Jehovah’s Witnesses building new Jefferson worship hall
Leaders of the region’s Jehovah’s Witness faith say a new facility in Jefferson – known as a “kingdom hall” – is positioned in a high-profile corridor on the east side of Highway 4 for a reason.
Church elders hope the visibility of the $230,000 hall will draw more interest and members.
“Our basic purpose is telling about the kingdom and what it is going to do for mankind,” said Richard Miller, 84, of Jefferson, a retired farmer and Jehovah’s Witness elder.
He said the Jefferson hall, started about a month ago, would be complete in two weeks. All of the labor to construct the facility was donated, he said.
Born a Methodist, Miller has been a Jehovah’s Witness for 55 years.
“I heard about it in the 1940s and learned about it in the 1950s,” Miller said.
There are about 60 practicing members of the faith in Greene County, he said, noting that Jehovah’s Witnesses consider themselves under the umbrella of Christianity.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses have halls in Guthrie Center, Boone, Lake City and Fort Dodge.
The Highway 4 facility will replace the Adams Street hall that the church sold for development as a private residence.
Miller said the hall plans to hold an open house when work is complete. The facility contains an auditorium, entry way, restrooms and library.
What do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe?
• Service in the armed forces or any form of allegiance to government is prohibited; one must show allegiance only to the Kingdom of Christ.
• Gender roles are defined: Men are the head of the household, and women are loving caretakers who assist the husband in teaching the children. Divorce is permitted under certain circumstances, but Jehovah (God) hates remarriage unless the divorce occurred as a result of adultery.
• No soul remains after death. Soon, Jesus Christ will return to resurrect the dead, restoring soul and body. Those judged righteous will be given everlasting life on a paradise earth. Those judged unrighteous will not be tormented but will die and cease to exist.
• Avoid behaviors that God dislikes, including celebration of birthdays and holidays originating from false religions. This includes Christmas.