what happens to the kingdom halls after they have

by desertflower 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • desertflower

    been paid for? who's name is on the title?

  • undercover

    Good question...

    It's a shell game. I kinda know how it works but I can't explain it very well because I don't know all the legaleze terms.

    Maybe someone with experience in the real estate world can explain it.

  • Legolas

    My old KH was paid for years ago. I don't know for sure who's name it's in, but the hall still sends the same amount to the society every month that they were sending as a mortage payment, now they send it as an interest free loan. They probably have giving the society around $50,000 by now. And when they 'say' there is a deficit in a certain month they expect the people to dish out 'more' money when all they had to do was not give the society money that month!!!! Thoses %$#@^%#&^

  • desertflower

    My daughter that is a JW was suppose to find the answer for me but I've not heard from her in a month so I thought I would see what answers I could get from you all. I need to know if anyone can help. Desertflower

  • Elsewhere

    Most KH's are incorporated and the elders are the board of directors.

  • blondie

    Actually only 3 elders are elected by the elders to be on the board, usually the same brothers on the service committee. The KH and any land is owned by the non-profit corporation, not even these brothers names are not listed as "owners." If the congregation is dissolved, the property reverts to the parent non-profit corporation the WTS.

  • freedom96

    My elder father-in-law says that the property is in the names of some of the elders. I found this odd, as I had heard that the WTS owned it afterwards.

    Here is my thought. What if there were three elders on the title. If they all left the organization, and wanted to sell the KH, could they legally keep the profits? Or is there much more too it?

  • Elsewhere
    My elder father-in-law says that the property is in the names of some of the elders.

    This is true in some cases, usually with old KH's and KH's in remote locations. To help avoid legal liability more and more KHs are being setup so they are incorporated.

  • keeshah
    Here is my thought. What if there were three elders on the title. If they all left the organization, and wanted to sell the KH, could they legally keep the profits? Or is there much more too it?

    That is what I pointed out to my mother. I told her that "Brooklyn" would send their lawyers down to her little congregation and they would find out real quick who REALLY owned that KH. She said, "Well yes, they have lawyers." I said, "Yes, and they send them to law school too while they tell everyone else not to go."

    I think I said too much because she came back with, "Well, I don't know where your getting your information!"

  • blondie

    If the brothers serving as corporation officers move to another congregation, step down as elders, are removed as elders, are DF'd or DA'd, or die, they are replaced with another "qualified" brother from that congregation. The title is not in the name of any individual, just the non-profit corporation. If 2 or more congregations share a KH, only the congregation who holds the territory on which the KH sits can set up a corporation, and the 3 elders are from that congregation only. If that congregation can include the other congregations in any financial decisions, but legally only that original congregation makes final decisions.

    BTW, except for paying any mortgage, utilities, or other established monthly expenses (such as paying into a maintenance fund), any expenditures in the congregation are first resolved from the platform, moved and seconded and then voted on by the whole congregation (usually all baptized JWs). Then a written resolution with the signatures of the people who resolved, moved and seconded, is filed in the congregation's records.

    Some examples:


    km 8/03 p. 5 Let Us Keep Our Place of Worship in Good Repair ***


    Maintenance and Renovation: When the operating committee feels that something major is needed in connection with the Kingdom Hall’s operation or maintenance, the committee refers the matter to the bodies of elders for direction. If it is determined that extensive maintenance or renovation will be necessary or that help will be needed from outside the congregation(s) meeting at that Kingdom Hall, the elders contact the Regional Building Committee. These qualified, experienced brothers provide helpful suggestions and oversight in directing the work. If a major expense is involved, it will be necessary to obtain accurate cost estimates and prepare a resolution for congregation approval.—See the February 1994 Our Kingdom Ministry Question Box.


    km 2/94 p. 2 Question Box


    What procedure should be followed when presenting resolutions to the congregation?

    A resolution is required when a decision must be made about important matters such as purchasing property, remodeling or building a Kingdom Hall, sending special contributions to the Society, or caring for the circuit overseer’s expenses. It is usually best to present a resolution for approval each time congregation funds are dispensed.

    As an exception, the congregation might resolve once to contribute a specific amount each month to the Society in addition to what each individual is contributing toward the worldwide preaching work already. Also, normal Kingdom Hall operating expenses, such as utilities and cleaning supplies, do not require a resolution.

    When a need becomes evident, the body of elders should discuss the matter thoroughly. If the majority are in agreement that something needs to be done, one of the elders, perhaps a member of the Congregation Service Committee, should prepare a written resolution for presentation at the Service Meeting.

    The elder acting as chairman should briefly but clearly explain the need that exists and what the body of elders recommends to care for it. The congregation is then given opportunity to ask pertinent questions. If the matter is complicated, it may be best to delay the vote until the next Service Meeting to give everyone time to think about it. The actual vote is taken by a show of hands.


    km 6/84 p. 3 Question Box

    What procedure should be followed in presenting resolutions to the congregation?

    The local body of elders decides many matters affecting the congregation. In making decisions, these responsible brothers are guided by Bible principles along with suggestions or direction provided by the Society. However, there are certain decisions in which the congregation shares, requiring a resolution. These matters would include obtaining a better place of meeting, purchasing property, remodeling or building a Kingdom Hall, sending contributions to the Society to further Kingdom interests, and so forth. Normal operating expenses do not require a resolution, but all major or out-of-the-ordinary expenditures should be approved by the congregation in resolution form.

    How are resolutions prepared and presented? The body of elders thoroughly discusses the matter, considering what is in the best interest of the congregation and the Kingdom work. After they come to an agreement, an elder, perhaps a member of the congregation’s service committee, will prepare a written resolution stating clearly the recommendations of the elders. During a Service Meeting the relevant facts and proposed resolution will be discussed. The elder handling the matter will allow congregation members the opportunity to ask questions if something is not clear. If a major decision is involved, the elders may allow the congregation a week or so to consider it before voting. If the congregation wishes to accept the resolution as presented without further discussion, the chairman will call for a show of hands of those who favor and then of any who may not favor the resolution. If the majority of dedicated and baptized publishers are in favor of the proposal, the elders can follow through with what has been approved.

    With the exception of cases where legal requirements stipulate otherwise, all dedicated and baptized publishers would be allowed to vote on matters presented in a resolution.

    When considering corporation matters, Kingdom Hall loans, and so forth, it may be necessary to use parliamentary procedure in order to comply with legal requirements and the bylaws of the corporation. For example, sometimes it is necessary to record the name of the brother who made a motion to adopt the resolution and the name of the brother who seconded the motion, as well as how many voted for it and against it. If such parliamentary procedure is not directly required, it would suffice simply to call for a vote on the matter after it has been considered by the congregation. In any event, written resolutions that are adopted should be signed and dated by the responsible elders before filing them with the records of the congregation.

    Voting on the resolution is limited to dedicated and baptized members of the congregation unless legal requirements direct otherwise, as may be the case when corporation matters or Kingdom Hall loans are involved. It would not be appropriate for visitors from other congregations to participate.

    After the resolution has been approved, it should be dated, signed, and placed in the congregation file.

    *** km 8/03 p. 5 Let Us Keep Our Place of Worship in Good Repair ***

    Congregation documents: Are corporation or trusteeship documents up-to-date and accurate? Where required, are property-tax-exemption forms being filed annually


    km 9/77 p. 3 New Arrangements for Congregation Organization ***


    The Secretary should be a punctual person who will keep track of dates when the congregation’s needs have to be cared for. If the congregation has formed a legal corporation in order to carry on its service to Jehovah, the Secretary should know what the government requires in the way of reports to government offices, annual meetings, keeping of minutes of meetings, and the posting of any required announcements concerning the corporation. He should keep the files of the corporation and see that the one responsible for preparing the minutes has them in order.


    If the congregation owns a Kingdom Hall or other property, the Secretary should be sure that local government requirements are met to insure receiving any exemption from taxes that may be available locally. If any legal notices are received he will follow through to see that these are brought to the attention of the body of elders and are given prompt attention by the congregation.


    km 5/76 pp. 5-6 How Do You View Your Kingdom Hall? ***


    of the Kingdom Hall

    Who owns the Kingdom Hall? Actually no one congregation should feel that it "owns" the Kingdom Hall. It is dedicated to Jehovah’s worship. The congregation that builds or rents a building has committed into its care a trust in connection with the hall, and the body of elders has the responsibility to manage wisely the Kingdom Hall’s operation so that Kingdom interests are best served.

    Before property is bought, it is strongly recommended that the congregation either appoint trustees or form a legal corporation to hold title to the property. If the decision is to form a corporation, officers can be elected from among the mature brothers associated, according to the bylaws of the corporation. The trustees or corporation officers do not manage the Kingdom Hall but the elders have responsibility of oversight. It is not required that the officers be changed from year to year but only as this becomes necessary due to moving, deaths and so forth. (Helpful suggestions are available on request to the Society for its letter entitled "Information Regarding Ownership of Kingdom Halls.")

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