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OCTOBER 11, 2019

2019 Annual Meeting Summary

On Saturday, October 5, 2019, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania held its annual business meeting at the Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Newburgh, New York, U.S.A. After the business meeting, the Governing Body presented an upbuilding spiritual program to an audience of 20,679, including those at tied-in venues. The following is a summary of each part. *

“Your Leader Is One, the Christ”

Brother Gerrit Lösch, who served as the chairman for the program, delivered the opening talk based on Matthew 23:10, reminding us that Jesus Christ is our leader, not any man.

Our Relief Ministry, Used by Jehovah to Provide Relief

Brother Stephen Lett explained the importance of being cheerful givers. One area in which we can show ourselves to be generous is by supporting our relief ministry. Brother Lett provided a summary of the damage caused by natural disasters and our subsequent relief work during the 2018 and 2019 service years. Over 900,000 brothers and sisters were affected by such disasters; more than 700 Kingdom Halls and 15,000 homes of our brothers were damaged or destroyed. Jehovah’s Witnesses spent $49.5 million on relief efforts.

This part included videos that contained heartfelt expressions of appreciation from publishers who benefited from our relief ministry.

‘The Good Hand of Our God Is Upon Us . . . Let Us Get Up and Build’ | Video

This video explained that Jehovah’s Witnesses care for almost 80,000 buildings worldwide. It also highlighted the strategies we employ to maintain, renovate, and construct theocratic facilities.

A Historic Look at Property Acquisitions | Video

This recording included archived interviews of three brothers who assisted in the past with selecting and purchasing properties for the United States branch and world headquarters: Brothers Max Larson, George Couch, and Gilbert Nazaroff. All three of these brothers related how they saw clear evidence of Jehovah’s hand in the acquisition of various properties.

A New Construction Project Is Being Planned | Video

This video announced that Jehovah’s Witnesses plan to consolidate media production into a new facility to be constructed in Ramapo, New York. The property is located approximately two miles (3 km) from world headquarters in Warwick, New York. The goal is to begin construction in 2022 and complete it by December 2026. During the peak of construction, the project will require an estimated 1,500 volunteers per day.

A rendering of the new Bethel facility to be constructed in Ramapo, New York. The design includes studio space, offices, residences, and a visitor center

A New Application for Processing Applications | Video

This video explained that beginning January 2020, publishers interested in expanding their ministry will be able to fill out applications on and submit them to their body of elders for review.

A New Way to Access JW.ORG Audio Files

Select audio content on may now be accessed via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

An Attack Coming From the North

Brother David Splane clarified our understanding of the prophecy recorded in Joel chapter 2 describing a swarm of locusts. We look forward to studying this clarified understanding when it appears in The Watchtower.

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition) from Matthew through Acts

Study the Bible With the Study Bible

Brother Samuel Herd highlighted the benefits of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition) that can be accessed online. He then released the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition) from the books of Matthew through Acts in print form. Publishers may request a copy through their local congregation.

We Have Work to Do!

Brother Anthony Morris emphasized that for true Christians, preaching the good news is our paramount assignment. Theocratic facilities support the Governing Body in organizing the preaching work and in providing spiritual food to Jehovah’s people. Brother Morris quoted the stirring words from the November 15, 1976, issue of The Watchtower: “The arrival of the ‘great tribulation’ should find the preaching work at the height of its forward movement, at the very peak of its momentum throughout the earth. The arrival of the Lord Jesus to execute judgment will come as a complete surprise—even to Jehovah’s people, for it will no doubt find them at their busiest time of activity!”

What Do We Have to Fear?

Brother Mark Sanderson explained that, as Jesus prophesied, God’s people expect to be hated by “all the nations.” (Matthew 24:9) However, Brother Sanderson encouraged us to fear, not humans, but Jehovah.—Psalm 111:10.

A touching video was presented of persecuted brothers and sisters in Russia expressing how they overcame their fear of persecution. This talk and video encouraged all of Jehovah’s people to develop that same spirit.

Are You Completely Sober?

Brother Geoffrey Jackson made practical application of texts in the Christian Greek Scriptures that use a term that literally means “sober.” He also stressed the importance of continuing to ‘keep our senses completely’ (literally “being sober perfectly”) during these last days.—1 Peter 1:13.

Will You Care for It?

Brother Kenneth Cook announced the yeartext for 2020, Matthew 28:19: “Go, therefore, and make disciples . . . , baptizing them.” He emphasized the need to help those who have the right heart condition to dedicate their lives to Jehovah and be baptized.

Spiritual programs like the annual meeting motivate us to continue exerting ourselves in our service to Jehovah.

^ The complete annual meeting program will be posted on in January 2020.