Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses


Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses

Kingdom Hall is the term for the meeting place for Jehovah's Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii. ["Jehovah's Witnesses – Proclaimers of God's Kingdom" chap. 20 p. 319 "The name Kingdom Hall was suggested in 1935 by J. F. Rutherford, who was then president of the Watch Tower Society. In connection with the Society’s branch facilities in Honolulu, Hawaii, he arranged for the brothers to construct a hall where meetings could be held ... pg. 721 1935 "Meeting place is, for the first time, called Kingdom Hall, in Honolulu, Hawaii"] Rutherford's reasoning was that these buildings would be used for preaching the "good News of the Kingdom." ["Jehovah's Witnesses – Proclaimers of the kingdom" chap. 20 p. 319 Building Together on a Global Scale *** When James Harrub asked what Brother Rutherford was going to call the building, he replied: “Don’t you think we should call it ‘Kingdom Hall,’ since that is what we are doing, preaching the good news of the Kingdom?”] Jehovah's Witnesses use Kingdom Halls for the majority of their worship and Bible instruction.

Uses

Typically three days a week (or more, depending upon how many congregations use the same building), local groups will meet in their Kingdom Halls. Meetings usually open and close with song and prayer. Gatherings held in the Kingdom Hall include Bible readings, public talks on matters such as the Bible, family life, Christian qualities and prophecy, as well as discussion of specially-prepared study articles in "The Watchtower" magazine and other publications of Jehovah's Witnesses. Witnesses also meet in Kingdom Halls for preparation and prayer before engaging in their door-to-door ministry. While such uses are part of their worship, Kingdom Halls are built primarily with an educational purpose in mind and this is the primary factor in their architecture and construction.

Maintenance and construction

Kingdom Halls are largely maintained by the members of the congregations that use them, in conjunction with the Kingdom Hall operating committee who oversee the maintenance of the building. One elder from each congregation is selected to be part of the operating committee. Projects for construction and maintenance are coordinated by the Regional Building Committee (RBC). Some Kingdom Halls have been built in as little as two days and then used immediately on the third day, although typically the preparation work involving the structural foundation and surrounding surface may take several weeks prior to the scheduled build. The construction crews of these Kingdom Halls and larger Assembly Halls consist of volunteering Jehovah's Witnesses, sometimes from other countries, who have been pre-approved for work on the buildings, grounds and sites.

The cost of maintenance is covered by donations made by those attending the meetings and other donations sent to the world wide headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses. Witnesses in industrial countries also contribute towards the construction of meeting places for fellow believers in less prosperous parts of the world.

In places with a dense amount of Witnesses in one area, a double-auditorium Kingdom Hall may be built rather than building many halls around the city. This is often more practical; however, double halls are often expensive to build. Sometimes two halls are built on the same property if land and funds allows for it.

In many countries, a number of standard designs of construction are used that can be built in just a few days. The act of constructing a Kingdom Hall in this design is called a quick-build. However, for various reasons, not all Kingdom Halls in these countries are built in one of these styles. There is however, a noticeably dominant architectural style of the Kingdom Hall which is often used based on standardized design concepts and models, depending on needs.

Location and presentation

Kingdom Halls vary in size and design. They are usually modest, functional structures with practicality in mind. ["Organized to Do Jehovah's Will" p.120-123 (Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 2005)] As Witnesses do not use religious symbols, such are not displayed on or in Kingdom Halls. An annual Yeartext, or "theme scripture", which is the same for all congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide, is prominently displayed in each Kingdom Hall. This text can be displayed in several languages if the Hall is used by foreign language congregations. Most Kingdom Halls have a literature counter, where publications are displayed, stored and dispensed to members of the congregation. There are more than 101,000 Kingdom Halls around the world.

References

External links

* [http://www.jw-media.org/people/worship.htm Worship and Conventions]
* [http://www.jwbrothers.org/category_home.php?cid=New%20Construction Kingdom hall's 'quick-build' Videos ]


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