appliances and supply, drainage, water supply issues, etc. The mere presence of security may act as a deterrent to opportunistic intruders. 


2 hours ago, Nicole said:

And what exactly would one of Jehovah’s Witnesses do if confronted by determined robbers?

The society's literature has always advised along the lines of "Your life is your priority. No possession can exceed its value" when confronted by thieves.

Specific instruction would presumably be provided to anyone assigned security responsibilities. Sharing detailed information on those lines may or may not be appropriate on a public forum, so I will leave that to someone else with experience of such things.

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According to the bible, I believe there is full evidence that it is idolatry, Nicole.  The Kingdom Halls are not “God’s House”.  There seems to be a comparison made here in a comment of God’s Temple arrangement to kingdom halls.  We now worship in the spirit and the truth, not in any earthly building.

From the Watchtower:

The Jewish temple was a tangible structure at a specific geographic location. But spirit and truth are not material, nor are they limited to any physical place. Thus, Jesus was explaining that true Christian worship would not be centered in or dependent on any material structure or physical location, whether Mount Gerizim, the temple in Jerusalem, or any other sacred place.  W pg 16 #2

It was the early tabernacle that God told Moses to make, yet it was man’s idea to build a temple without consulting God. To Nathan he said,

‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I took you from the sheepfold, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you, and have made you a name like the name of the great men who are on the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; nor shall the sons of wickedness oppress them anymore, as previously, since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel. Also I will subdue all your enemies. Furthermore I tell you that the Lord will build you a house. And it shall be, when your days are fulfilled, when you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who will be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build Me a house, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son; and I will not take My mercy away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. And I will establish him in My house and in My kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.” ’ ”According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David."  1 Chron 17:3-15

We know this prophetically speaks of Jesus.  Heb 1:5,8  It certainly was not fulfilled in Solomon who proved unfaithful at the end of his life.  Matt 12:42; 1 Kings 11:1-11

The eternal House or Temple that Jesus was to build, was his chosen priesthood.  1 Cor 3:9,16,17; Eph 2:20-22; John 2:21; 1 Cor 12:27; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 6:19,20

Matt 12:6  “But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here!”

God “house” is of his creation and his Way:  Christ the cornerstone, the 12 foundation stones, and the 144,000 living stones of Christ’s Priesthood.  Eph 2:20-22; 1 Pet 2:5

Under the New Covenant, the new pattern of worship through Christ who is Truth, our obligation to an earthly building is only by the will of man.  By slaving toward its upkeep our “worship” is split and idolatry takes hold. The organization has become "the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one's means of life" by accrediting it as our source of salvation or life; when it truthfully has its origin at the hands of men, thus from the world. What men make on earth, fades.  Only what God makes, lasts. 1 John 2:16

“Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.”  Col 3:2

Unless the Lord builds a house,
its builders labor over it in vain;

unless the Lord watches over a city,
the watchman stays alert in vain.”   Ps 127:1

“But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.  Matt 6:20

 “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever.”  Dan 2:44

“Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power.”  1 Cor 15:24

“Look, I have given you the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will ever harm you.”  Luke 10:19

“Every island fled, and the mountains disappeared.“ Rev 16:20

“until the Ancient of Days arrived and a judgment was given in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, for the time had come, and the holy ones took possession of the kingdom.”  Dan 7:22

Only what men do according to God’s will, is stored in heaven. The rest is a “commerce” of futility, all the effort put into maintaining, building, expanding, consumes our dedication that belongs solely to God and Christ.  The preaching work is done through Holy Spirit acting within each one us who makes it one's desire of the heart, when in Christ.  Zech 4:6

“And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.”  1 John 2:17

If we unconsciously transfer what we intend to do for God, into doing it for a visible organization; we have succumbed to the prophesied idolatry.  Rev 13:16,8

“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.”  Rom 1:25

The only treasures worth guarding and storing up for ourselves are those in heaven.

In truth, the Lord God will help Me;
who will condemn Me?
Indeed, all of them will wear out like a garment;
a moth will devour them.”  Isa 50:9

Job 13:28; James 5:3; Eze 24:6,11-13; Luke 12:39

Before Stephen was stoned, his words revealed the desire of men through history to worship and attend to what they must see or have made:

 “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern he had seen.  Our ancestors in turn received it and with Joshua brought it in when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers, until the days of David.  He found favor in God’s sight and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God[a] of Jacob.  But it was Solomon who built Him a house. However, the Most High does not dwell in sanctuaries made with hands, as the prophet says:

 Heaven is My throne,
and earth My footstool.
What sort of house will you build for Me?
says the Lord,
or what is My resting place?
 Did not My hand make all these things?

“You stiff-necked people with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit; as your ancestors did, so do you.  Acts 7:44-51

According to scriptures, no one can tell us we must worship through an organization, or attend a kingdom hall in order to receive God’s mercy, as the Watchtower itself makes clear:

“As Christians, we face up to similar challenges today.  We cannot take part in any modern version of idolatry – be it worshipful gestures toward an image or symbol or the imputing of salvation to a person or an organization.”  WT 90 11/1 p. 26

“Ask yourself now, did Christ Jesus, who set our example and told us to follow his example to gain life, join any church or organization in his day?  No, God does not require us to do that; but he requires us to worship him…We have the Bible to show us the right way.  Certainly it is not necessary for a person to become a member of a church to gain everlasting life.  WT ‘53/3/1  p. 143




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35 minutes ago, Witness said:

The Kingdom Halls are not “God’s House”

Irrelevant straw man. 


36 minutes ago, Witness said:

There seems to be a comparison made here in a comment of God’s Temple arrangement to kingdom halls.

"seems to be" therefore opinion.

Reference is to security arrangements for protection of life and property as having Scriptural precedence and nothing to do with idolatry by any stretch of the imagination. 

I will not be indulging in any irrelevant, filibustering type postings further on this subject so will stand by my initial response without any more comment

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On 5/12/2016 at 4:17 AM, Nicole said:


Doesn’t having brothers and sisters being used as security to “protect” Kingdom Halls show a form of idolatry over a building / corporation?


How is it idolatry to protect one's own or another's property? I don't get it. Besides,

Matthew 24:43 - “But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into." 

Was Jesus using an idolater as an analogy for Christian vigilance? 

On 5/12/2016 at 4:17 AM, Nicole said:

And what exactly would one of Jehovah’s Witnesses do if confronted by determined robbers?

Call the police? Hmm. Other than that, I would hope any volunteer security guard would get appropriate training for these kinds of scenarios.

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3 hours ago, Eoin Joyce said:


I will not be indulging in any irrelevant, filibustering type postings further on this subject so will stand by my initial response without any more comment

Eoin, I am not asking you to change your opinion or to "filibuster".  

 "No more than when David and Samuel the seer assigned Levites to temple guard duty, or when Nehemiah assigned guards during the Jerusalem wall-rebuilding program. 1 Chron. 9:24; Neh. 4:22-23. (comp Acts 4:1).

This alone is a weak answer to Nicole's question and infers you believe the existence of kingdom halls as part of the organization are blessed by God in the same manner as the early Temple.  I don't believe this. 

If my opinion on why you made such a comment is wrong, then I am not sure why you used such a reference.  

Nicole is right to question this; it is my opinion that any effort to secure an earthly place of worship connected to an organization that touts to be one's only path to salvation, is idolatry.  


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Just now, Witness said:

infers you believe the existence of kingdom halls as part of the organization are blessed by God in the same manner as the early Temple.

Nehemiah was building walls to a city. 

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1 hour ago, Ann O'Maly said:

How is it idolatry to protect one's own or another's property? I don't get it. Besides,

Matthew 24:43 - “But know one thing: If the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into." 

Was Jesus using an idolater as an analogy for Christian vigilance? 

This is a good enough response to your opinion that providing security for a building project is "idolatry".

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Nehemiah was restoring the walls of the city of Jerusalem; prophetically, Chapter 2 depicts the situation today concerning anointed ones under oppression in the organization.  New Jerusalem’s walls need to be restored.  The anointed under the New Covenant has been "trampled" "for seven times"...she lies in ruins. Dan 9:24,25; 8:13,14; Rev 11:2; Luke 21:24,25,17-19 as prophetically depicted through this chapter. The symbolic “wall” today has been breached by deceptive doctrines and false authority, allowing the “Temple” to be trampled. Matt 21:33; Neh 1:3; 2:17; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Pet 2:5; Eph 2:21,22; Isa 1:4,5; Dan 9:27; Mark 13:14

New Jerusalem or Mt Zion is not the Watchtower, but it is the mother covenant established by the blood of Christ. The “firstfruits”, anointed ones are the first to be ransomed under this New Covenant.  Rev 20:6; James 1:18; Rev 14:4  Once the Bride unites with her husband, the successive seed are those who receive life through the woman/sealed Bride of Christ.  Rev 22:17; John 7:38; Matt 10:40,41; John 6:63; Phil 2:16

"But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother."  Gal 4:26 

Matt 24:43 was a parable to “keep on the watch” for the coming of the Son of Man.  Earlier in this chapter, notice:

“If anyone tells you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Over here!’ do not believe it! 24 False messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Take note: I have told you in advance. 26 So if they tell you, ‘Look, He’s in the wilderness!’ don’t go out; ‘Look, He’s in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it."

These false messiahs, or “christs” are within the organization.  They have diverted worship due God to the organization; storing up treasures in heaven, “protecting” its earthly interests in the name of God.

"For the idols speak falsehood,
and the diviners see illusions;
they relate empty dreams
and offer empty comfort.

Therefore the people wander like sheep;
they suffer affliction because there is no shepherd."  Zech 10:2

Isa 2:22 - "Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?"

"For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. 39 They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be: 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming." Matt 24:38-42

"I will whistle and gather them
because I have redeemed them;

they will be as numerous as they once were.
Though I sow them among the nations,
they will remember Me in the distant lands;
they and their children will live and return."
  Zech 10:8,9; Isa 1:27,28; Rev 18:4-8

In order for the true Temple to be restored as well as New Jerusalem's walls, the anointed who are under this mother covenant of “Jerusalem above” must respond to this “whistle” and “come out of her”, lest they share in her sins and “buy” refinement from Christ.  Rev 18:4  Zech 10:6,7; Isa 1:16

“This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Matt 24:44    Zech 9:9-11

I am startled by the situation Nicole presents in her question.  If the “sheep” are used to protect the material interests of a massive organization, and not just any organization, but one that demands obedience on all levels, in the name of God, certainly they “suffer affliction” under the rule of wayward shepherds. When we give our identity to an organization that ascribes itself as Salvation, whatever we do to support it spiritually, physically, or emotionally or is an act of idolatry.  Idolatry seeps through every aspect of the organization.  The Watchtower quotes substantiate its own idolatrous image.  Rev 13:15

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On 5/15/2016 at 7:00 PM, Witness said:

These false messiahs, or “christs” are within the organization.  They have diverted worship due God to the organization; storing up treasures in heaven, “protecting” its earthly interests in the name of God.










Should read, "they have diverted worship to the organization; storing up treasures on earth....(Matt 6:20)

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      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
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Visiting a kingdom hall 

    • Guest Nicole
    • By Bible Speaks
      "But the one listening to me will dwell in security And be undisturbed by 
      the dread of calamity.”
      (Prob.1:33.) Avoid Anxiety and  Find True Peace  As this present system comes to its close, stress and demands on your time will no doubt increase. How important, therefore, that you strive to apply the Bible’s counsel: “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.” Such peace is beyond the reach of anyone of a purely secular bent who sees no value in prayer.—Philippians 4:6, 7.
      Yet, Jehovah will do even more than give you peace of mind. He will help you carry your load of responsibility every day if you “throw all your anxiety upon him.” (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 68:19) It is therefore wise to listen to God each day by reading a portion of his Word. Who could possibly give you better advice than your Creator? (Psalm 119:99, 100, 105) Yes, experience has shown that those who put God in the center of their life are greatly helped to cope joyfully in today’s hectic world.—Proverbs 1:33; 3:5, 6.

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Colonche, Ecuador 

    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
    • 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 HALL
      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 Maron
      His name is Mafumu meaning 'king' he loves to clean jehovahs house..

    • Guest Nicole
      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).
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Tanzania - Bukombe Kingdom Hall - beautiful sisters with beautiful dresses!

    • Guest Nicole
      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.
      Source: http://www.summerlandreview.com/community/381571091.html

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A cash crunch is forcing the Jehovah's Witnesses Church in Jamaica to join its colleagues around the world in offloading some of its real estate as part of cost-saving measures.
      The church is selling some of its larger temples and other buildings, as it tries to operate from smaller, less expensive, and easier to maintain facilities.
      One large temple, located on Cowper Drive, close to Washington Boulevard in St Andrew, is among the properties on sale, and sources say the religious group is asking $45 million for the property.
      Four other auditoriums, on Elletson Road and Giltress Street in east Kingston, one in Waterhouse, and one in August Town, St Andrew, are also up for sale.
      A local Witness, who asked not to be named as he is not an official spokesperson for the religious group, told The Sunday Gleaner that some local properties have already been sold while others are on offer to the highest bidder.
      According to the Witness, high overheads forced the religious body to take the action.
      "Maintenance and electricity costs are killers. And the improvements in technology have made it easier for communication between individuals, and so staffing for the temples became redundant," said the Witness.
      When our news team contacted the headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States, a representative said he was not an official spokesperson for the religious group and could not speak on the record.
      "All the answers you are seeking can be found on our website. With respect to Jamaica, go to the website and use the search facility, enter yearbook, branch consolidation and you should get an answer," said the representative.
      But no information specific to the sale of the properties in Jamaica was found.
      The religious group had previously announced that as of September 2012, the oversight of more than 20 of its branch offices would be closed and transferred to larger branches.
      "In recent years, improvements in communications and printing technology have reduced the need for personnel in some branches. With fewer people working at larger branches, room became available that could be used for housing some who were working in smaller branches in other countries," said the Witness who spoke with our news team.
      According to the organisation's website, "Because of the mergers, qualified ministers who had been serving in small branches can now concentrate on preaching the good news."
      The group, whose members are well known for their door-to-door preaching and distribution of the Watchtower and Awake magazines, has also seen a scaling down of this activity, particularly in the Corporate Area, in recent times.
      Younger Witnesses are "studying and securing jobs for themselves and their families, so the large numbers are not there anymore. But we still have Witnesses," said one local member of the church.
      At the last check, in 2011, Jamaica recorded 50,849 Jehovah's Witnesses, up from 44,203 10 years earlier.
      Source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20160410/jehovahs-witnesses-properties-sale-rising-costs-force-religious-group-go-small

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      BAY CITY, MI — A 23-year-old man is facing criminal charges that he broke into and vandalized a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall, claiming he was following the orders of the voices in his head.
      About 3:17 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, Bay County sheriff's deputies responded to a call about family trouble at a home in the 5300 block of Kasemeyer Road in Monitor Township. The caller said his son, Christopher D. Brown, had torn up the family's backyard and then started walking south along the road. The father added his son's hands were bleeding, court records show.
      While deputies were on the way, a second person called Bay County Central Dispatch to advise that Brown was in the parking lot of the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall at 5435 Kasemeyer Road in Monitor Township.
      Deputies arrived to find a set of double doors on the building's west side had been opened, with glass broken out of them, court records show. Deputies followed a trail of blood inside and found Brown sitting on the floor of the men's restroom, blood on his hands, arms, and face, with his mother beside him, court records show.
      Brown told deputies he didn't recall what had happened, but that he had blacked out and had heard voices telling him to do it. He added he thinks he has schizophrenia, though he's been diagnosed only with bi-polar disorder, court records show.
      Brown told deputies police he is not on prescribed medication, but has a long history of narcotic drug abuse, though he hadn't used that day or for some time prior.
      Brown's father told deputies his son hadn't acted this way before. He said he awoke to his son listening to a motivational speaker and noticed his yard was torn up, court records show.
      Brown was transported by ambulance to McLaren Bay Region hospital. Deputies spoke to him again there and Brown reiterated that "he was listening to the voices in his head and followed their direction without fear," according to court records.
      Brown told deputies he broke his dad's grill, then broke into the Kingdom Hall with a rock. He smeared blood all over himself in the restroom and sat down, deputies said. He said he snapped out of it upon hearing his parents' voices, court records show.
      Brown told the deputies he was sorry and that he wanted to see God as a reason for why he entered the building, court records show.
      Bay County Probate Judge John C. Keuvelaar on Monday, March 21, arraigned Brown on single counts of malicious destruction of a building between $1,000 and $20,000 and breaking and entering-illegal entry. The former is a five-year felony while the latter is a 90-day misdemeanor.
      Keuvelaar released Brown on a personal recognizance bond and suggested he be evaluated for mental health issues.
      Brown is to appear for a preliminary examination before District Judge Mark E. Janer at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 7.
      Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2016/03/police_say_bay_county_man_brok.html

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