YELM, Wash. — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating after someone tried to set fire to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Yelm.
This comes after four other recent attacks on Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thurston County that are being investigated as hate crimes.
In the latest incident, authorities were called around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to the report of an attempted arson at the Kingdom Hall on Vail Road SE in Yelm.
The ensuing investigation closed a large section of Vail Road for most of the day.
Church elders had arrived to find fire logs stacked up against an outside wall that was smoldering. They doused the logs with water and prevented any further damage to the building.
The elders reported finding a suspicious device placed on the ground on the west side of the building. It “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” so deputies called the bomb squad to the scene.
People living nearby the church told Q13 News they were told by law enforcement to evacuate for their own safety.
“I got woken up by my roommate Zachary saying there was a device on the church next door to our house and we needed to evacuate,” said Richard McIntire.
McIntire’s shared his concern about living so close to what’s become a repeated target.
“I don’t understand why people have to target churches,” he said.
Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt.
By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasn’t dangerous. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office later tweeted, “The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.”
Read more: https://q13fox.com/2018/08/08/possible-explosive-device-found-after-attempted-arson-at-kingdom-hall-in-yelm/
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 Kingsway (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.
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 Bible Speaks
CONTAINS AGRESSOR'S VIDEO FIRING A KINGDOM HALL
Alleged arson damages the Kingdom Halls in Olympia and Tumwater on Monday morning
Fires at two Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses in Olympia and Tumwater are being treated as a crime after a person was seen pouring a liquid around one of the buildings and setting it on fire on Monday morning.
Olympia Fire Chief Rob Bradley said he reviewed security camera images that showed a person "clearly spilling a liquid on the outside of the church." On the site, it smelled like a petroleum-based substance.
Olympia fire investigators will help the Olympia police in the investigation, he said. Bradley also said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending agents to Olympia and Tumwater.
The Olympia fire started sometime before 8:20 a.m. Monday at the Kingdom Hall at 2225 Cain Road SE. Firefighters shot down the fire quickly and then the crews began rebuilding and rescue efforts, Bradley said. He estimated the cost of fire damage at $ 50,000.
No injuries were reported
In Tumwater, firefighters were sent to the Kingdom Hall at 1199 N. Ninth Ave. SO at approximately 9 a.m. M
Members of the congregation were to enter the room when they noticed smoke coming from the north side of the building, said Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle. At first they used a garden hose to fight the fire, then they called 911, he said.
LaVielle said firefighters and police determined there were two fires on the north side of the building. They also found the "glow and smell of some kind of accelerant," he said.
"We take samples," LaVielle said.
No one was injured, he said. Although the Kingdom Hall in Olympia had security cameras, the location of Tumwater did not, LaVielle said.
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.
“The other building was taken down about the middle of September,” he said.
When it was built 28 years ago, more than 600 volunteer Witnesses came from across the region and nation to help in the patented “barn-raising” way the denomination puts up Kingdom Halls in few days.
This time, perhaps 200 volunteers from across the nation — 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.
“When we built the old one, we had people with families with children. Now the children are gone,” he said.
The Pew Research Center that studies American religion says the Jehovah’s Witnesses have one of the lowest retention rates of denominations and religious groups.
Now the Pierre congregation has about 40 “publishers,” as they call baptized members, Stahlecker said.
In spring of 2016 at their annual memorial service of Jesus’ 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 wasn’t met by anyone, so the congregation took down the building.
“We believe that somebody, a higher power, kind of oversees these things,” he said. “When it didn’t sell, we kind of figured it wasn’t meant to sell.”
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.
Jehovah’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 Jehovah’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.
The Jehovah’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. Jehovah’s WItnesses also don’t serve in the military or pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag, seeing it as a compromising of their duty to God.
Jehovah’s Witnesses don’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.
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 “should be easy for us to take care of, in terms of maintenance and keeping it warm,” Stahlecker said. “It’s mainly to serve as a classroom. We study the BIble here, it’s like a schoolhouse for us.”
Regular Bible study meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays and public talks are given at 10 a.m. on Sundays.
“We invite people to come,” he said. “We have, too, JW.org (online) where people can get on there if they have any questions about Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
For more information, call 224-5501
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 Queen Esther
NEWS FROM RUSSIA.....
THE MENTIONED FIRE OF THE HOUSE OF WITNESSES IN MOSCOW, RUSSIA BY A FIRE PUMP.....
A villager from the Moscow area threw a Molotov cocktail (incendiary bomb) at the home of Jehovah's Witnesses. Two houses and cars burned. The villager says he did it because he does not like the beliefs of his neighbors.
That same day a guy broke the window of a kingdom hall. The brothers were gathered and told to stop doing that and the cry that will continue to do so until the whole room is destroyed.
It has unleashed a witch hunt against the witnesses and people feel supported by the government.
THINKING & PRAYING to all our Brothers ❤
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
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