Onlookers see new Kingdom Hall take shape


Share
Posted Online: April 19, 2013, 2:40 am
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
By Leon Lagerstam, llagerstam@qconline.com
MOLINE -- It reminded a Moline building inspector of an "old-fashioned barn-raising."

People driving by construction of a new Kingdom Hall for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Moline also were curious, said Jay Weimer, who is in charge of construction of the 5,100-square-foot building that will accommodate two English-speaking groups and one Spanish-speaking group, each 80 to 100 members.

He said construction began in October and is expected to be finished by the first week of May. Congregants have been meeting in other local Kingdom Halls, including ones in Rock Island, Davenport, Bettendorf and Geneseo.

The new Kingdom Hall sits atop a hill at the 70th Street and John Deere Parkway in Moline, overlooking John Deere Road and Zimmerman Honda.

Because there are no signs yet, "people have been wondering what's going on here, especially on weekends when we have 200 to 300 people seen working on it at a time," Mr. Weimer said.

As many as 700 Jehovah's Witness volunteers have loaned a hand."An integral part of being a Jehovah's Witness is service to Jehovah," Mr. Weimer said. "Construction and maintenance of our buildings is part of our service to Him.

"It's not so much about the building," he said. "It's more about the why -- what makes us do this."

Volunteers have come from as far away as Springfield, Danville and Iowa, including professional, skilled tradesmen such as electricians and plumbers.

"That's what else makes this so remarkable, the unity of all the people involved in this," Mr. Weimer said, adding that hundreds of people have spent a lot of time on the project, while balancing family and professional responsibilities.

They've also been working closely with city officials to ensure everything is done properly, Mr. Weimer said. It was during one visit that a city inspector compared the project to a barn-raising.

Mr. Weimer agreed, adding they also had all the pies anyone might expect at such an old-fashioned social gathering.

Dessert wasn't all, though. The volunteers also were fed meals."We have our own kitchen set up that prepares and provides those meals," Mr. Weimer said.

The new Kingdom Hall will have an auditorium that seats about 160 people, as well as three other meeting rooms, a library, conference room and theocratic school where people can practice preaching, Mr. Weimer said.

Mr. Weimer wore a hard hat embossed with the letters RBC, standing for Regional Building Committee, of which there are hundreds across the country overseeing construction of places of worship for Jehovah's Witnesses.

He didn't want anyone to focus their attention on him, alone.Unlike churches who put plaques or signs up on walls crediting specific people for work that was done or money raised for a building project, Jehovah's Witnesses do not, he said.

He cited Matthew 6: 1-4 of the New World Translation, which reads: "Take good care not to practice ​your​ righteousness in front of men in order to be observed by them; otherwise ​you will have no reward with your Father who is in the heavens. Hence, when you go making gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you, just as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be glorified by men.

"Truly I say to you, they are having their reward in full. But you, when making gifts of mercy, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, that your gifts of mercy may be in secret; then your Father who is looking on in secret will repay you."

"If we expect any reward," Mr. Weimer said, "it will be from Him."















 



Local events heading








  Today is Tuesday, July 29, the 210th day of 2014. There are 155 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Col. H.F. Sickless informs us that there will be new organization of troops in this state under the call for more men.
1889 -- 125 years ago: James Normoyle arrived home after graduating from West Point with honors in the class of 1889. He was to report to Fort Brady, Mich., as second lieutenant in the 23rd Infantry.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany and Austria refused an invitation of Sir Edward Grey to join Great Britain at a mediation conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Dr. William Mayo, the last of the three famous Mayo brother surgeons, died at the age of 78.
1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the biggest horse shows of the season was held yesterday at Hillandale Arena on Knoxville Road under the sponsorship of the Illowa Horsemen's Club.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Davenport is like a gigantic carnival this weekend with the Bix Arts Fest taking over 12 square blocks of the downtown area. A festive atmosphere prevailed Friday as thousands of people turned out to sample what the Arts Fest has to offer.








(More History)