The Jehovah's Witnesses congregation here has outgrown its Kingdom Hall at 1585 S. 1000 East and is making plans to construct a bigger meetinghouse.
According to Jack Isenring, presiding overseer for the building that serves the Clearfield-Layton area, the hall is up for sale and the congregation is looking for 1.5 acres of land somewhere in the area to construct a new Kingdom Hall on within the next year."It's a nice building and has served us well," Isenring said, explaining that it holds about 175 people. The regular congregation now exceeds that number. In fact, the Sunday meeting congregation has had to be divided into two smaller groups, one that meets at 10 a.m. and the other at 1:30 p.m.
Isenring said a recent memorial service to mark Christ's death attracted 350 people and leaders had to rent a local junior high auditorium.
"The growth of Jehovah's Witnesses is increasing throughout the world, over four million Kingdom preachers worldwide," Isenring said. "We're an example of that growth in Utah."
The new building will be funded entirely by the contributions of local members. Jehovah's Witnesses also have no paid clergy.
Isenring said the current policy is to construct the new building - with a lot of member assistance - during one long weekend. The rapid building process is done in cooperation with local building officials. The practice, which has been followed for about six years, allows members to quickly resume their preaching activities.
The Clearfield-Layton area has one congregation, while Ogden has two and the Salt Lake area has more than seven. Several Kingdom Halls will be constructed within the next few months, including one to be built in the Sugar House area this weekend.
Kingdom Halls are used at least three times a week by members: weeknights for Bible study; ministry school and service meetings; and Sundays for additional Bible study.
Isenring said meetings function much like school classes, because members are continual students who seek to effectively present the "Good News of the Kingdom."
A body of elders directs the congregation. There's also a secretary and a field service overseer, in addition to Isenring's presiding overseer position.
"Utah people are very easy to talk to," Isenring said of the door-to-door ministry. "They're very responsive people to messages about the Bible. They are easy to have a two-way conversation with."
All in all, Isenring said, "We're known as a preaching organization, we're honest, dependable people. We make good citizens and are obedient to the laws of the land."
Jehovah's Witnesses hope to live on Earth forever, and believe the planet will be restored to Garden of Eden conditions described in the Bible. They also believe that 144,000 resurrected persons, along with Christ ruling from heaven, will help govern the world then.