By Jason Schock
Jehovah’s Witnesses in recent years have built tens of thousands of new Kingdom Halls throughout the world at an amazing average clip of five per day. Any Falls City citizen who drove past 23rd and Towle Streets from Oct. 14-20 saw that engineering aptitude and organizational deftness on display.
What started on a Tuesday as a concrete pad and piles of materials on the former home of the Falls City hospital transformed by the hands of some 400 unpaid but expertly trained volunteers by Sunday into a fully operational 3,600-square-foot Kingdom Hall: lights, walls, sod, action.
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ branch offices appoint local Regional Building Committees to oversee the construction and maintenance of their places of worship. The objective of such committees, which usually consist of five to seven persons, most often with experience in the construction trades, is to coordinate the efforts of those involved so as to provide attractive and functional facilities that are financially viable. Todd Bowles and Randy Schultz, both contractors by day, were on hand in Falls City to help facilitate the expeditious construction.
RBCs cooperate with local congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses seeking to build or renovate a place of worship, under the direction of the local branch office. Committees help in assessing the suitability of a possible construction site, purchasing the land and materials and coordinating the efforts of volunteers from the wider area. Members of a Regional Building Committee work voluntarily and receive no remuneration for their work.
In 1983, an arrangement was instituted whereby Kingdom Halls are financed by loans from the Watch Tower Society. In addition to contribution boxes for local congregation expenses and “the worldwide work”, each congregation has a contribution box specifically for voluntary donations toward Kingdom Hall construction. These donations are pooled by the Watch Tower Society into the Society Kingdom Hall Fund, which is used for financing the construction of Kingdom Halls worldwide, particularly in developing lands. When a congregation receives local approval to build a new Kingdom Hall, the congregation may apply for a loan from the Society Kingdom Hall Fund. The congregation repays the loan to the Watch Tower Society, in addition to its continued contributions to the Kingdom Hall Fund. Interest was charged on the loans until September 2008.
They are centers of true worship in the community. From that location, the preaching of the good news of the Kingdom is carried out. (Matthew 24:14) Kingdom Halls vary in size and design, but all are modest structures, many accommodating more than one congregation. In recent years, we have built tens of thousands of new Kingdom Halls (an average of five each day) in order to keep up with the increase in our congregations. How is this possible?—Matthew 19:26.
They are built with donations made to a central fund. These donations are sent to the branch office so that money can be made available interest-free to congregations needing to build or remodel a Kingdom Hall.
They are built by unpaid volunteers from all walks of life. In many lands, Kingdom Hall Construction Groups have been organized. Teams of construction servants and volunteers move from one congregation to the next within a country, even in remote areas, assisting the local congregations with the construction of their Kingdom Halls. In other lands, qualified Witnesses have been appointed to supervise the building and renovating of Kingdom Halls within an assigned region. Although many skilled tradesmen from the region volunteer their labor at every building site, members of the local congregation make up the bulk of the volunteer labor force. Jehovah’s spirit and the whole-souled efforts of his people are making all of this possible.—Psalm 127:1; Colossians 3:23.