Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Legal instruments of Jehovah's Witnesses
Some of the Legal Entities
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania was founded by Charles Taze Russell and his friends in 1881. It was originally called Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society with William H. Conley as president and Russell as secretary-treasurer. It was registered in Pennsylvania 15. December 1884 with Russell as president. In 1896 the name was changed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and since 1955 it has been officially known as Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.
Presidents of the Watchtower Society since the registration in 1884 have been:
- Charles Taze Russell (1884 - 1916)
- Joseph Franklin Rutherford (1916 - 1942)
- Nathan H. Knorr (1942 - 1977)
- Frederick W. Franz (1977 - 1992)
- Milton G Henschel (1992 - 2000)
- Don A. Adams (2000 - present)
Its subsidiary Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc. is another not-for-profit corporation, founded in 1909 and based in Brooklyn, New York, that acts as a legal representative and agent for Jehovah's Witnesses. It was originally called People's Pulpit Association. It was changed to Watchtower Bible and Tract Society,Inc. in 1939. Since 1956 its official name has been Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York,Inc. (WTB&TS)
- Note: Watch Tower in Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is two words, while Watchtower in Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York is one word.
According to the "Our Kingdom Ministry" (brochure distributed by Watchtower only to active Jehovah's Witnesses) of January 2002, page 7, the Governing Body has approved the formation of:
- Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses
- Religious Order of Jehovah's Witnesses
- Kingdom Support Services, Inc.
- Note: These are in addition to the Pennsylvania and New York corporations.
Aside from all of these, many other legal entities are used throughout the world to further the interests of Jehovah's Witnesses. For example, Wachtturm-Gesellschaft, Selters/Taunus to produce litterature using the German branch office (which supplies a large portion of the world) or Jehovas vittnen - Bibelsällskapet Vakttornet to promote the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses in Sweden.
- Jehovah's Witnesses: Watchtower Society Official Web Site
- Jehovah's Witnesses: Authorized Site of the Office of Public Information
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