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Nathan H. Knorr
Born 23. of April 1905, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he began to show interest in the International Bible Students at age 16. He left the Reformed Church in 1922 and in 1923 he was baptized as a Bible Student. Ironically, the person who gave the talk that day, was Frederick W. Franz, who was some years older than him. He outlived Knorr, however, and later succeded him as the president of the Watchtower Society. The two men became close friends and companions, and they served several years together as members of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses. Knorr died from a cerebral tumour 8. of June 1977.
Contribution to Jehovah's Witnesses
Knorr's most striking contribution to Jehovah's Witnesses was an intense educational focus. Within a month of his taking office, arrangements were made for an Advanced Course in Theocratic Ministry, a school that featured Bible research and public speaking. On September 24, 1942, Knorr suggested that the Society establish another school to train missionaries for service in foreign countries where there was a great need for Kingdom proclaimers. The suggestion was unanimously approved by the board. In upstate New York, the first class, with 100 students, commenced On Monday, February 1, 1943.
Knorr was an excellent organizer who understood that good branch organization was needed to keep pace with the forward movement of the preaching work. In 1942, when he became president, there were 25 branch offices. By 1946, despite the bans and hindrances of World War II, there were branches in 57 lands. Over the next 30 years, the number of branches increased to 97.
Some of the publications used by Jehovah's Witnesses which were released during Knorr's stewardship were: Equipped For Every Good Work, Let God Be True, Make Sure Of All Things, From Paradise lost to Paradise Regained, The Awake! magazine, which replaced The Golden Age, All Scripture Is Inspired Of God And Beneficial, and New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.
Beginning October 1, 1972, adjustments began in the oversight of the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses. There would no longer be one congregation servant, or overseer, but a body of elders and ministerial servants. One elder would be designated chairman, but all the elders would have equal authority and share the responsibility for making decisions. The chairmanship of the Governing Body would also be affected, rotating according to alphabetical order.
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