Jehovah’s Witnesses are conducting a series of open houses at their new headquarters outside New York City.
The Jehovah's Witness denomination is among the most popular churches in the world. With over eight million members spread out over 80 countries, the group has a mission of perpetuating the Scriptures. Last year the Jehovah's Witness group decided to move their world headquarters from the Brooklyn region of New York to the Tuxedo-Warwick suburbs owing to their need for expansion and a more favorable religious location to house the 800 staff who work for the church.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses recently completed the construction of their headquarters. The buildings overlooking the blue sea of the Sterling Forest State Park are all state-of-the-art and eco-friendly, and the church wanted to showcase this to the community. Owing to that, the church set aside two Saturdays, April 22 and April 29, to show their appreciation to the community that has received the church warmly ever since construction began. “We wanted to thank the non-Witness locals and other parties for the warm support they have shown us since we moved to Warwick," Troy Snyder, facilities manager for the headquarters complex, said.
Members of the surrounding communities received invitations to the open house held April 22. 395 invitees showed up to the open house, 205 being local residents and 190 being vendors and contractors who had collaborated with the church on the construction project. The Saturday open houses are particularly special because tours are normally only offered Monday through Friday.
The attendees were all first treated to some light refreshments by the Jehovah’s Witness members. After that, the visitors were taken around the facility in a tour that lasted about forty minutes. Residents of the Tuxedo-Warwick area expressed their appreciation of the vision put into the building’s designs, saying it was of high quality. Furthermore, any fears that the local population had had concerning the effect on the construction of the headquarters were allayed. Some attendees attested that the building had been integrated into the environment of the area to the extent that even the effect on local wildlife was taken into account and reflected in the design. The tour included a video presentation and a session for making inquiries as well.
The most interesting part of the open house was perhaps the three exhibits the headquarters houses. Guests were allowed to walk themselves through the exhibits for an hour each. The first of the exhibits was titled Bible and the Divine Name. It held rare Bible translations, Bible editions as well as unique Bible-related artifacts. The aim of the exhibition was to display how God’s “Jehovah” name was preserved. Exhibit two, A People for Jehovah’s Name, employed visual aids such as graphics, artifacts and personal testimonies to relay the history of the Jehovah’s Witness church. The last display was called the World Headquarters-Faith in Action exhibit, and it detailed the role of the Jehovah's Witness Governing Body in the promotion of scripture, faith, and love.
Any non-Witness locals who did not attend last week’s event are invited by the church to do so this coming Saturday. For those unable to attend April 29, public tours of the facility are offered Monday through Friday.