Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2012, 9:10 am

Jehovah Witnesses team up for Aledo Kingdom Hall work project

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By Leon Lagerstam,

Hillary Smith and Lauren Allen, both of Geneseo, were among a team of Jehovah Witnesses that performed some water and mold mitigation work at the Kingdom Hall, at 1000 N.W. 3rd Ave., in Aledo.
The Kingdom Hall, 1000 N.W. 3rd Ave., Aledo, needed some recent water and mold mitigation work performed by volunteer Jehovah Witnesses from across the region.
ALEDO -- It looked a little like an old-fashioned church-raising.

Teams of Jehovah Witnesses arrived at 6:30 a.m.Saturday, Oct. 27, to Aledo's Kingdom Hall, 1000 N.W. 3rd Ave., ready to work on a mold and water mitigation project.

The Regional Building Committee was comprised of more than 1,100 Witness volunteers from Champaign to Geneseo.

It was a typical Jehovah Witness response, according to Dustin Smith, an Aledo congregation elder. ''Anytime there is a need that arises in our houses of worship, we have an organized way to contact volunteers who donate their time and talents, whether it is for a remodel or a brand new Kingdom Hall,'' he said.

''What's nice is people come from all parts of the state,'' Mr. Smith said.

The regional committee is an organized group of baptized Jehovah's witnesses with trades of
plumbing, electrical, concrete, general construction skills, flooring, painting,drywall, cleaning crews and food preparation for breakfast and dinner, according to a news release.

Committee members organize and oversee efforts to rebuild Kingdom Halls or other Jehovah Witness buildings, or to help neighbors who are not Witnesses at times of emergency or disaster, such as in Louisiana, and, most recently, in the New York area, Mr. Smith said.

A five-man group that heads regional projects consists of Jay Weimer, Geneseo; Dave Waline, Moline; Dave Guiter, Macomb; JeffEarp, Galesburg; and Joe Willemkens, Geneseo, according to the release.

Work in Aledo included demolition and disposal of oldflooring, removal oftwo feet of infected drywall around the basement perimeter, and breaking away concrete from the basement's exterior wall to mitigate mold and water damage in two apartments, used by full-time traveling ministers and students working in the Bible pioneer field.

Work also entailed carrying concrete and materials up the stairs -- onebucket at a time -- to a garbage bin.

Trenches then were dug around theperimeter, filled with pea gravel, drainage tile installed and holes drilled atthe bottom of each cinder block so plastic tubes could be inserted into the tile, which were directed to the sump pump.

Volunteers returned the next weekend -- Nov. 3 and 4 --to complete the project by painting, installing flooring and re-decorating.

Elders of the Aledo congregation, in addition to Mr. Smith, were Tom Allen, of Geneseo; Craig Kamrath, of Mendota,and Ray Richardson, 90, of Viola, who all were instrumental in organizing the original Kingdom Hall in Aledo.

The Aledo Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses is among115,000 congregations worldwide in 195 languages. For information, visit

Time line information
1950: Moline Jehovah Witnesses conducted various meetings in Seaton.
1955: Meetingsmoved to private homes in the Aledo area.
1956: Rock Island congregation held meetings in Viola.
1962: Monmouth meetings in private homes in Burgess.
1971: Meetings moved to 205 SW 3rd Ave., Aledo.
1973: Keithsburg meetings held in private homes,until congregation officially established a Kingdom Hall.
1975:Elder DaleWannemacher, Aledo, a contractor by trade, broke ground for the new structure. The basic structure was built in 29 days on one acre of land and the first meeting was conducted there.Volunteer carpenter crews from Muscatine, brick layers from Canton and Burlington, a sound communicationswitness from Rock island, a plumber from Chicago and carpet layers from Clinton, Iowa, participated.The split-level brick structure features an auditorium,with seating capacity of 100 people, a library and a literatureroom.
1991: A major remodel took place with new carpeting, stadium chairs, roof, soffet and a concrete parking lot.
2009: A front carport was added, along with new furnishings and interior and exterior painting, and stucco.
2012: New landscaping was added.