But I draw the line when they try to tell me that I am not accepted into Christ's body unless I am in touch with the Catholic Church. As a Catholic I am sure you can verify that this is the belief, although some of my Catholic nieghbors are a little more balanced in this view.
The Catholic Church views all baptized Christians as part of the Catholic Church. Those Christians not in communion with the Catholic Church are called our "separated brethren". So, actually, you are considered to be in communion with the Catholic Church albeit an imperfect communion.
The churches as an organizational structure were not started until many years after the death of all the Apostles. There was absolutely no organization back then that resembled the JW org. or the Catholic Org. we have today, nor any other religous structure.
Actually, you can see the existence of bishops and presbyters (priests) very early on in the Church. The writings of St. Ignatius of Antioch who was the bishop of Antioch were written some say as early as 90 A.D. and as late as 110 A.D. St. John is said to have written the book of Revelation around 96 A.D. In addition we have the writings of St. Clement of Rome who wrote around 96 A.D. it is believed. So, the hierachical structure of the churches seems to have been in existence during the time of the apostles and you certainly get this view if you read Eusebius' History of the Catholic Church which was written in the third century A.D. and is the first and most complete history written of the Church up to that time. In any case, here are some quotes from Ignatius of Antioch and St. Clement of Rome and these letters are considered authentic by Church historians both Protestant and Catholic:
Our Apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be contention over the bishop's office. So, for this cause, having received complete foreknowledge, they appointed the above mentioned men, and afterwards gave them a permanent character, so that as they died, other approved men should succed to their ministry. Those, therefore, who were appointed, by the Apostles or afterwards by other eminent men, with the constent of the whole Church, and who ministered blamelessly to the flock of Christ in humility, peaceably and nobly, being commended for many years by all-these men we considere are not justly deposed from their ministry.- St. Clement of Rome Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 44
I exhort you to be careful to do all things in the harmony of God, the bishop having the primacy after the model of God and the priests after the model of the council of the Apostles, and the deacons (who are so dear to me) having entrusted to them the ministry of Jesus Christ-who from eternity was with the Father and at last appeared to us.-St. Ignatius Letter to the Magnesians, Chapter 6
In the same way all should respect the deacons as they would Jesus Christ, just as they respect the bishop as representing the Father and the priests as the council of God and the college of the Apostles. Apart from these there is nothing that can be called a Church.-St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Trallians Chapter 2
Anyone who is within the sanctuary is pure and anyone who is outside is impure, that is to say, no one who acts apart from the bishop and the priests and the deacons has a clear conscience.-St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Trallians Chapter 7
For, all who belong to God and Jesus Christ are with the bishop. And those, to, will belong to God who have returned, repentant, to the unity of the Church so as to live in accordance with Jesus Christ. Make no mistake, brethren. No one who follows another into schism inherits the kingdom of God. No one who follows heretical doctrine is on the side of the passion. -St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Philadelphians Chapter 3
Let all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ did the father, and the priests, as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Apart from the bishop, let no one perform any functions that pertain to the Church. Let that Eucharist be held valid which is offered by the bishop or by one to whom the bishop has committed this charge. Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid.-St. Ignatius of Antioch Letter to the Smyrnaneans Chapter 8